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Emilia Delfino
 
June 24, 2024 | Emilia Delfino

Celebrate Prosecco Week and Sparkling Wine Week with a 20% Discount!

As the weather finally warms up, there's no better way to chill out than with a refreshing glass of Prosecco, celebrating the effervescent joy of sparkling wines. This week, we are delighted to celebrate National Prosecco Week, and next week, we continue the festivities with Sparkling Wine Week. At Delfino Fine Wines, we are offering a special 20% discount on all our sparkling wines to mark these delightful occasions!

  • National Prosecco Week, June 24 - 30

Prosecco, Italy’s sparkling treasure, has captured the hearts of wine lovers around the world with its light, refreshing, and vibrant character. Originating from the picturesque vineyards of the Veneto region, Prosecco is renowned for its delicate bubbles, crisp acidity, and notes of green apple, pear, and floral undertones.

Did you know which grape is used to make Prosecco? Prosecco is primarily made from the Glera grape, which thrives in the rolling hills and moderate climate of northeastern Italy. Glera grapes are prized for their high acidity and ability to produce sparkling wines with bright, crisp flavors, creating a refreshing and lively drinking experience.

  • Sparkling Wine Week, July 1- 7

Following the celebration of Prosecco Week, Sparkling Wine Week invites you to explore the diversity of sparkling wines from around the globe. From the prestigious Champagne of France to the innovative sparkling wines of New World regions, Sparkling Wine Week showcases the craftsmanship and versatility of sparkling wine production.

Did you know that red grapes can also be used in the making of sparkling wines? In Champagne, the primary grapes used are Chardonnay (a white grape) and two red grapes: Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. The skins of the red grapes are typically removed early in the process to avoid coloring the wine, resulting in a white sparkling wine with the depth and structure provided by the red grape varieties. This technique is used not only in Champagne but also in other sparkling wine regions around the world, creating a wide variety of flavors and styles to explore.

  • Raise a Glass with Our 20% Discount

To celebrate these two wonderful weeks, we're excited to offer a 20% discount on our sparkling wines. Whether you're a fan of Prosecco's crisp charm or prefer the complexity of other sparkling varieties, our wines promise something to suit every palate and occasion.

Stop by our tasting room to take advantage of this special offer or visit www.delfinofinewines.com and use the promo code BUBBLES. Let us help you find the perfect sparkling wine to toast to summer, celebrations, and the joy of sharing good times with loved ones.

Cheers to Prosecco Week and Sparkling Wine Week! May your days be filled with bubbles, laughter, and unforgettable moments.

 

Emilia Delfino
 
June 17, 2024 | Emilia Delfino

History of Sangria

Sangria's origins trace back to Spain and Portugal, where it has been enjoyed for centuries. The name "sangria" comes from the Spanish word "sangre," meaning blood, a nod to the deep red color of the traditional version made with red wine. However, the history of wine mixed with fruit and spices can be traced even further back.

**Ancient Beginnings:**
The concept of mixing wine with fruit, spices, and water dates back to the ancient Romans and Greeks. These early versions, known as "hippocras" and "clarea," were often sweetened with honey and flavored with various spices to improve the taste and make the water safer to drink. This practice spread throughout the Roman Empire, laying the groundwork for what would eventually become sangria.

**Medieval Times:**
During the Middle Ages, similar wine punches were common across Europe. They were often consumed at social gatherings and celebrations. The addition of spices, herbs, and fruit not only enhanced the flavor but also acted as preservatives, allowing the beverage to last longer.

**Renaissance and Beyond:**
As trade routes expanded during the Renaissance, exotic spices and fruits became more accessible in Europe, enriching the flavors of wine punches. These concoctions continued to evolve, with regional variations emerging. In Spain, these wine-based drinks gradually took on the characteristics we now associate with sangria, particularly in the regions where wine production was prominent.

**Modern Sangria:**
Sangria, as we know it today, began to take shape in Spain in the 18th and 19th centuries. The drink was particularly popular in the Andalusia region, where locals mixed red wine with seasonal fruits, sugar, and sometimes a splash of brandy. This refreshing beverage became a staple at fiestas and social gatherings, appreciated for its ability to showcase the local wines and produce.

**Introduction to the United States:**
Sangria made its grand entrance to the United States at the 1964 World's Fair in New York. The Spanish pavilion served this delightful drink to visitors, introducing Americans to its vibrant flavors and easy-drinking appeal. The reception was overwhelmingly positive, and sangria quickly gained popularity across the country.

