"Los Angeles--Italian wines sparkled at VivaVino grand tasting"
by Joe Hilbers

VivaVino proved to be an exciting event held recently in Los Angeles. With wines from Trentno Alto Adige, in the far north , to Sardegna and Sicilia in the south every part of Italy was represented.

Our visit started with a seminar on Italy's sparkling wines which proved to be a worthwhile if complicated subject. For this Writer the many Italian sparkling wines presented were a true learning experience. Prosecco is the most popular sparkling wine and the product of a single grape variety but Italian sparklers are being created from many different native varietals, both white and red, in almost every region of the country.

A panel made up of Jeremy Parzen, Sommelier/Journalist; Taylor Parson, Mozza wine director; Carlo Ferrini, Winemaker; and Lou Admur, restaurateur, passed along insight on the ten sparkling wines we tasted. Italian Sommelier Diego Meraviglia acted as moderator. The panel discussed a growing trend among Italian vintners and winemakers to concentrate and promote the native traditional varietals of their respective region. This trend back to earlier roots even extends to barrels made from other than oak.

The wines we tasted were produced either Charmat style or classic champenois and as Brut or Extra Dry, the latter most popular in Italy's domestic market.

Following the seminar there was a tasting with some seventy Italian wineries taking part from every region of the country. The event was sponsored by the Italy America Chamber of Commerce West, IACCW, and the North American Sommelier Association.

For this Writer after tasting ten sparkling wines during the seminar we were done for the day. However this did not extend to the excellent appetizers featured like Grana Padano cheese and Angelo & Franco Mozzarella, we made several visits to their tables. It was with much regret we could not taste more wines since there were opportunities to taste true Italian varietals like Arneis, Nascetta, Vermentino and many others as well. We will just have to plan another trip to Italy.

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Last Update:5/18/12

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