TASTY PIZZA And GREAT GATTINARA
DINNER PRIVATE WINE TATSING With CINZIA TRAVAGLINI at GUGINO
We drank, we ate, whe talked we enjoyed .. A private tasting dinner with Cinzia Travaglini. Actually I thought there were going to be more people. Basically it was just me and Cinzia Travaglini tasting me on Travaglini’s current vintages of fine wines. We were joined by ANtonio from Palm Bay, Travaglini’s Importer, and then when we were finished eating, Chef Luigi joined our table as well. Cinzia started us out with her Nebbiolo Coste Della Sesia .. Travaglini is the unquestionable King of Gattinara, a small zone in northern Peidmonte .. The zone is only about 200 acres of which Travaglini comprises have of the entire zone. Gattinara is made mostly of Nebbiolo at 90 to 100% .. Gattinara may have up to 10% of Bonarda and Vespolina grapes, but all of the Travaglini Gattinara wines are made of 100% Nebbiolo … Travaglini are Kings of Nebbiolo of which about 97% of their entire vineyards are planted to the grape, along with a very small amount of Uva Rara, Bonarda, and Vespolina .. Yes they are masters of Nebbiolo of which they have been growing since the 1920’s …
So Nenniolo and Gattinara are the thing of Travaglini .. They are the biggest as well as the most famous Gattinara with their signature Trademarked Gattinara Bottle .. OK, so we started out with the Nebbiolo Coste della Sesia which blew my mind. I absolutely loved the wine. It was in perfect balance, full of flavor, yet light in weight, the perfect combination in an Italian Wine which are among the most food friendly wines in the world. And that’s what we were doing, food and wine, and yes friendliness too. This wine Coste della Sesia was an absolute marvel of a wine, that is very reasonably price and half to a third the price of the Travaglini Gattinara’s which are at their price points quite reasonable for wines of the highest of quality. This is thought of as an entry level wine, but it is anything but. Yes I loved this wine that was perfectly in balance in flavor, tannic and acidic elements along with the correct weight and wonderful flavor of ripe berry fruits with a nice twinge of licorice, just lovely. Cinzia poured me just a little, but it was so good I had to ask for a little more, and then more a thrid and forth time. That’s when you know a wine is good.
After the lovely Nebbiolo we moved on to the Gattinara’s, thee wine of Travaglini .. We ordered some grilled Clamari and a Pizza Margherita and Chef Luigi sent us some special bread and a platter of Salumi. We all flipped for the Pizza which we all thought was the equal of the finest Pizza from Napoli “The Pizza Capital of The World.” Well after all Chef Luigi is from Positano in the area near Naples on the gorgeous Amalfi Coast. We drank the Gattinara 2007 which as well as the Nebbiolo before was absolutely wonderful and a wine in perfect balance. Just delisous. It was then on to the Gattinara Riserva 2006, another winner, and then a very special and rare wine.
The special rare wine in question was il Sogno, which was a special project created by Cinzia’s father Giancarlo Travaglini in 2004 … Giancarlo wanted to make a dry table wine using the appassimento method of drying grapes before the fermentation process as with the famed wines of Amarone and the lesser known Sforvato of Lombardia. Giancarlo picked some of his best Nebbiolo Grapes and set them out to dry on matts. Unfortunately Giancarlo passed away in November of 20024 when the grapes had only been drying for 1 month. Cinzia and her winemaker husband continued the project. They finished drying thr Nebbiolo grapes, fermented them and made the wine that tey called il Sogno “The Dream.”
So Cinzia poured me a glass of il Sogno, and again my mind was blown. The wine an absolute gem had all sorts of wonderful flavors running through my mouth. It was delisious, it had power, but not too much as some big AMarone sometimes do. The wine was a delight and I’m looking forward to putting it on my own list.
We also drank the Gattinara “Tre Vigna,” The Three Vineyards .. The fruit for Tre Vigna comes from 3 very special small vineyards on the Travaglini Estate. These 3 different vineyards have different geographical vineyards on the estate and bring different characteristics to the wine to make up one complete and wonderful structure of a wine,
Travaglini Gattinara “Tre Vigne”
So we drank the fine wines from Cinzia Travaglini, we had perfect Pizza, Antipasti, followed by some wonderful Tagiatelle con Tartufo and Brasato di Manzo (Braised Beef), and finished up with some tasty desserts. It was a fine night and a dinner that along with the many wonderful private luncheons and dinners I have had over the years with some of Italy’s most prestigious winemakers, like Cinzia, I remeber them all, and I will always remember this one, absolutely Wonderful!
The GREAT LINEUP Of TRAVAGLINI WINES “The KINGS of GATTINARA”
La TAVOLA is Available in Paperback on AMAZON.com
Wine for Sunday Sauce? What do you drink? Which wine pairs best with Sunday Sauce, thee Supreme Dish of Italian-America? Is it Chianti, most iconic of all Italian Wines? Perhaps Aglianico or Piedrossa from the region of Campania where the roots of Italian-American Sunday Sauce Gravy begin? Or a Sicilian Wine like Nero d’Avola or Norello Mascallese? If you trace the roots of Italian-American Sunday Sauce and the people who created it, Sicilians are among the top of the list. Now, I know since you came to this page that bottle of Carlo Rossi “Paisano” just had to catch your eye. And I’m sure most of you are asking the question, “Carlo Rossi Paisano, are You Kidding?” The answer. “No, Not Really.” Well I’m not saying it’s the best choice. OK so we have to match a good wine with that fabulous Sunday Sauce of yours. What to drink?
