The photo in this post shows Luciano Marchetto, the proud papa’ at the helm of a small family winery in Veneto. Luciano and his son Federico produce a tremendous selection of white wines that we, unfortunately, rarely see in our stores in Canada. The Gambellara Classico and Recioto di Gambellara, based on the Garganega grape varietal, are just samples of their precious elixirs….

Veneto is always full of surprises, so don’t be afraid to wonder beyond Verona or Venice. When you go, let me know and I will give you the names of some interesting towns to visit.

Or, better yet, join meevery Autumn for the annual Veneto tour.
If I had only Veneto wines in my cellar, this is how I would line them up for my meal:
1. Prosecco with canapes (olives or crostini with roasted tomatoes and goat cheese)
2. Bardolino rose with appetizers (smoked trout or salmon)
3. Soave or Gambellara for the ‘primo piatto’: Fettuccine with butter and sage or with a light sauce with shrimps, parsley and lemon
4. Ripasso (or any “appassimento” style wine) for my meat dish. This is a very food-friendly wine that will pair well with grilled steak or ossobuco
5. Recioto with a chocolate based dessert
6. Aged Amarone (at least 10 years old) with no food! Just to sip at the end of the meal, a conversation wine or — my favourite expression — a meditation wine!

This month in our Ontario wine stores, we will see a good selection of Veneto products. The following are a few you should try.

Donatoni Massena’ Appassimento 2011 $16.95 #332403
On the label you will see the text: “…da uve leggermente appassite…”, which translates to “from slightly dried grapes”.
Personally, I like to use the word “withered”, which describes better the idea of the grapes left to dry, losing much of their water content before being pressed and transformed into wine. I enjoy this style of wines with roasted meats (baby goat is one of Veneto-Vicenza local staples) or cheese fondue.

Montresor Soave Classico 2013 $13.95 #408302
I much prefer the quality of “Soave Superiore”, however, since we rarely find this in Canada, we compromise with the Classico. Montresor always delivers consistent products with an excellent quality-price value.
Floral and elegant, medium body, minerality and almond aromatic notes on the finish.
Baccala’ alla Vicentina (dry cod) is the local’s preferred pairing for Soave.

Monte Faustino Recioto 2008 $45.95 #403857
We rarely have the pleasure of seeing a great Recioto such as this. Imagine a luxurious experience for all your five senses. From its bright ruby tones of colour in the glass to the intense aromatic bouquet, when you bring it close to your nose. From that soft, caressing touch delivered when you sip it, to that unforgettable long, persistent, sweet finish. What about the remainder of the five senses — hearing?
Well, I also like to hear the sound of the wine when poured into the glass…

Salute a tutti!