I’m back to posting about the San Francisco Bay Area after my Spain vacation, but this post takes you to Italy – courtesy of Casa Vinicola Zonin in Vicenza, Italy.
Last Friday night I was invited to a private wine tasting hosted by Zonin, a widely known wine producer in Italy, as common a name as Gallo or Mondavi in the United States. Zonin has only been in the U.S. market for less than a decade, and while quickly growing, it’s still trying to build a name for itself.
The wine tasting was actually a traditional Italian dinner in the patio of North Beach restaurant Colosseo. Even though we were experiencing a cooler-than-typical summer evening in San Francisco, we were warmed by the heat lamps and the red wine from Zonin’s Castello D’Albola label.
Hosting the event was Francesco Zonin, president of Zonin’s U.S. division and a seventh generation member of the Zonin family. Francesco Zonin has been hosting private tasting events around the country as the face of Zonin in America, which makes sense since the young Francesco has all the charm and classic Italian looks to market the wine to a young audience.
The wine offered for tasting that night included the classic Zonin prosecco and three Castello D’Albola red wine, which comes from the Radda in Chianti region of Italy.
I found the 2009 Le Ellere Chianti Classico to be young and bright, a light bodied wine that’s easy to drink and to match with almost any dish. The 2006 Chianti Classico Reserva, no surprise, was a deeper, more robust wine with a smoky undertone that was pleasant and warm. It was easily my favorite of the night.
The wine tasting was like a big Italian family dinner at the vineyard, despite the drizzly San Francisco night. I’m not sure how much the Zonin wine retails at local stores, but it’s definitely a name I’ll remember next time I’m looking for some solid Italian wines.
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