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Emilia Delfino
February 18, 2024 | Emilia Delfino

Chianti Classico Collection 2024 - Stazione Leopolda, Florence

The Black Rooster Consortium, officially known as the Consorzio Vino Chianti Classico, is an organization that oversees and promotes the production of Chianti Classico wine. Chianti Classico is a renowned wine region in Tuscany, Italy, known for its high-quality red wines.The Black Rooster symbol* is an iconic emblem associated with Chianti Classico wines. 

The Consortium plays a crucial role in regulating and safeguarding the production of Chianti Classico wines. It establishes quality standards, promotes the reputation of Chianti Classico, and ensures that wines labeled as such adhere to specific guidelines, including the use of Sangiovese grapes.

The Consortium also organizes events, such as the "Chianti Classico Collection", to showcase and celebrate the wines of the region. Additionally, it works to preserve the historical and cultural heritage associated with Chianti Classico, contributing to the region's continued success and recognition in the world of wine.

The Chianti Classico Collection consists of two days dedicated to showcase wines from the Chianti Classico region and provides an opportunity for wine producers to present their products to the public, including wine enthusiasts, professionals, and journalists. The event is held at Stazione Leopolda**, which is a historic venue in Florence, Italy, known for hosting various events and exhibitions.

The 2024 Chianti Classico Collection spanned from February 15, 2024, which marked the opening to journalists and operators, to February 16, 2024, when the event opened its doors to the public.The new vintages of the renowned Gallo Nero wines were presented by their prestigious producers. It was a unique opportunity to meet more than 200 producers and taste more than 700 signature Gallo Nero labels, including Chianti Classico Vintages, Riserva and Gran Selezione, Vin Santo del Chianti Classico and Olio DOP Chianti Classico.

The Chianti Classico region confidently navigates the challenging waters of the wine market, riding on its unspoiled beauty, growing reputation, and increasingly acknowledged quality, exemplified by the inclusion of seven regional wines in the "Top 100" of 2023 by "Wine Spectator".  The area has achieved a higher standing in markets, with an average price surge of 7% in 2023 compared to 2022 and 13% compared to 2021. This positive trend is attributed, in part, to the influential impact of the "Gran Selezione," the pinnacle of the Chianti Classico quality hierarchy. With the 2023 vintage, the Additional Geographical Units have been incorporated into the label of the Gran Selezione.

Despite a general decline in consumption and sales, particularly for red wines, the Black Rooster territory maintains a sense of tranquility and concrete optimism. Giovanni Manetti, president of the Black Rooster Consortium, which is commemorating its first century, shared insights during the 2024 "Chianti Classico Collection" at the Stazione Leopolda in Florence. Reflecting on a challenging 2023 in both markets and vineyards, Manetti notes a lower production volume but emphasizes the exceptional quality. The Consortium celebrates its centenary with the "Chianti Classico Century" exhibition, hosted at the Stazione Leopolda in Florence, showcasing the Consortium's first 100 years through the perspectives of its presidents.

Chianti Classico, recognized as one of the most significant wine regions globally, has been instrumental in teaching the art of creating value in the realm of Made in Italy. Mirko Carloni, Chairman of the Agriculture Commission at the Chamber of Deputies, emphasized this achievement, pointing out that the Consortium has been a guiding force for a century. The region encompasses 6,800 hectares of vineyards out of a total of 70,000, with 486 producers, 345 of whom contribute to the entire supply chain. Together, they produce an annual average of 35-38 million bottles, reaching 160 countries worldwide, with the United States, Italy, and Canada leading the way. This thriving wine district holds a significant economic value, estimated to be around 1 billion euros, with wine serving as a pivotal factor in this remarkable achievement.

The US, having experienced a notable surge in Black Rooster sales in 2022, maintains its leading position once again, with 35% of Chianti Classico bottles finding a market in the U.S. In 2024, the Consortium has strategic plans for marketing and communication initiatives targeted specifically at the United States. A high-profile event is scheduled to take place at the end of April in New York City, showcasing the commitment to further promote and strengthen the presence of Chianti Classico wines in the American market.

The director Carlotta Gori emphasized: "This year, the overarching theme for all our marketing and communication endeavors revolves around the Centenary celebration of our Consortium, the oldest in Italy"; and Mr Manetti added: "In 1924, 33 visionary winemakers came together with a shared mission, laying the foundation for the Consortium. A century later, our Consortium boasts 500 members, yet the core objectives remain unchanged. We are dedicated to safeguarding the wines originating from this highly esteemed and exceptionally beautiful terroir. Our aim is to support winemakers as they navigate global markets united under the emblem of the Black Rooster".

