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.

Enjoying Zonin wine with classic Italian dishes

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.

Antipasti platter with bruschetta and mozzarella complemented the wine we drank

With his classic Italian looks, Francesco Zonin is the face of Zonin in the United States

Glasses of red generously poured during dinner

It’s like fried foods know how to find me as this was one of two platters of fried calamari the waiter placed near me

Toasting with Zonin prosecco, one of the more easy prosecco I’ve had to drink

A 2006 Chianti Classico Reserva went nicely with Colosseo’s lasagna

Heat lamps were our friends on a cold San Francisco summer night

7 Responses to Hoping Italian Popularity Repeats in the U.S.

  1. Carolyn Jung says:

    Italian men are always so good looking, aren’t they? LOL
    Oh, and yes, the food and wine look pretty wonderful, too. 😉

    • Ben Ben says:

      Told you the Zonin family was smart in tapping Francesco to head its U.S. division. 😉

  2. Sandy says:

    Here here, Carolyn! Hello, Italian dudes! 🙂 Oh, I meant “that antipasti platter looks lovely”. 😉

  3. whaleshark says:

    Great!Italian men are always looking great.They are very elegant when it comes to look. Anyway, i like the wine, I want to taste it and also the dishes, very attractive.

  4. Row says:

    Hey, it’s the infamous fried calamari! Wish I could nosh on some right now. That guy has really nice hair. And really nice eyes. Whoops, did I type that? 😉

    • Ben Ben says:

      I can tell you honestly that I didn’t try one piece of that calamari, even though there were one plate on each side of me!