The Tasting Panel magazine

July 2018

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 100 of 134

98  /  the tasting panel  /  july 2018 In Denver, Colorado, Chef Alessandro Carollo is at the top of his game. Born in Sicily, the Venice Ristorante owner began his restau- rant career in Palermo at age 14, later working in Florence, Venice, and the Ionian Islands before setting his sights on California in 1996. He was hired by Italian concept Il Fornaio, and just a year and a half later, he was given the opportunity at age 23 to become Chef- Partner at the concept's Denver location. After opening two more Il Fornaio locations in Colorado, he opened his own restaurant, Venice Ristorante, in 2002. Today, Venice Ristorante's two locations (as well as a sister restau- rant, Chianti, and a catering company) are the premier Italian dining destinations in the Mile High City: What better place to discover the high-altitude wines of Alto Adige? Carollo's wine program is extensive, with roughly 1,000 bottles at the downtown Denver location and 100 wines by the glass on the list, as well as 25 additional daily by-the-glass offerings for happy hour. The restaurant's cellar is housed in a striking glass wine room that empha- sizes the chef's passion for wine. While Carollo buys the wines, the program—which he describes as 60 percent Italian, 30 percent California, and 10 percent "rest of the world"—is overseen by General Manager/Sommelier Eric Carter. Presented to guests via an iPad, the list features Kettmeir's fragrant Pinot Bianco and bright, appealing Müller-Thurgau; both make superb pairings with the restaurant's Venetian-style seafood, as well as with other northern Italian dishes such as Chef Carollo's pollo alla valdostana—chicken with prosciutto and fontina cheese. "I'm the kind of person who really works in the restaurant," says the hard-working chef. "Some days I go to two or three restaurants. People want to see your face." Chef Alessandro Carollo, owner of Denver's Venice Ristorante, tastes Kettmeir wines against the backdrop of his stunning glass wine room. A Wine for All Reasons: Kettmeir Müller-Thurgau In 1882 in Germany's Rheingau region, the botanist, viticul- turalist, and enologist Dr. Hermann Müller began a breeding program at the Geisenheim Grape Breeding Institute in hopes of creating a grape that would combine the aromatics, complexity, and acidity of Riesling with the early-ripening ability of Silvaner. The end result was the Müller-Thurgau variety, propagated and planted extensively at the end of the 19th century and in the early decades of the 20th. (Müller himself had doubts that Silvaner was the true parent of the grape that bears his name, and Müller-Thurgau later proved to be a cross between Riesling and the table grape Madeleine Royale.) The Kettmeir Müller-Thurgau ($22) is grown in limestone soil on high slopes in the Soprabolzano zone northeast of Bolzano. It's vinified using a short maceration of the skins at low temperatures and in a reduced environment to optimize the extraction of perfumes; fermentation follows in steel at a controlled temperature of 14–15 degrees Celsius (57–59 degrees Fahrenheit). Pairing suggestions include seafood risotto, grilled fish, or any fried foods. ITALIAN WINES Alto Adige Goes Mile High The versatile Kettmeir Müller-Thurgau makes an ideal restaurant wine.

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of The Tasting Panel magazine - July 2018