Barb and Mike were our hosts for Cork Poppers this month and the wines of Italy didn't disappoint!
We started out with Barb's homemade limoncello, which Bob poured.
It was ice cold -- and so delicious! She said it takes about six weeks to complete.
The first of many toasts!
When Covid began, we stopped having sit down dinners after the tasting and doing appetizers and desserts instead. Barb made a shrimp bowl to die for!
Our table was filled with goodies -- veggies, crackers with dips, mozzarella/meat rolls, shrimp, meatballs, cranberry bread, cheese and lemon-ginger biscotti. The recipe is by Marie of The English Kitchen and it was such a hit I was told I could sell it! It's a fabulous recipe!
And I wanted to point out these fun stars that Barb made. She found instructions online, and each one uses nine lunch bags! I see a project coming on!
First of the Italian wines was a Chloe Prosecco D.O.C., provided by Roger. It made for a great starter -- crisp, fresh, sparkly. He found it at a local market.
Here is where I have to apologize to you all. I forgot my notebook where I record prices and comments, so I'm relying on memory. Rog said this one was about $13.00. And the comments from the crowd were all complimentary!
We had two whites today, both from Dick. The first was Gavi Del Camini.I loved this one. The flavor was so bright, much like a sauvignon blanc, which is my favorite white. It was served cold and was lovely. I'd buy this one in a heartbeat. (Apologies for the fuzzy photos. I need a new camera, I think; this one has been dropped too many times and if I shoot too fast, it's fuzzy.)
The second was Fazi Battaglia Verdicchio, This tasted creamier to me, more like a chardonnay. Several of our group felt it was more complex.
Dick bought both of these at a local wine store. I asked for a show of hands as to who liked which best. Kate, Mike S. and I both chose the first one; everyone else picked this one. So, it just goes to show -- there is no best, just best for you!
Clayton offered Mannaggia all Alba Sangiovese. I have the most info on this one -- It's $25 (although Clayton got this from his wine club for $13.99). It had notes of violet, plum and oak (so they say, although we thought Clayton said "notes of violence," which we later decided would be a good name for a film. it doesn't take much for us to get off task!)
Mike M. was next with Corte Alta Tornidora, a delicious Valpolicella Ripasso. I'm a sucker for a good Valpo. These come from Northern Italy's Piedmont region and I find almost all the wines from that area very good. No price info here.
Bob brought a favorite that is easily available in most grocery stores -- DaVinci Chianti. It's not terribly expensive and it would be terrific with a pasta.
By about this time in the tasting, conversation has devolved, taking a number of different routes, many of which are hilarious. I absolutely love this group!
The last two wines were both Barberas, both from the Piedmont but different regions. Kate offered Vietti Barbera D'Asti by Trevigne.
I offered Barbera d'Alba by Costa Catterina. (Mine came from an Italian market in Northville, MI called Cantoro's and was about $15.)
Both of them were very good -- and yes, different. But I couldn't tell you how they were, nor would I choose one over another.
Of course we had to take photos -- these are our Women of the Vine! (We never got Guys of the Grape, but it would have been missing one key figure, as Rick was sick and couldn't join us. He would have loved tonight's wines, being a fan of Italian wine.
Barb sent us home with goodie bags, beautifully tied up with pine cones and raffia. (Of course I forgot to photograph before tearing mine open, finding cocoa mix and candies!) Needless to say, for twelve people to sample seven wines, it could work up to only about a glass and a half per person. Possibly two. (Of course, some have a second pour; others just stick with the whites or a single taste of each.)
So, to sum up -- everyone liked everything; some we liked more than others (I liked the first white, the Valpolicella and the two Barberas best) and we all had a glorious time. We left stuffed and happy.
And best of all, we left basked in the glow of friendship. And really, that's what it's all about.
A couple of notes: You can find more about Cork Poppers' previous events and the wines we tasted in the tab on the menu bar above.
And please send good wishes for our Corkie Mike M., who had a stroke last week. He's recovering, out of ICU, and that's good -- but he can use all the good vibes he can get as he goes through rehab.