Thursday, May 19, 2011
Last night CiaoDC participated in a wonderful wine tasting class at Screwtop Wine Bar and Cheese Shop. Beth Wolfe from Siema wines hosted the tasting of 6 different red wines that Siema imports. A little bit about Siema to start - Siema is an importer out of Springfield, VA that brings in wines from smaller family-owned vineyards in Italy, among other countries. Beth explained that because some of the estates are so small, Siema is the only U.S. importer for some of their wines. Another great part about the size of these farms is that it allows Siema to really get to know the families who grow the grapes and produce such amazing wine.
To start, Beth dispossessed us of a common confusion between two very different wines: Montepulciano d'Abruzzo and Montepulciano (from Tuscany).
From the Montepulcianos, we moved onto two very Old World Italian wines that are really more designed to be had with food: Barolo and Brunello. And trust me, after tasting them, I would not be sipping on them without pairing them with a serious meal.
Moving into a type of wine that is less "serious" and a little more fun to most, probably, we tasted two different types of Lambrusco. Both bottles come from the oldest Lambrusco producer in Italy, Chiarli. Chiarli has its vineyards in the Emiglia-Romagna region, which is in the central north, just to the north of Tuscany. It is made from the Lambrusco grape and generally brings to mind the thought of a sweet carbonated wine, perhaps even that cheap jug wine some of us drank in college. Fortunately, the Lambruscos we tasted were anything but college-style.
Overall, this wine tasting was a great learning experience, even for someone who considers themselves familiar with Italian wines. There is so much to learn, and Beth did a fabulous job explaining it all to us and answering our questions! You can purchase all of these wines and many others at Screwtop. If you're interested in future wine tasting classes at Screwtop, click on the link to this post.