I’m here to tell you, it can be one or more of many wines, and don’t count a wine like Carlo Rossi Paisano out. “You’re Joking?” You say. No. Listen, this can be your wine, maybe not. I myself have drank some of the World’s Priciest, and so-called greatest wines in the World, “Trophy Wines,” like; Sassicaia, Gaja Barbaresco. La Tache, Chateau Petrus, Cahteau Haute Brion, Petrus, Chateasu Cheval Blanc, Chateau Latour, all the great Brunello and barolo wines, great vintage Champagnes, you name it, “I’ve had it.” And with my knowledge of wine, I can tell you, a lot of it is hype, and Marketing BS, and sometimes not. And I’ll tell you this, do not be so much of a snob, a Wine Snob. You see that Carlo Rossi, with all the prestigous wines that I’ve consumed over the years, I’m not above drinking that. Carlo Rossi .. The wine has special meaning and affection for me. It’s one of the two wines my uncles always bought for our Sunday Family Meals. Meals of Meatballs, Sunday Sauce “Gravy,” Ravioli, Veal Marsala, Chicken Cactitore. My Uncles Tony and Frank always had either Carlo Rossi paisano or Gallo Hearty Burgungy on hand. They were their wines, and they only had other wines if someone brought something like Bolla Valpolicella, Rufino Chianti or some other wine. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying Paisano or Gallo Hearty Burgundy are great wines, “No.” But they are not that bad. They are Italian-American Wines made by Italian-Americans and have social significance to Italian-Americans. These wines are part of our history, as are the wines from the great Robert Mondavi, The Mondavi Family, Francis Ford Coppola and other Italian Families in America.
So what am I saying? What wines to drink with the Sunday Sauce or any home-made Italian American Meal? Well, actually most of the time I do drink wines from Italy with my Sunday Sauce or whatever Italian food we’re making. The Carlo Rossi is just when we eat over Uncle Tony’s house with Uncle Frank and all the wonderful meals with Aunt Fran, Aunt Helen, Mommy, Cousin Tony, and my brothers and sister and the whole family. No, I’m not above drinking Carlo Rossi or Gallo if my Uncles are serving it. When we’re eating at home, we usually love to drink Chianti, most times, sometimes Barolo, Barbera, or Brunello. But most often it’s Chianti which I love and it goes quite well with just about anything we eat, especially Meatballs, Sausage, and Sunday Sauce. Chinati comes from Tuscany and is a medium bodied wine made mostly from Sangiovese (The Blood of Jobe), and with small percentages of other native Tuscan grapes like; Colorino, Malvasia Nero, Cannaiolo, or Ciegolo.
One thing I must say is, that I usually don’t like wines like Big, concentrated Cabernet Sauvignon or Syrah from California or Australia. To me, these are the last wines I would ever want to drink with Italian food. Reason. These wines are usually to rich, and because of that, they clash with the food instead of complementing them. the wines you want to drink should have good flavor, but be light to medium in body and weight. Not Bif, Fat, Rich, and concentrated. “No Bueno!”
YES! CARLO ROSSI
WINES To DRINK With SUNDAY SAUCE
2. NERO d’AVOLA from SIICLY
5. MORELLINO Di SCANSANO
8. NERELLO MASCALLESE
9. CARLO ROSSI “PAISANO”
11. GRECO Di TUFO
12. PINOT GRIGIO from FRIULI or ALTO ADIGE
Or Any Wine That You Like and Enjoy Drinking
When it comes to great Italian Food, in a city (New York) that is known to have the Best Italian Food in the World outside of Italy, it’s hard to beat Bar Pitti, which is why Bar Pitti may very well be the “Best Italian Restaurant” in New York City! Yes!
Wait a minute, scratch that “maybe.” No, Bar Pitti serves without a doubt, thee “Best Italian Food in New York.” You don’t think so? name one that is better. And please only qualified people please. No followers or Hack Food Critics like
Who could compete? Maybe Babbo, Del Posto, Elio’s, Lupa. They are all good, but none as good and consistent as Bar Pitti.
Il Mulino is absolutely “Aweful!” An “Overpriced Lackluster Restaurant” with horrible ambiance, mechanical annoying service, and food that is merely good, and no better and insanely “High Prices.” It’s a place for “Followers” who run with the crowd and wouldn’t know real good Italian Food if it came up and Bit Them in The Ass.
Babbo many would say. Well Babbo is quite good, but just can’t hold up to Bar Pitti with more of a true Italian feel, great food at truly real Italian Prices. Babbo is a great Special Occasion restaurant, but for everyday eating, Babbo doesn’t even come close to Bar Pitti for “Great Quality Price Ratio,” and even not considering the prices, if they were the same, though the food at Babbo is very good and I’ve had a few very enjoyable meals there, I have been disappointed a couple of times, something that has “Never” happened to me at Bar Pitti and I’ve eaten there more times, yet never been disappointed, not once, and always had a great time. So even if the prices were the same, Bar Pitti still has an edge, with Better More Consistent Authentic Italian Food than Babbo.
How bout Maialino, Laconde Verde, Osteria Morini, and others? As MC Hammer would say, “Can’t Touch This.”
So if you’re looking for Thee “Best Italian Food in New York” there’s one name, “Bar Pitti.”
Coda d’Vacinara (Braised Oxtails) 150 Points on a 100 Pt Scale
Bolito d’Manzo (Boiled Beef) Taste a whole Lot Better than it sounds!
Polpettine d’ Vitello (Veal Meatballs)
Fegato al Salvia (Calves Liver sauteed w/Sage)
Paparadelle con Sugo d’Coniglio (Pasta with Rabbit Ragu)
PUNTARELLE Wild Roman Greens Salad w/Anchovy Dressing