Delfino Fine Wines takes great pride in offering Chianti Classico and Chianti Classico Riserva, both unequivocally recognized as some of our finest offerings in terms of quality and value. Our esteemed producers, Cantine Guidi 1929, founded in the year 1929, represent a fourth-generation winery that has flourished over the years, firmly establishing its commitment to the high standards and traditions of Chianti Classico winemaking. We invite you to experience the excellence of these remarkable wines firsthand by joining us at our tasting room. Cheers to the rich legacy and exceptional craftsmanship embodied in every bottle!

*The Black Rooster symbol is an iconic emblem associated with Chianti Classico wines. Legend has it that during the medieval rivalry between Florence and Siena, they decided to settle the dispute over their borders. Each city chose a knight on horseback to start riding at the crowing of the rooster. Wherever they met would determine the new border. The people of Florence selected a black rooster and kept it without food for several days to make it crow louder. The black rooster crowed earlier, and Florence expanded its territory. Since then, the Black Rooster has become a symbol of Chianti Classico.

** Stazione Leopolda was built in the 19th century during the reign of Grand Duke Leopold II of Tuscany. The architectural design is attributed to Giovanni Alessandro Ricasoli and Alessandro Manetti.  The building served as a railway station for a significant period. However, as train transportation needs evolved, the station ceased its original function.  In the latter part of the 20th century, Stazione Leopolda underwent adaptive reuse, transforming into a versatile venue for various events.  Stazione Leopolda is now a popular space for hosting events such as fashion shows, art exhibitions, trade fairs, cultural festivals, and more. The venue's vast interior, unique architecture, and historical charm make it an attractive location for a variety of gatherings.

Emilia Delfino
February 14, 2024 | Emilia Delfino

Indulge in a Decadent Event of Love and Flavors this Valentine’s Day

Love is in the air, and what better way to celebrate Valentine's Day than with a curated selection of exquisite wine and chocolate pairings? Let's embark on a journey of flavors that will elevate your romantic celebration and create lasting memories.

  1. Sparkling Brut Rosé and Chocolate-Covered Strawberries:Begin your evening with the timeless and elegant pairing of Sparkling Brut Rosé and luscious chocolate-covered strawberries. The effervescence of a dry Brut Champagne complements the juiciness of the strawberries, creating a classic and sophisticated combination that sets the tone for a night of romance.
  2. Pinot Noir and Chocolate-Covered Cherries:For a refreshing and indulgent experience, delve into the world of Pinot Noir paired with chocolate-covered cherries. The bright acidity and red fruit flavors of Pinot Noir perfectly balance the tartness of the cherries, offering a delightful interplay of flavors that dance on your palate.
  3. Syrah and Spiced Chocolate:Indulge in the harmonious fusion of Syrah and spiced chocolate. Syrah's bold and robust profile, featuring distinctive peppery and spicy notes, complements the rich and indulgent flavors of spiced chocolate. This pairing promises a flavorful experience that tantalizes the senses.
  4. Taurasi and Dark Chocolate-Covered Oregon Hazelnuts:Elevate your celebration with the bold and complex Taurasi, revealing notes of dark fruit, black cherry, plum, and a unique chocolate essence. Paired with dark chocolate-covered Oregon hazelnuts, this combination harmonizes intense and intricate flavors, creating a sophisticated and balanced union.
  5. Ruby Port and Chocolate Truffles:Conclude your romantic affair with the luxurious pairing of ruby Port and chocolate truffles. The rich and decadent nature of chocolate truffles finds a perfect companion in the fruity and fortified characteristics of a ruby Port, culminating in a sumptuous and indulgent finale.

As you raise your glasses to a night of love and connection, savor each moment of this romantic and indulgent affair. Cheers to creating beautiful memories on this special Valentine's Day!

Time Posted: Feb 14, 2024 at 5:10 AM Permalink to Indulge in a Decadent Event of Love and Flavors this Valentine’s Day Permalink Comments for Indulge in a Decadent Event of Love and Flavors this Valentine’s Day Comments (6)
Emilia Delfino
February 9, 2024 | Emilia Delfino

Savoring Italian Carnival: Perfect Wine Pairings for Time-Honored Delights

As the vibrant Italian Carnival is underway, the tantalizing aromas of traditional dishes fill the air. From savory dishes like migliaccio salato to sweet chiacchiere, the diverse range of Italian Carnival foods sets the stage for a culinary journey. Join us as we explore the delightful world of Italian Carnival cuisine and uncover the perfect wine pairings to elevate each dish.

