The tastings of 2016 continued with Cangrande’s offering of Italian Festive Wines. Michele presented with enthusiasm and was very knowledgeable and informative. We had a very good turnout with 35 members and one guest. The Italian themed supper was great with everyone mixing well. Thanks to the organisers.
The evenings offering included wines and beer along with some options for olive oil and balsamic vinegar which were available for the supper. The tasting included a Verdicchio aperitif style for the quaffer, three sparkling wines, an Altaluna Belgian Ale, a Primitivo and a dessert style from Pantelleria, the Donnafugata – Passito di Pantelleria Ben Ryé. Olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and a couple of coffee bean options were also available for purchase.
As ever, I find this a time to reflect on what the year has offered. We had a great day for the BBQ in January. Always a pleasant afternoon for those attending. February saw a tasting with Roberta Montero presenting for the Artisan Winegrowers of Central Otago. An interesting and somewhat different approach to winemaking from this group. March was a very successful tasting of Argentinian wines presented by Josefina Telleria from South2South. In April we had Edward Donaldson presenting for Pegasus Bay. The AGM in May passed quickly and members enjoyed some wines from the Club’s cellar before we moved on to June where Foxes Island and held centre stage. This was a very professional presentation.
Things really got rolling in July with the mid-year dinner at Logan Brown. Some issues around service but otherwise an excellent evening. August was time for Keith Tibble to present an Australian evening, mainly Elderton from the Barossa Valley but included offerings from McLaren Vale and Clare Valley. September was with Gavin Yortt and Squawking Magpie from Hawkes Bay. October was a highlight with Jane Hunter presenting from Marlborough. It was great to get an icon of the NZ wine industry for this event. November completed a somewhat international year with Cangrande doing Italian wines for our festive tasting. Dinner at Muse this month completes our year.
Your committee have been very pleased with the programme and hope everyone found something to enjoy. Have a great Christmas and then we will look to developing 2017 events to match those of the past year.
Cangrande proudly presents the widest and highest quality range of Italian wines in New Zealand.
They have chosen to focus on excellence in order to ensure the exceptional standard reached in the last few years by Italian winemakers is fully represented in their catalogue. They currently offer several product lines, based on value, which can meet and satisfy the demands of mass retailers, restaurateurs, caterers, wine shops and any kind of wine traders in New Zealand. However, for all of these ranges, the price/quality ratio remains outstanding. For those interested in Italian wines, Cangrande is opening a shop in Petone, keep your eye out.
Cangrande stepped in late in August 2014 to give us a delightful taste of the wines of Italy and we are sure that they will produce a great range of wines to fit the festive theme. Work on this tasting is progressing but we have not quite finalised details as yet. Suffice it to say that it will be a great experience with a clear Italian theme.
Pinot Grigio DOC – Masut da Rive (Friuli – Venezia Giulia)
Soave Superiore DOC “Monte Sella” – Le Mandolare (Veneto)
Negroamaro del Salento IGT – Cignomoro (Puglia)
Nebbiolo Langhe DOC – San Biagio (Piemonte)
Amarone della Valpolicella Classico DOC – Caterina Zardini (Veneto)
‘Il Fortificato’, a fortified red wine based on Recioto della Valpolicella – Giuseppe Campagnola (Veneto)
Michele is a very passionate speaker in true Italian style you’d expect coming from Verona; home of Romeo and Juliet.
Michele along with his assistant and taste tester Carlo (Michele’s father) introduced members to a fascinating range of quality Italian wines. What proved to be a hit was Michele knowledge of Venetian history and the background of the many smaller family owned wineries assembled as part of his wine portfolio for New Zealand.
Members were treated to a great range of wines including a magnificent Amarone della Valpolicella Classico; one of Italy’s top reds. Not for the cost conscious but definitely worth every euro. This wine would compete with the best New Zealand and Australia offers with its purple colour, spicy aroma, gutsy mouth feel and rich lingering tobacco and liquorice finish.
Amoarone della Valpolicella blend includes Corvina which provides the blend’s acidity and sour-cherry flavors while Rondinella is used to add colour and body. If you see this on your next wine list, go for it. You won’t be disappointed.
My three favourites on the night were the Prosecco, Negroamaro and Amarone. The Prosecco was fresh and lively with bosc pear and green apple notes, plump mouth feel and a lingering finish. The Negroamaro was more what I was expecting from an Italian red; rustic with strong savoury herb notes with a slight acidic finish. The Amarone was the hit of the show; big, bold luscious with a warming ripe plum mouth feel, and finishing like and express train.
A presto! … Steve
More on Cangrande
Cangrande takes its name from Cangrande della Scala, a great military and political leader and a well known wine lover, who ruled Verona in the early thirteen hundreds, making Verona one of the most powerful forces in Italy.
Through the centuries, Verona has developed into one of the most important districts in the world for wine production, trading and marketing.
In this time, all over Italy, wine making has become an art. Italian wines are still getting better, and in the last few decades more and more producers have focused on improving quality, achieving some impressive results.
Thanks to their work, Italy has now become the number one wine producing and exporting country in the world. Many native grapes have recently become world famous, and the effort of the winemakers that chose quality over quantity is paying off.
We apologise to members for the lack of a newsletter last month.
If you read these newsletters you will know that your editor was “swanning off” in USA & Canada while poor Wayne had work related and home problems to cope with.
Never mind we are back in business this month with a couple of great events coming up.
We were pleased that Francesca was able to attend the July Dinner when her life membership was formalised. Congratulations Francesca.
Programme changes roll on
In the June newsletter, I mentioned a couple of changes. The late change to the Cuba Street Bistro was a success.
Moving on though the astute among you will also have noticed that this month’s meeting is also a change from that previously notified. There was a misunderstanding about scheduling with Millton.
Cangrande have stepped in and as you will have noted have offered a great chance to sample some high-quality Italian wines.
And I have already mentioned Villa Maria coming in for October. Some members of your committee have had to step up and do a great deal of negotiating to re-arrange the programme at short notice. Congratulations for the great work.
A friendly reminder that subscriptions are due. Wayne will be happy to accept subs at next week’s meeting.
In addition, membership cards will be available at that meeting.