• Friday , 23 June 2017

Red Wine and Feeling Fine with Consorzio del Vino Nobile di Montepulciano

Photos, story by Cassie Hepler

Consorzio del Vino Nobile di Montepulciano or as we like to call Vino Nobile for short (meaning noble wine) is a fine quality, indissoluble blend of red wine with deep roots in history. Yes, that all sounds fancy but with a sticker price around $30 a bottle, you can enjoy it like a true Italian Renaissance aristocrat.

Montepulciano is a small south-east area of Tuscany, known for its glorious gothic architecture, artistic heritage and stunning landscapes in a 16th century town.

Its fame of vineyards and wine can be tasted in the way their wines somehow leave no trace of the usual tannin heavy red wine headache. It somehow charmingly and magically does not exist, even after an ample wine tasting that Bacchus, the god of wine, would have found himself tipsy.

Starting with an educational seminar at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, we were presented with red wine, notes, pencil, paper and the latest edition of Wine Spectator and were ready to learn. Our bellies were prepped and ready with the amazing lunch buffet from The Tomato Bistro (it was an Italian day apparently).

Shawn Dore, Sommelier and brand ambassador for Consorzio del Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, opened up the seminar by describing the small vineyard’s region with picturesque and beautiful imagery.

Igniting palates and wanderlust alike, wine lovers from all over Pennsylvania and New Jersey came to learn and taste what all the talk was about. Tasting was a pleasure, of course, and a breeze. Some people spit into their silver buckets and others (ahem) emptied their glasses and couldn’t wait for the continued tasting in the museum’s basement.

Also joining the wine connisseur table was Steve Wildy, beverage director at Vetri, Bill Eccelston, beverage director at Ristorante Panorame, and Antonio Zaccheo Jr., the winemaker himself straight from Tuscany, Italy and on the Wine Spectator Top 100 list.

The Vino Noble trendsetting winery uses sustainable energy. Below ground there is a forced air ventilation system with a wooden roof and solar panels to activate the cooling units. It is a gravity flow biodynamic Geothermal system and a lot of Italian wineries are privy to being green, an impressive and progressive feat for an old European town.

Our favorite was the Boscarelli Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 2012 with it’s cherry, sage, cinnamon flavors which was tasty and not too biting at the end. Runner up was Carpineto Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva DOCG 2010 with its clean, truffle taste which was smooth but tart. A suggested pairing in Italy is with cinghiale, an endangered wild pig that runs free – in a large pen, of course. But enough about all this education, let’s look at some wine!

Ready to learn and take notes... in the second the front table. We didn't want to seem too eager!

Ready to learn and take notes… in the second the front table. We didn’t want to seem too eager!

Listening, learning and drinking wine. Why wasn't college more like this seminar?

Listening, learning and drinking wine. Why wasn’t college more like this seminar? One lesson learned was a suggested food pairing in Italy is with cinghiale, an endangered wild pig that runs free – in a large pen, of course.

The head tasting table had unlimited pours of everyone's favorites.

The head tasting table had unlimited pours of everyone’s favorites. From the Middle Ages to the 17th century, even poems were written praising the best wines of Tuscany.

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So many wines to taste and pushing rush hour in Center City means taste fast!

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Some very tasty wines from 2012 and 2013, we preferred the 2013.

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We loved the Boscarelli and not just because of the beautiful Italian name, it also has some full body taste.

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Just in case you were as curious as we were…

This gentleman knew what he was talking about. We liked his bow tie too!

This gentleman knew what he was talking about. We liked his bow tie too (as well as the small black cat in the drawing behind him)!

The man who flew in from Italy himself,

The man who flew in from Italy himself, Antonio Zaccheo Jr., right, with a friend who hosts wine week in NYC.

There's nothing better than a gentleman serving you wine.

There’s nothing better than a gentleman serving you delicious wine.

Especially when it's as good as this 2014 blend.

Especially when it’s as good as this 2014 blend.

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This strange piece of "art" sparked some serious conversation between an artist and a realtor.

This strange piece of “art” sparked some serious conversation between an artist and a realtor.

A cell phone Flintstones slab makes us giggle.

A cell phone Flintstones slab makes us giggle and it has nothing to do with the wine.

Cheers to a fantastic day learning and drinking red Italian wine!

Cheers to a fantastic day learning and drinking red Italian wine!

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A lovely student pours us our last tastes of the night.

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Anything with Luna in the name assures a great wine. That and they are all stored in oak which helps.

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The classic and non-gimmicky wine labels scream class and good taste from only five acres and 6,000 to 7,000 bottles produced a year.

The Vino Nobile team had a very successful day, sharing the Italian wine with Philadelphia and surprisingly doing very well in Pittsburgh also.

The Vino Nobile team had a very successful day, sharing the Italian wine with Philadelphia and surprisingly doing very well in Pittsburgh also.

OK maybe just one more taste...

OK maybe just one more taste… the label is very alluring. Don’t judge us!

An elegant wine with delicate taste.

An elegant wine with delicate taste from over 75 producers in the small town.

A more serious piece of art makes us stop and ponder while swirling our wine.

A more serious piece of art makes us stop and ponder while swirling our wine.

A cork collector's dream would be to have all three bottles

A cork collector’s dream would be to have all three bottles of this mighty red with a griffon on a wine trail in Tuscany, Italy.

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