  1. Migliaccio Salato (Naples Savory tart) and Oregon Pinot Noir: The savory delight of Migliaccio Salato, crafted with semolina flour, polenta, salami, and smoked cheese, pairs splendidly with an aromatic and herbaceous Oregon Pinot Noir. The wine's refreshing acidity cuts through the robust flavors and texture of this traditional Carnival dish.
  2. Polenta e Osei (Cornmeal with Game Birds) and Amarone della Valpolicella: The robust and hearty Polenta e Osei calls for a wine with equal character, such as a bold Amarone. The wine's deep, complex flavors complement the savory richness of the dish, creating a symphony of taste.
  3. Pizza di Sorrento (Sorrento's savory pie) and Rose': Despite the name, this is not the traditional pizza, it is made of a delicate brisee crust, enriched with a blend of creamy ricotta cheese, gooey mozzarella, flavorful grana (Parmesan cheese), and savory sausages. A deep Rose' wine with its refreshing and crisp characteristics balance the richness of the cheeses and sausages, creating a delightful harmony of flavors. The fruity notes of Rosé can also add a touch of brightness to this savory creation, making it a delightful pairing.
  4. Chiacchiere or Bugie (Sweet Carnival Ribbons) and Prosecco: The delicate sweetness of Chiacchiere, thin strips of fried dough, pairs elegantly with a lively Prosecco. The wine's effervescence enhances the sweetness of the fritters, creating a delightful contrast.
  5. Crostata di Arlecchino (buttery shortcrust pastry with colorful fruit preserve) and Gewürztraminer: The fruity and often tart flavors of the crostata would be a great match with the aromatic and slightly sweet profile of the Gewürztraminer.
  6. Struffoli (Honey-soaked, bite-sized dough balls decorated with colored sprinkles) and Moscato d'Asti: The light and sweet profile of Moscato d'Asti complements the honey sweetness of truffoli, and the wine's refreshing acidity helps balance the richness of the fried dough. The pairing creates a harmonious balance, making it a delightful combination for a festive and enjoyable experience. 

In conclusion, Italian Carnival is a celebration of flavors, and the traditional dishes offer a culinary experience like no other. Elevate your Italian Carnival feast by embracing these wine pairings, allowing each sip to harmonize with the exquisite tastes of the season. Buon Carnevale—let the festivities begin!

Emilia Delfino
February 5, 2024 | Emilia Delfino

A Feast for the Senses: Mardi Gras Food and Wine Pairing Guide

As Mardi Gras approaches, the vibrant and flavorful cuisine associated with this festive celebration takes center stage. From savory jambalaya to beignets dusted with powdered sugar, the diverse array of Mardi Gras foods provides an excellent canvas for creative wine pairings. Let's embark on a journey through the culinary delights of Mardi Gras and discover the perfect wine companions for each dish.

1. Gumbo and Zinfandel:
   - **Why?** Gumbo, a hearty stew with a rich and flavorful broth, pairs wonderfully with a bold Zinfandel. The wine's robust fruitiness and peppery notes complement the complexity of the gumbo, enhancing the overall savory experience.

2. Jambalaya and Chardonnay:
   -  **Why?**  The spicy and flavorful rice dish known as jambalaya finds a delightful partner in a well-balanced Chardonnay. The wine's buttery texture and subtle oakiness provide a harmonious counterpoint to the spiciness of the dish.

3. Crawfish Étouffée and Sauvignon Blanc:
   - **Why?** The delicate flavors of crawfish étouffée are beautifully complemented by the crisp acidity and citrusy notes of Sauvignon Blanc. This pairing allows the subtle nuances of the crawfish to shine.

4. King Cake and Sparkling Rosé:
   - **Why?** The sweet and festive King Cake, a Mardi Gras tradition, pairs wonderfully with a Sparkling Rosé. The wine's effervescence and fruity notes create a delightful contrast, enhancing the sweetness of the cake.

5. Beignets and Moscato:
   - **Why?** These pillowy, deep-fried pastries dusted with powdered sugar deserve a companion like Moscato. The wine's sweetness and floral aromas complement the sugary goodness of beignets, creating a decadent pairing.

6. Shrimp Po' Boy and Viognier:
   - **Why?** The combination of crispy shrimp and a soft baguette in a Shrimp Po' Boy pairs wonderfully with a Viognier. The wine's floral and stone fruit characteristics add a touch of elegance to the dish.

7. Muffuletta Sandwich and Chianti:
   - **Why?** The hearty Muffuletta sandwich, with its layers of cured meats and olive salad, calls for a robust Chianti. The wine's bold flavors and balanced acidity stand up to the richness of the sandwich.

In conclusion, Mardi Gras is not just a celebration of colors and music; it's a culinary journey through the heart and soul of New Orleans. Elevate your Mardi Gras experience by exploring these wine pairings, enhancing the flavors of each dish and creating a symphony of tastes that dance on your palate. Laissez les bon temps rouler—let the good times roll!

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