September 28, 2010

Arrivederci San Gennaro!!

This past Sunday was the "dia final" for the annual Feast of San Gennaro, held and worshipped by many Italians (and "Italians-for-the-day") in New York City.

The Feast, which started in the 1920's as a single-day religious commemoration of the newly arrived immigrants from Naples, has since grown into a spectacle on Mulberry Street down in New York's Little Italy, complete with copious amounts of street vendors selling all of Italy's finest goods -- from cannolis and zeppolis to risotto balls and meatballs, even shirts that read "Jersey Shore Fist Pumping Club" and "Italian Princess" to Andrea Bocelli CDs and Roberto Begnini DVDs. A plethora of goodies can always be uncovered, but for this WinoBee, the diamond in the rough came in the form of an afternoon libation! Are you surprised?

Between dropping the dough on cannoli filling and shells at Ferraras ($4/each!) my "Italian-for-the-day" friend and I decided to take in the excitement with some afternoon lunch and guido-watching (hey, I'm allowed to say that because I'm Italian and proud!) This meant stuffing our faces with Insalata Caprese and Chicken Parmigiana, and topping it off with Italian vino! Naturally I had to share our choice selections with you:

Tomaialo Chianti Classico Riserva--mmm, I know its table wine this $13/bottle didn't do much for me. While normally Chianti would offer you fragrant black fruit and oak notes, and ripe cherry characteristics in taste, this particular bottle didn't live up to that. I simply thought it was bland all-around. The bouquet was weak and the taste was generic. But if you want to give it a go for yourself (after all wine IS subjective) you can purchase a bottle here.

Bava "Bass Tuba" Muscato di Asti - from the Piemonte region (and Asti sub-region) of Italy, this $20/bottle of sparkling wine is a diamond in the rough. Like more pricey options of its kind, it offers a nice floral aroma on the nose and lightly sweetened, almost-sugar like taste that balances perfectly on the palate with its acidity. Its light effervescence delicately tickles your tongue and becomes the perfect after-meal, dessert-wine. And this particular kind is a great value. You can buy it here!