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Saturday, May 29, 2021

#Daylight #ChampagneWishes #ItalyPeachy #CharitablePeachy @GruppoItaliano1 #Vernaccia #Carmignano #SanGimignano #WhomYouKnow Is Delighted to Attend the Tuscan Masterclass by Dr. Wine

Listen to Gianfranco Sorrentino, Owner of Il Gattopardo (with Paula and Vito) and President of Gruppo Italiano
Gruppo Italiano hosted a fabulous masterclass on eight esteemed Italian wines of the Vernaccia and Carmignano persuasions, and we were honored to attend.   These are both from the illustrious Tuscany area of Italy.  See the map in the book:
We were delighted to have a seat under the Manhattan Tuscan sun skylight at our favorite feline spot in midtown.  Hosted by our friends at Il Gattopardo, bastion of Italian modern excellence, the Gruppo Italiano Manhattan crowd was delighted by the merits of wisdom of Dr. Wine, otherwise known as Daniele Cernilli, shown below.
We love that Dr. Wine also preaches the gospel of thoroughness and tenacity and above all, quality because we have been about Ever to Excel since inception and that most definitely includes alcohol: Champagne Wishes is our review column for alcohol.  
Author of The Essential Guide to Italian Wine 2021 (who else is updating their work during this past horrific year?  Another mark of dedication and success), Dr. Wine has published over 700 pages of what we don't know about wine yet but are going to read. The Italians historically have outshone their competition in wine and Italian wines as a group score high among our favorites.  Many years ago we remember going to Cipriani on 42nd for Italian wine extensive events every year and this is what we said in 2009.
We just tasted these eight wines for the first time so cannot speak in full as to any of them but of the Vernaccia we liked the Geografico Vernaccia di San Gimignano Borgo alla Terra 2020 best of the five whites at this first stage. We found it to be entirely peachy quite literally which is always a recipe for success. 

 As we delved into longer vintages as expected the wines became more complex with a more evolved depth of flavor.  The Panizzi Vernaccia di San Gimignao Riserva 2015 has platinum color and flavor and was evocative of the Lobster Tikka Masala at Tamarind by our friend Avtar Walia (we are going there soon.)  We have not had them together but this wine brought up a memory of that dish and it would be our idea to put them together.  Peachy has a long memory for outstanding dishes even if she has not eaten it recently, and New York is back!  Obviously Italian wines pair with all kinds of food well.  This 2015 had a complexity of spices that truly wowed us. 

 Cesani Vernaccia di San Gimignano Riserva 2017 reminded us of a Florida sunrise.  (Taxes are better in Florida than Italy we have heard!)  Chardonnay is so yesterday; befriend Vernaccia!
Overall we prefer red wine to white wine so we were especially excited for the Carmigano.  As opposed to Vernaccia, which is a GRAPE, Carmigano is a BLEND, you know like our friends Jane and Johnnie though not wines, they are blends.  We understand the Carmigano to be varying blends of Sangiovese, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot and it has DOCG status.  Of the three Carmignanos, if we were stranded on a desert island with just one we would pick the Capezzana by Contini Bonaccossi Carmignano Villa di Capezzana 2017 as we found that blend the most outstanding of the three although we did adore all three.
We don't often set our alarm to wake up to drink wine, but when we do, it's for the best wines in the world!  Stay tuned for more excellence from Gruppo Italiano.  

Previously on Whom You Know, Gruppo Italiano was most recently featured:

Gruppo Italiano (GI) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to fostering genuine Italian products and the culinary culture through education; promoting a constant flow of information among member restaurants, producers, importers, and distributors of authentic Italian products, with the press, culinary schools, and the general public with a serious passion for authentic Italian food and wine.

Gruppo Italiano (GI) was officially formed in 2017, as an evolution from the original Gruppo Ristoratori Italiani (GRI), a non-profit association founded in 1979 to increase the awareness of authentic Italian cuisine and to promote Italian cuisine’s image through member restaurants, culinary scholarships and events.

Throughout its history, GRI made great strides in enhancing the perception of and passion for Italian food and wine throughout the hospitality industry in the United States, and now, Gruppo Italiano begins a new era in developing a stronger presence of authentic Italian culinary products and services in the United States.

The GI membership body consists of two segments reflective of the Italian restaurant industry itself: Trade/Journalists(influential Italian restaurateurs, distributors, importers, and other prominent business and cultural leaders), and enthusiastic and passionate members of the General Public, and continues to be one of the most respected culinary and cultural organizations in the country!

Managing Partner of Il Gattopardo Group
Originally from Naples, Italy, owner Gianfranco Sorrentino carries over 30 years of experience in restaurant management, some of these include Quisisana Hotel in Capri, Dorchester Hotel in London, Four Seasons Hotel in Tokyo, Bice Restaurant in New York, Sette MoMA Restaurant at The Museum of Modern Art of New York, Union Bar and Grill in Great Barrington, MA, Mozzarella & Vino, and The Leopard at des Artistes, located in the New York landmark Hotel des Artistes.

Mr. Ernst has spent over four decades in the field of international brand and organizational management: creating, marketing, and producing events. Since 2017, he has been Director of Operations for GRUPPO ITALIANO (GI) assisting in broadening the GI brand in New York City and nationally. He co-produces the highly successful seminar/webinar series, Italian Table Talks, among other GI educational and promotional projects. Prior to 2017, he worked three years with Colangelo & Partners Public Relations as membership coordinator for GRI (predecessor to GI). As an independent consultant in New York City, Mr. Ernst also consults The Japanese Chamber of Commerce and industry of New York (JCCI) and The Leo House Catholic Guesthouse. Mr. Ernst lived in Japan for twenty years (1976-1996), with seven of those years (1988-1996) working for Dentsu, Inc., the largest single advertising agency in the world. He was based in the Dentsu, Inc. Tokyo Headquarters as one of the agency’s first foreign account executives assigned to their highly-touted international service divisions servicing Fortune 500 clients such as Nestle, Coca-Cola, Philip Morris, United Airlines, Warner Bros., Japan Unilever, MacDonald’s, and American Express. Mr. Ernst received his BA Degree in Speech Communications and an MA Degree in Education from California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo. He furthered his professional development with studies at Tokyo’s Sophia University as well as at Harvard University.

Director of Operations at Il Gattopardo Group
Brazilian born and raised, of Italian father from Veneto, PAULA is passionate for art, design, food and Italian culture. With fashion and design background, she had the opportunity of traveling around the world with top designers, as well as worked in one of the most prestigious design firms of New York, Pentagram Design, as Graphic Designer. Graduated from FIT, but with the hospitality industry in her heart, Paula runs all visual and organizational aspects of the company, from back of the house and office operations, to the front of the house, art direction, florals and graphic design – making sure that guests are not only exposed to a wonderful gastronomical event on the table, but to a whole sensorial experience.

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