A Toast to the Bounty of Summer

This time of year, we’re especially inspired in the kitchen; our local markets are bursting with the season’s freshest fruits and vegetables, and it seems that nothing more than a light touch is needed to turn such exquisite raw materials into a healthy local feast.

This is the same philosophy that guides the winemaking principles of Barone Pizzini; an appreciation for the bounty of the land and a respect for the raw ingredients that has inspired the company to lead the way in organic production of Franciacorta, as well as biodynamic production of Pievalta in Le Marche.

Not surprising, then, that many of the restaurants around the country that include Barone Pizzini in their wine programs also espouse this dedication to local sourcing and appreciation for highlighting the flavors of each changing season. Great news for those of us who are committed to sustainable dining, but less inspired in the kitchen!

ABC Kitchen, New York City

The New York restaurant scene has embraced the “local” food trend in a big way – but ABC Kitchen takes this commitment to a new level. In addition to Chef Jean-Georges’ focus on organic seasonal produce, meat, fish and dairy are sourced locally and sustainably whenever possible; herbs and microgreens are grown on a rooftop garden; and beverages – from wine to coffee and tea – are organic and fair-trade. Even the dining room includes recycled or reclaimed materials – we’ll toast to that!

Coppa, Boston

coppa veg
Seasonal fare at Coppa, Boston

Not traditionally viewed as a foodie haven, Boston is making a name for itself as a culinary destination in its own right, thanks in part to a rising generation of outstanding chefs, including Ken Oringer and Jamie Bissonnette of Coppa in Boston’s South End. Pair your Franciacorta with a seasonally updated menu of pizza, pasta, outstanding charcuterie and fresh produce sourced from “local friends.”

Market 17, Fort Lauderdale, FL

Proving that the country’s biggest cities do not have a monopoly on locavore dining, Chef Lauren Shields at Market 17 has made Fort Lauderdale a regional leader in sustainable dining. The native Floridian is convinced that consumer education is the key to encouraging more people to make responsible food choices. Owners Kirsta and Aaron Grauberger – a brother and sister team of sommeliers – are pleased to share their dedication to sourcing in an extensive beverage program, with plenty of biodynamic and organic options, including Barone Pizzini Rosé.  

Barone Pizzini CEO Silvano Brescianini to teach Franciacorta Master Class in London Oct. 21

fizz sparkling wine tasting london

Above: The Fizz Sparkling Wine Show in London is one of the English-speaking world’s premier sparkling wine tastings and events.

We are thrilled to announce that Barone Pizzini CEO Silvano Brescianini will be teaching a Master Class on Franciacorta on Wednesday, October 21 at the Fizz Sparkling Wine Show in London, one of the premier sparkling wine tastings in the English-speaking world, featuring more than 25 sparkling wine appellations.

Click here for event and registration info.

Here’s the seminar description:

A tutored tasting of the award winning Organic Franciacorta wines from Barone Pizzini. An incisive insight in to the production, philosophy and heritage of one of the region’s most famous and best loved wines. This tasting is hosted by Silvano Brescianini, former Michelin star restaurant sommelier, and now Production Director at the winery. Silviano has great presence and charm and a huge abundance of knowledge on the wines and region.

The show is free but only open to trade members.

Nathan Smith @dolcenathan and his remarkable Italian program in Houston @DolceVita_HTX

best italian wine list houston

In the words of PUNCH magazine, one of the nation’s leading wine and spirits publications, “Dolce Vita [in Houston] rises above the rest thanks to the influence of wine director Nathan Smith [above], who’s curated an exclusively Italian list with lots of classics and affordable esoterica. Though meant to pair with Dolce’s Neopolitan pizza and low-key trattoria fare, the wines—in tandem with consistent food—make this place so much more than just a pizza joint.”

Barone Pizzini CEO Silvano Brescianini has been on the road “working the market,” as they say in the American wine trade. And Wednesday night found him at Dolce Vita in Houston, where Nathan Smith runs one of the most ambitious Italian wine programs in the country.

Whether a tasting flight of seven Lambrusco or the biggest collection of macerated white wines from Friuli; whether obscure grape varieties from Piedmont or cult wines from Tuscany… Nathan has got it.

What’s more impressive about his thrilling, stellar list is that many of his wines are sourced especially by him from out-of-state. In many cases, he is the only one to carry the wines in Texas.

This is simply one of the best Italian wine lists in the U.S. right now and Barone Pizzini is extremely proud to be a part of it.

Nathan is also an accomplished jazz musician, a sax player, and he’s a great resource for the best places to hear music in the Bayou City. Silvano would know. He’s been on a late-night jazz hunt with Nathan.

Cheers, brother! We love what you do and we are glad that someone in Houston is really pushing the envelope on what Italian is and can be in Houston!

Brooklyn in da house: a wine list made to quench your thirst

almadira brooklyn wine

The New York food and wine scene never sleeps.

Even in the toughest of times, the resilient community there continues to grow and expand.

We were thrilled to learn that Barone Pizzini Franciacorta is served at Almadira, a brand new “wine and food studio” in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn, where the sommelier’s list is “made to quench your thirst” (LOVE that line, btw).

Almadira is so new that it’s not even on Google+ yet!

But it does have some stellar Yelp reviews by Prospect Heights and Crown Heights residents who seem entirely geeked by this new and super groovy wine list in their neighborhood.

