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Wine Talk: Celebrate Mother’s Day With Some Roman Wine


Frascati is a wine that was first grown in the town of Frascati on or about the 5th century B.C.! It has been around a long time and it is the great white wine of ancient Rome and one of the very favorites of several Popes. The town is located about 20 miles from Rome in the province of Frezinone. This is an area where many of the Italian immigrants came from who first came to Connecticut just after the first world war and into the early 1920s. This group of “central Italians” remained a social and political force in the greater New Haven area for some time. There is still a large group of these peoples decedents and family and friends who attend mass and have a dinner commemorating the patron saint of the area, Sant Cataldo. I like to think this famous Italian white has a connection to our area.

The wine is made from a blend of Malvasia di Candia, Malvasia del Lazio, Bombino bianco and Trebbiano Grapes. It is a crisp easy drinking demeanor and it is relatively low in alcohol (11-13 percent). It is a great wine to sip on a hot Summer day and is not very demanding. It is crisp and clean and pleasant and a great match with light pasta dishes. The wine is made to be drunk young and does not age well. In the 1960s as Italian wine making techniques began to improve, Frascati was given a D.O.C. designation which indicates some of Italy’s finest wines and the wine was restricted as to the grapes that could be used. In 2011 the wine was given a D.O.C.G. Status. These are some of finest wines made in Italy In addition to discovering just the right blend of grapes, the wine makers started to add a little Viognier grape which gave the wine a hint of tropical fruit flavor and that is when this wine got my attention. Some wine makers add a little Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc giving the wine little bigger foot print and a more international appeal.

Cannellino di Frascati wines are subtly sweet whites made partially from botrytized grapes of Malvasia and Trebbianol grown in the Frascati viticultrual arrea in Lazio, Italy. Frascati is famous for its neutral scented dry whites, the sweet Cannellino has long been made by local vineyards. The history of Cannellino wines in Frascati is very much linked to the traditions of the festival of San Crispino on October 25 and lasted until the end of November. It is a difficult and complex harvest. It is quite similar to the production of “Ice Wine”. The level of sweetness is more subtle and the wine is delicious.

This mother’s day get mom some of the wine the Romans drink! Get her a bottle of Frascati you will glad you did! Happy Mother’s Day!

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