Since four years, that’s to say, since I once again found someone who distributes with passion and knowledge my wines, in this so unpredictable and complicated marketplace, VOS SELECTION’s owner, Victor, and myself have been inventing new, diverse, entertaining ways to get my wines, myself and Fattoria di Petroio Known.
This year we literally did a little bit of all the above!
Hence, my latest trip to New York started out with a wonderful lunch at La Sirena, a brand new, exclusive Italian restaurant owned by Joe Bastianich (who…even gave me a wink of his eye) and where I had the pleasure of presenting and introducing the wines from Fattoria di Petroio, while also getting myself reoriented after my, not so perfect, check in to the B&B I’d booked in Bushwick.
After a series of more wine tastings and presentations around Brooklyn and Manhattan, between Waterfront Wines & Spirits and New York Vintners, I prepared a gala dinner event at Victor Swartz home. Here, for his guests, I created an authentic Tuscan meal accompanied by the wines from our Estate We had lots of fun with the guests, 20 strong, crowding into the kitchen with me, as I taught them, hands on, (they actually took turns stirring the large pot) how to prepare a true risotto with baby brussel sprouts and cured pigs check (guanciale in Italian).
In this way we were able to allow 40 guests, including restaurant owners, wine buyers, top sommelier, food bloggers and wine critics, to taste and savor all that my land of Tuscany has to offer: small crostini or bites of bread with chicken liver pate and vinsanto gelatin served with Poggio al Mandorlo 2014; humus Toscan style (chickpea (garbanzo bean) spread with a hint of rosemary) with Chianti Classico 2011,; the “lesson” risotto served with Chianti Classico 2012 and then, especially nice, 2 of our Riserva Chianti Classicos, 2010 and 2011 to enhance a pork filet with a Chianti reduction, accompanied by spicy black cabbage (cavolo nero picante). And to finish the dinner on a high note, one of my favorite desserts, panna cotta with our exclusive Choco&Wine, justly paired with a Magnum of Chianti Classico Riserva 2007.
On Wednesday, after a long series of appointments, tastings and staff trainings (http://www.annisarestaurant.com), while walking about town I was, with great pleasure and enthusiasm, interviewed by Ray Isle, head editor of Food &Wine Magazine. On the wake of the great interest stirred up by a double page article in the Sunday New York Times, I was able to talk about and inform international listeners of an important and very real problem that wine growers in Tuscany have to address on a daily basis, precisely the excessive and growing presence of an overpopulation of wild boars and roe deer in our territory. It is, yes a “live and let live situation”, but only possible if affronted with great attention and precision (http://www.foodandwine.com/blogs/what-drink-wild-boar).
The week continued with the usual frenetic New York rhythm. I had numerous and important meetings with old and new buyers, new and old clients, all thanks to the extremely efficient side by side work of the VOS Reps. And thus we decided to close the week down Cheers-fully with a Liquid Lunch on the premise of their offices where I prepared and presented to an important sommelier, Fattoria di Petroio, our wine Estate and our wines, 2 vintages for each type of wine (Chianti Classico 2011 e 2012, Chianti Classico Riserva 2010 e 2011, e Poggio al Mandorlo 2014).
However, I could not leave New York without the now “traditional” Saturday wine tasting. In fact, for the third year now at Central Wine Merchants of Flemington we held a high level wine tasting event where I was able to meet new clients and also confirm the support of faithful fans of many years.
And so completely and totaly consumed but happy, I returned home to where spring awaited me, ever more proud to be able to travel abroad to represent, and tell the story about my beautiful Petroio.