“Finally,” writes one Yelper, “a great wine bar in the area. Great selections of italian wines and nice food menu. The place is super cozy and perfect for a date.”

637 Washington Ave
Crown Heights, NY 11238
b/t Dean St & St Marks Ave in Crown Heights, Prospect Heights

Barone Pizzini at @ParkTavernSF

park tavern san francisco

There are so many fantastic places to eat in San Francisco these days and many consider the city to be the leading U.S. destination for fine dining and food and wine.

We were thrilled to learn that yet another great restaurant in San Francisco, Park Tavern, features the Barone Pizzini Franciacorta Brut on its excellent wine list.

From the restaurant’s website:

“Park Tavern is an upscale American tavern from Anna Weinberg & Jennifer Puccio; the team behind the popular Marlowe restaurant in SOMA. Located in San Francisco’s historic North Beach neighborhood, adjacent to Washington Square Park, the restaurant offers a satisfying menu of seasonal, market-driven seafood and meat dishes for every palate. Claim a post at the communal bar table, enjoy a bite in our sunny indoor/outdoor café, or make an evening of it in our handsome, classically styled dining room.”

Park Tavern
1652 Stockton St
San Francisco, CA 94133
(415) 989-7300
Google map

Image via the Park Tavern Facebook.

@volta_boulder, the newest entry in one of America’s leading food & wine cities

best greek restaurant colorado

Above: as the owners of Volta write on their Facebook, “food is love made visual.”

In the minds of many U.S.-based food and wine professionals, Boulder, Colorado is one of the nation’s leading food meccas and one of its epicenters for gastronomy.

Outside of Las Vegas, this easy-going, green-leaning university town has more Master Sommeliers per capita than any other U.S. city. And the concentration of fine dining restaurants is arguably higher than anywhere else in the country.

Late last year, Boulder food scene veterans Jon and Eleni Deering launched Volta, a Mediterranean restaurant inspired in part by Eleni’s Greek origins.

As their press page reveals, the restaurant has been a huge hit, even in a town where restaurant-goers are spoiled by a wealth of great options.

Perusing Jon’s superb list, it’s clear that he has a penchant for thoughtful wines that have been raised free of chemicals.

We proud to share the news that the Pievalta sparkling Veridcchio, Perlugo, is included.

And we can’t recommend the restaurant highly enough.

2480 Canyon Blvd
Boulder, CO 80302
(303) 938-8800
Google map

Image via the Volta Facebook.

@RN74Seattle + #Verdicchio + #PacificOysters = #betterthansex

rn 74 seattle

What a thrill to learn that Pievalta Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi is currently featured on the wine list “Sommelier Select” at RN74 Seattle (above), the northwest outpost of celebrity chef Michael Mina and celebrity sommelier Rajat Parr.

Considering that Seattle is one of the best places in the country world to eat raw oysters and that Verdicchio, with it salty and sometimes unctuous undertones, is arguably one of the wine world’s best pairings for raw oysters, you can only imagine what we’ll be ordering the next time we visit this fantastic restaurant.

Seattle is one of the leading “food” cities in the U.S. right now and the RN74 location there, located in the heart of downtown, is one of its hottest destinations.

Waiter, waiter! I’ll have what she’s having… 😉

pacific northwest oysters

Images via the RN74 Seattle Facebook.

Barone Pizzini at one of NYC’s hippest downtown Italians

locanda verde new york

Above: From the materia prima to the mise-en-place, Chef Andrew Carmellini’s cooking at Locanda Verde is authentic trattoria-style Italian, all the way.

“Mr. Carmellini’s talent demands a bigger stage, and luckily for both him and us, Locanda Verde came along,” wrote Frank Bruni, restaurant critic for the New York Times when Chef Carmellini opened his superb Locanda Verde on Franklin in Tribeca downtown (Robert de Niro is a partner in the restaurant).

Chef Carmellini and his team have never lost sight of their original mission to deliver authentic trattoria-style cooking to Manhattan-bound lovers of fine great Italian cuisine.

“We have a 100 bottle all Italian list put together by Josh Nadel,” write the editors of the restaurant’s website. And no bottle costs more than $150.

Check out this awesome 2013 profile of Josh by Lettie Teague for the Wall Street Journal.

Two of those bottles on Josh’s list are Barone Pizzini.

Barone Pizzini & Pievalta at @FelidiaNYC


Above: Ever since it opened in 1981, Felidia in New York City has been a pioneer, leader, and benchmark for Italian fine dining in the U.S. and throughout the world (image by The Purple Passport).

It’s difficult to overestimate the impact that Lidia Bastianich has had on gastronomic culture in the United States and on the renaissance of Italian cuisine throughout the world.

She is to our generation what Julia Child and James Beard were to our parents’ generation.

A few years ago, over lunch at her home in Friuli, we asked Lidia to share her thoughts about the renaissance of Italian gastronomy and her role in Italy’s culinary conquest of the U.S. palate and hedonist imagination.

Her response was as brilliant as it was inspirational.

“When you look at the great beauty of Italy,” she said, “it’s easy to understand why the Italians are such creative people. From the [historic] Renaissance to this day, Italians have made so many contributions to the arts and culture. It was only natural that Italian cooking would do the same.”

Since 1981, her flagship restaurant in Manhattan, Felidia, has been a pioneer, leader, and benchmark for fine Italian dining in the U.S. and throughout the world.

We couldn’t be more proud that both Barone Pizzini and Pievalta wines appear on this landmark restaurant’s wine list.