Thirsty Thursday… with Castello BANFI

It’s Thirsty Thursday!

I wouldn’t let you down, the weekend is upon us and what could be more vital at this point after a long week, than a little Wine Review to prep your cellar for the Holiday Season?

Honestly, wine is the perfect solution for any gift… it’s great to take to a dinner party, a housewarming, birthday or a holiday soiree because you can never go wrong introducing folks to your favorite selections for the season!

Y Tip: The wine you take ANYWHERE should be one of your favorites… Y? Well you want to make sure you are educated on the contextual flavors and rhythms that encompass that particular blend. There is nothing worse than having the bottle you brought opened and someone asking you a question and having to shrug your shoulders… no, No, NO! Make sure you have done a little research and tasted the wine before you share it with friends, this way you can use it as a conversation starter!

Just last week I attended a Fall Wine & Dine event at The Raleigh Hotel on Miami Beach hosted by Castello BANFI wines, which was presented by Luciano Castiello BANFI’s Ambassador. I was smitten and completely engrossed in the moment, for which I not only dined on some perfectly paired delicacies by SBE’s Chef Jose, but for nearly 3 hours, I was introduced to a new way of thinking about wine and so I walked away with an entirely new appreciation for Vino.

IMG_7812.JPG I’m a RED girl, who likes sipping on her Cab and the BANFI Aska Cabernet definitely did not disappoint… I also got to try the Castello BANFI Rosé, which was beautiful and smooth making me feel feminine and sparkly inside my soul… the Fontanelle Chardonay, wonderfully provided hints of tropical fruit and vanilla beans, with elegant notes of apple and apricot. Florus Moscadello Di Montalcino from Toscana was a perfectly intense way to wrap up the evening, with its naturally honeysuckle sweetness, who needs dessert!

The BANFI wines from Montalcino and the Tuscan Coast are just special and I was so thrilled to have been able to explore them alongside Luciano, one of the most knowledgeable wine experts I have ever met! But… the true treat he exclaimed, with joy like a little tot at Christmas, was the Vintage Brunello di Montalcino DOGC, from Toscana. This Brunello is perfectly paired with aged meats & cheese, it shines intensely with ruby red garnet reflections, where you can distinctly savor hints of licorice in this full bodied Vintage, which keeps you guessing with its tones of velvety spice… Those are precisely the Reds that still give me the good kind of butterflies!

Castello BANFI vineyard was founded in 1978, by a set of Italian-American brothers, namely John and Harry Mariani. Together with the Mariani family, they began to develop wines in some of the richest soils, privileged for their microclimatic position.

The 7,100 acres of land that encompass the Castello BANFI estate, extend into the south of Montalcino, and they are approximately one third under vine, and the remaining land is occupied by olive groves, fruit trees (mainly plums) and well some forestry of course!

The vinification is followed by a long silent rest in wood, where those great BANFI Reds, I got to try, evolve over time and so do the distinctive characteristics of strength, elegance and longevity. More than 7000 customized barrels, laid out in orderly rows, and large casks make up the heart of BANFI, which beats in the silent and peaceful ambiance surrounding the BANFI winery.

Y Fact: VINIFICATION    noun    vi·ni·fi·ca·tion
the conversion of fruit juices (as grape juice) into wine by fermentation

As we sipped on a true 2010 Vintage Luciano explained the complexities of wine to me… “San Giovese Brunelo is like falling in love, it’s intriguing complexity, is where you have to discover all of its intricacies… It’s about intriguing elegance.”

And when I asked him about the grape itself and his role in the winemaking processes, “You have to defend the grape and let it define itself, not cover it up… Not okay to use large barrels, Oak must just be a helper… We do not tell wine what to do, wine tells us how to behave.. We cannot mandate the wine, Mother Nature dictates the barrel.”

In closing Luciano asked me to remember one thing…
“Wine is to drink.. it is uncomplicated.”

I don’t know Y, but that truly resonated with me… Y? Because it is 100% true, wine IS uncomplicated and helps to UN- complicate most situations and moments in life, which could seem endlessly complicating!

Grazie Luciano and Castello BANFI for a great night and a whole new appreciation for Loving Wine!