**Cultural Influence:**
Today, sangria is enjoyed worldwide, with each region putting its own twist on the classic recipe. From the bustling streets of Barcelona to backyard barbecues in America, sangria remains a symbol of conviviality and celebration. Its adaptability and versatility have made it a beloved cocktail, perfect for any occasion, especially during the warm summer months.

Emilia Delfino
 
June 14, 2024 | Emilia Delfino

The Perfect Summer Wine Cocktail: Sangria

As the warm days of summer approach, there's no better way to cool down and celebrate the season than with a refreshing glass of sangria. This delightful wine cocktail, with its roots in Spain, has become a popular favorite worldwide. Bursting with vibrant flavors and colorful fruits, sangria is the ultimate drink for summer gatherings, patio lounging, or simply enjoying a sunny afternoon. Let’s dive into the history, variations, and recipe of this beloved summer cocktail.

A Brief History of Sangria

Sangria's origins trace back to Spain and Portugal, where it has been enjoyed for centuries. The name "sangria" comes from the Spanish word "sangre," meaning blood, a nod to the deep red color of the traditional version made with red wine. Sangria was introduced to the United States at the 1964 World's Fair in New York, where it quickly gained popularity. Today, sangria is enjoyed in many forms and flavors, making it a versatile and beloved cocktail around the globe.

Variations of Sangria

While traditional sangria is made with red wine, fruit, and a splash of brandy, there are countless variations to suit every taste and occasion. Here are a few popular types of sangria:

  1. Red Sangria: The classic version, made with red wine, such as Tempranillo or Garnacha, mixed with citrus fruits like oranges and lemons, and often a touch of brandy or orange liqueur.
  2. White Sangria: A lighter, more refreshing take using white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio, combined with fruits like apples, peaches, and berries. A splash of elderflower liqueur or peach schnapps adds a delightful twist.
  3. Rosé Sangria: Perfect for summer, this version uses rosé wine, offering a beautiful pink hue and a delicate flavor. Pair it with strawberries, raspberries, and a hint of mint for a refreshing treat.
  4. Sparkling Sangria: For a festive touch, use sparkling wine or Champagne. Mix with a variety of fruits and a splash of your favorite liqueur to create a bubbly and celebratory drink.
  5. Seasonal Sangria: Get creative with seasonal fruits and flavors. In summer, try tropical fruits like pineapple and mango; in fall, opt for apples, pears, and cinnamon.

Classic Traditional Sangria Recipe

Ingridients

  • Bottle of red wine - 1
  • Sparkling water - 2 ¼ cups (500 g)
  • Cognac - ¼ cup (50 g)
  • Apples -  ½ lb (230 g)
  • Oranges - 1 ⅓ lb (600 g)
  • Peaches - 0.9 lb (400 g)
  • Lemons -  ¾ lb (350 g)
  • Sugar -  ⅔ cup (120 g)
  • Vanilla bean -  1
  • Cinnamon sticks - 2
  • Cloves - 6
  • Ice

Preparation

  1. Wash the apples and the peaches, without removing the skin, cut them first into slices, then into strips, and finally into small cubes.
  2. Juice one lemon and one orange and set aside.
  3. Cut half of the remaining oranges into slices, and the other half into cubes, without removing the peel. Do the same with the remaining lemons.
  4. Pour the apple and peach cubes into a large bowl, and then add the juice from the citrus fruits and cut up oranges and lemons.
  5.  Add red wine and sugar and mix well.
  6. Move on to the spices: cut along the vanilla bean lengthwise and scrap out the seeds using the blade of a knife, then add both the bean and the seeds to the bowl.
  7. Arrange the cinnamon sticks and cloves in a tea infuser to make it easier to remove them later. Place the infuser directly into the bowl or, alternatively, add the spices without using the infuser.
  8. Pour in the cognac, stir, and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Leave it to rest in the fridge for a few hours or, even better, overnight.
  9. Once the infusion time has passed, remove the vanilla bean and spices, then add the sparkling water and ice. Give your sangria one last stir and it’s ready for serving!

Tips for the Best Sangria

  • Choose Good Wine: While you don’t need an expensive bottle, choose a wine you enjoy drinking on its own.
  • Let It Marinate: Allow the sangria to sit in the refrigerator overnight to let the flavors meld together
  • Sweeten to Taste: Adjust the sweetness by adding more sugar, honey, or agave syrup if needed
  • Get Creative: Don’t be afraid to experiment with different wines, fruits, and liqueurs to create your perfect blend.

