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Have a Sparkling Sunday ... and Summer!

May 27, 2018

Buongiorno tutti!  As usual, I’m drafting my blog on the fly as we speed away in the car to celebrate the weekend! Friday was National Wine Day, the beginning of Memorial Day weekend and oh yes, my birthday! So many things to celebrate and my "go to" beverage is always sparkling wine. Often, I don't need an excuse, I just love the effervescence of tiny bubbles in wine wandering around my mouth. It lifts me up in a way that still wine can't. I think of sparkling wine as the fun, yet sophisticated guest versus the enjoyable, but more serious guest of still wine. Either way, they are both invited to my party of the day (and all weekend long), but my preference always leans towards the bubbly one.  In Oregon, Memorial Day weekend officially kicks off the wine touring season and this weekend is equally as popular here in Italy.  Nearly 100 wineries in Le Marche are throwing open their doors for special tastings and tours to mark the beginning of summer. So, why not make it a sparkling one? Many Oregon producers are now making sparkling wines and at our Dundee location at Fratelli Ponzi Fine Food & Wine, a wine bar and retail shop, we have three wine flights daily with one solely dedicated to sparkling, currently featuring selections from Oregon, Italy, and France. What a way to taste and compare! Learn and celebrate all in one sitting. My favorite kind of moment.  This weekend we toured four very different wineries in Le Marche, starting with the brand new, state of the art production center and tasting room at Filodivino Cantina.  In a gorgeous setting of rolling hills, the new contemporary facility barely had the paint dry as they toured hundreds of people through this weekend.  We favored their Serra 46 Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi.  Montecappone Cantina was celebrating 50 years of winemaking in classic, old fashion Italian style with loud music, a gelato cart, magic show and more. Very community oriented and lots of different wines to choose from, we ended up carrying away a Brut Vino Spumante, Charmat method.  And if any winery said “classic Italian” with dramatic, large vineyards with historic stone homes and underground winery, it was Tenuta di Tavignano.  Stunning vistas and mature landscaping felt like a place you could dream your life away.  We purchased their Rosato and Libenter, a Rosso Piceno DOC.  Our last winery, a larger production facility, nearby an industrial area but a well known brand, Fontezoppa won our hearts with their sparkling choices.  I preferred the Cuvée Rosé and Michel favored the Jajà, a Passerina Brut.  We couldn’t resist a bottle of each.  As we work to refine Fratelli Ponzi, our wine bar and retail shop in Dundee, our Italian wine homework will find its way on the shelves and tasting options in the future.  But what do we have in store now?  This week, featured in our photo, we have changed up four of the six sparkling wines.  Still on the menu is Franck Besson rosé Granit, Beaujolais, France and Domain Rolet Cremant de Jura, France.  We have two new Spumante offerings from Veneto and Sicily, Italy; a local Oregon sparkling Pinot Noir and a champagne from Champagne, France.  Here’s a summary of the newbies on the list and if it strikes interest, stop by and try them while they last!  All wines by the glass are for sale by the bottle, so if you fall in love, you can take one (or more) home with you!  De Faveri Spumante Rosé – Elegant and expressive wine, off-dry, aromas of cherries and red currant with floral notes. Flavors of strawberries and raspberries. Wonderful aperitif.  Maysara Sparkling Pinot Noir -  A stunning sparkling wine made with 100% Estate Pinot Noir, this is a well balanced wine with strong acidity and minerality. The fine bubbles keep the aromatics tight with a clean finish of dried cranberries, pomegranate and wild strawberries.  Tresa Il Grillo Vino Spumante – Pale straw colored, this wine has fine bubbles and a fresh fruity nose of citrus and floral notes. Well balanced with a burst of acidity and spectacular fruity notes.  Guy Charlemagne Champagne – Fresh and focused with flavors of mango, quince and tangerine are joined by a minerally sublayer of smoke, stone and spice. This shows great structure and intensity and is very appealing right now.  Fratelli Ponzi is open on Memorial Day, from noon to 7 pm, and every day all summer long from noon to close.  Enjoy wine, beer, aperitivo, olive oil from our estate, chocolate and more. Join us for pre-dinner (The Dundee Bistro) cocktails or happy hour Monday – Thursday, 3:30 – 5:30.  Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for the latest news.  Wising you all a marvelous holiday weekend!  I hope it’s a sparkling one!  Cin Cin!


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