The Tasting Panel magazine

August 2012

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Page 125 of 128

When Tradition and Modernization Collide Ricossa is part of the MGM Mondo del Vino family of wines. The name itself pays homage to an innovative 19th- century Piemontese family. A local distillery and lodge built by Lorenzo Ricossa in the township received guests from far and wide. There, at the Ricossa stead, wine philosophies were birthed, nurtured and passed on from parent to child as the century and wine industry evolved. In the 1800s the Ricossa family sourced grapes from local growers and that tradition continues today. Local growers thrive in the Piemonte region and continue to produce Barolo, Gavi, Barbera d'Asti, Moscato d'Asti and Casorzo wines. In utterly charming Priocca, the manufacturing plant is a modern marvel, producing enough wine to meet what seems like a staggering demand for a manufacturing headquarters in such a remote village. More than 400,000 people drink a glass of wine from the Mondo del Vino Company every day throughout the world. Piemonte is the land of nuts, truffl es, mushrooms and, of course, wine. Perhaps that's part of the reason why user- friendly Ricossa avails multiple opportunities for wine sales in a single dinner check. There's a Ricossa wine that pairs well with each course. Ricossa's Gavi, for example, is made from Cortese grapes harvested from the hills of Monferrato. Perfect to begin a meal or paired with an artisanal cheese plate, seafood or pasta, Gavi is just an elegant white wine that isn't boast- ful or bitter. If Pinot Grigio is akin to the Real Housewives, Ricossa's Gavi is Kate Middleton. Even its understated straw color is soothing and soft. Unmistakable whispers of green apple and vanilla straddle a low acidic beam that also balances a slightly mineral fl avor. Barbera has been part of Piemontese tradition since the 13th century. The stately Barolo is Ricossa's thinking person's wine. The Ricossa Barbera is made from 100 percent Barbera grapes. One special Barbera vineyard is owned by grower Emma Bianco, who now owns the estate. Mrs. Bianco is in her 90s and continues to farm the land that's been in her family for generations. Since the end of the 13th century, Barbera wines have been part of the Piemontese tradition and are a staple wine at dinner. Enter the complex and masculine world of Barolo, conceived from the mighty Nebbiolo grape. The Barolo is Ricossa's thinking person's wine, and it spends two of its three aging years in oak barrels. It springs forth a deep red and pairs best with hearty fare: meats, roasted dishes and cuisine that features truffl es, one of the region's hallmark delicacies. Grower Emma Bianco is in her 90s and contin- ues to farm. Sweet Somethings Ricossa's sweet wines debunk the myth that dessert wines are for, well, dessert. The Ricossa 201 1 Moscato d'Asti was a Gold Medal winner awarded 93 points at the World Wine Championship Awards. Both the Moscato d'Asti and the Malvasia Casorzo act as fragrant selections for all sorts of occasions—think of suggesting it in lieu of coffee when diners stop by your café for biscotti on a hot afternoon. Just as a glass of chilled icewine hypnotizes imbibers, Ricossa's sweet offerings create a reason to indulge after dinner, without the fi nancial guilt that comes with dessert wines and their massive price tags. For example, in stores, the Moscato d'Asti retails for about $13. If your chef can fi nd a few peaches lying around, this is the wine to beat. Ricossa's pink dessert counterpart is the Malvasia Casorzo. The Malvasia varietal is so fragrant and colorful, it leaps out. Ricossa Malvasia Casorzo pairs well with last courses—espe- cially those that contain chocolate—but is quite fi ne as a stand-alone after dinner wine. Ricossa is imported through Touchstone Wines and is available in many markets, including Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland and the District of Columbia, Virginia, West Virginia, North and South Carolina, Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana, Texas, Missouri, Ohio, Wisconsin, Arizona, Wyoming and California. Although Ricossa's latest bag-in-tube products are not yet available in the U.S., the company hopes to have distribution for them in the near future and have designs on proposing a holiday gift pack to limited chains. For more information, visit the Ricossa website at or click to august 2012 / the tasting panel / 125

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