Plus, we break down the myriad of labels and authorizations that come with being a wine producer in Europe.
In the soaring atrium of the posh Il Gattopardo in Midtown NYC, Gruppo Italiano (GI) and Vinomatica held a special wine tasting, Enjoy, It’s From Europe! It was a rare opportunity to invite guests and buyers to sample signature Italian wines that will potentially find their place in the American market. These are among the finest offerings of Italy, with generations of Italians enjoying their taste. The event was promoted by and featured Consorzio Vini di Romagna; Consorzio Tutela del Lambrusco di Modena; Consorzio Marchio Storico dei Lambruschi modenesi; and Consorzio Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Modena.
You might be curious as to what all these consorzios (consortiums) stand for. Let’s put it in perspective with an example: though we tend to refer to all sparkling wine as champagne, the reality is that only sparkling wine from Champagne region of France can be considered true champagne. Think of the various consorzios as protecting their own wines.
Much like champagne, Lambrusco is characterized by its bubbly qualities. It was created in Modena, maybe best know for its supercars. But Ferrari isn’t the only thing that comes in red: Lambrusco is unique in its ruby red color and service at a specific temperature for maximum effect (it’s delicious, too: just try the range from Giacobazzi). The Consortium Marchio Storico dei Lambruschi Modenesi was born to protect Lambrusco’s fascinating history and identity. Separately, The Consorzio Tutela del Lambrusco di Modena is a non-profit, interprofessional association that protects the interests of Lambrusco producers, authorizing the labels of “Lambrusco di Sorbara” DOC (‘controlled denomination of origin’), “Lambrusco Salamino di S. Croce”, “Lambrusco Grasparossa di Castelvetro” and “Modena o Provincia di Modena”. If the labels and control seems excessive, it’s all about protecting the visionaries and vineyards in this unique region. The value of the certification might not be obvious, but in the upper reaches of wine enthusiasm, counterfeit bottles and poorly maintained grapes can damage an otherwise grand legacy.
In the case of Consorzio Vini di Romagna, only winemakers from the Romagna region can be member to the consortium. Moreover, they must follow strict rules to produce wine: The “Romagna” product regulations include two appellations: DOC (Controlled Designation of Origin) and DOCG (Controlled and Guaranteed Designation of Origin), granted to the best-certified quality wines in Italy. Outwardly, the consortium works to support the wineries of Romagna, promoting the land and its culture on international markets. It makes good sense they’re here to show off the full-bodied and robust wines crafted from the Sangiovese grapes, which are regularly regarded as capable for producing some of the most sensational and desirable wines in the world, with youthful taste lasting years after harvesting.
The others follow suit: Consorzio Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Modena works to support the Balsamic vinegar producers of Modena, a scenic and elegant region of Italy known for its handcrafted techniques in a number of industries. Don’t get confused by the grocery-store variants of balsamic mixes. This is the real stuff; and by that we mean it should only have one ingredient, maximum of two: mosto d’uva cotto, cooked grape must and possibly wine vinegar.
Gruppo Ristoratori Italiani has always worked to bring the perception of Italian food and wine to the highest standard in the hospitality industry in the USA. Now, Gruppo Italiano is beginning to bring Italian culinary products and services in the United States. Members of Gruppo Italiano include influential Italian restaurateurs, distributors, importers, and other prominent business and cultural leaders.