In conclusion, Sangria is more than just a cocktail; it's a celebration of summer’s bounty and a testament to the joy of sharing good times with friends and family. Whether you stick to the classic red sangria or venture into creative variations, this versatile wine cocktail is sure to be a hit at any gathering. So grab a pitcher, mix up some sangria, and toast to a wonderful summer!

Cheers!

Emilia Delfino
 
June 5, 2024 | Emilia Delfino

Liguria and Her Wines: A Journey Through Italy’s Coastal Vineyards

La Riviera Ligure

Driving along the Ligurian Riviera is one of life’s travel pleasures, one hand, there are the stunning beaches, white and sometimes rocky skirts for the glittering Mediterranean Sea, and on the other hand, the cliffs and towering outcroppings are often laced with pastel-colored buildings, creating a picturesque and captivating landscape.

Liguria lies along the Mediterranean coast of Italy, stretching from the French border near Monaco in the northwest to Tuscany in the south. In terms of wine neighborhoods, it is adjacent to a few world-class friends: Piedmont to the north, Provence due west alongside the majestic Alps, and Emilia-Romagna to the east. Liguria itself boasts eight DOCs (Denominazione di Origine Controllata) and two IGTs (Indicazione Geografica Tipica).

Liguria DOC wine appellations include:
- Cinque Terre and Cinque Terre Sciacchetrà
- Colli di Luni
- Colline di Levanto
- Golfo del Tigullio-Portofino or Portofino
- Pornassio or Ormeasco di Pornassio
- Riviera Ligure di Ponente
- Rossese di Dolceacqua or Dolceacqua
- Val Polcevera

Liguria IGT wine appellations include:
- Colline del Genovesato
- Colline Savonesi
- Golfo dei Poeti La Spezia or Golfo dei Poeti
- Terrazze dell’Imperiese

The Terraced Vineyards of Liguria

One of the most unique and impressive aspects of growing grapes in this area is that the cliffs and outcrops that make the region so naturally beautiful are also the same landscape that must support the vineyards. The terraced vineyards of Liguria are an engineering marvel, with vines grown on steep, narrow terraces carved into the cliffs. This challenging terrain, while breathtakingly beautiful, requires a tremendous amount of manual labor and dedication.

These terraces, known as "muretti a secco," are dry stone walls that support the thin strips of vineyard. This ancient technique, used for centuries, helps prevent soil erosion and maximizes the use of the steep, rocky terrain. The construction and maintenance of these terraces are labor-intensive, often requiring the manual transportation of stones and soil. Yet, it is this very method that allows the vines to thrive in such a rugged landscape, producing grapes that embody the essence of the region.

Imagine hustling a mechanical harvester along those staggering paths! Growers in the area have had to adapt, wedging the vines into available spaces and cultivating and harvesting in some relatively tricky positions. In Liguria, even home gardens are grown in the nooks and crannies of backyards populated by beasts of stone.

The Vineyards of Cinque Terre

Cinque Terre, which means "Five Lands," describes a string of UNESCO-elected communes and the associated national park balanced along the coast of the Ligurian Sea. The villages are stunning, with pastel stacks of buildings, each framing their own set of harbors and coastlines. Each village is unique and can be reached by train or by boat. Cars are a rare sight here, with wayfaring taking place on foot, from the top of each town down to the beach or harbor.

The predominant native grape in this region is Bosco, often blended with Vermentino (Rolle) or Albarola to create structured, aromatic wines that lean toward crisp minerality, as seen in Cinque Terre DOC wines, or as sweet passito wines like Sciacchetrà DOC. Grapes for passito wine are dried on racks and then fermented in steel. In the case of Sciacchetrà, the result is a honeyed orange wine that is integral to the history of Riomaggiore and Manarola, the two southernmost towns of the Cinque Terre.

A Truly Special Place

What makes this area truly special is the familial fragmentation of the vineyards. It’s rare to find a large-scale vintner here, in a land where there are only about 80 hectares of planted vines, split among a single consortium and less than 30 producers. Visiting and sampling the wines may be the best way to fully grasp what the environment and history hold. Many visitors opt to hike the interwoven trails of the national park, but admission is limited to prevent landscape deterioration. 

Liguria, with its breathtaking views, unique wines, and rich history, is a destination that offers more than just a visual feast. It’s an experience that connects you with the land, the people, and the deep-rooted traditions of Italian winemaking. Whether you’re savoring a glass of crisp white on a sunny patio or exploring the rugged trails of the Cinque Terre, Liguria’s wines provide a taste of a truly special place.

 

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