Cheers May 2014

Cheers is dedicated to delivering hospitality professionals the information, insights and data necessary to drive their beverage business by covering trends and innovations in operations, merchandising, service and training.

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Page 26 of 51 27 MAY 2014 | A s the mercury rises and the sun hangs longer in the sky, guests gravitate towards chilled, refreshing white wines that partner perfectly with sandals, short sleeves and seasonal cuisine. Wine professionals offer up their thoughts on some of the white-wine trends for summer, from the popular varietals and styles to refreshing finds from unsung winemaking regions. FROM ITALY, WITH LOVE Matthew Carroll, the beverage director for the 110-seat Belgian restaurant Brabo in Alexandria, VA, has seen increased interest in white wines from northern Italy. "ere are some incredible whites being grown in Alto Adige other than pinot grigio," he notes. Carroll points to small producers of high-quality wines including Muri-Gries and Abbazia di Novacella, which are revitalizing interest in grapes such as sylvaner, müller-thurgau, pinot bianco and kerner. Brabo champions the cause with bottles such as the 2012 Abbazia di Novacella Praepositus kerner from Alto Adige ($60 a bottle). "ese wines manage to maintain a balance between delicate fruit and herbaceousness that makes them incrediblly versatile at the table," Carroll says. Brabo's wine list has 750 bottles, a third of which are white, and eight white wines by the glass. At the two locations of A Voce, a contemporary Italian restaurant concept in New York, wine and beverage director Oliver Flosse has also seen an uptick in the popularity of restrained white wines from northern Italian regions Alto Adige and Friuli. "People are looking for lighter, more elegant and balanced wines with higher levels of minerality," he says. A Voce carries several crisp whites, including the 2010 Strasserhof sylvaner ($39 a bottle) and the 2012 Manni Nössing müller-thurgau ($62 a bottle). A Voce Columbus boasts a wine list of 2,700 bottles, while A Voce Madison's has 650; nearly half of each list is committed to white wines, and there are eleven and six white wines by the glass, respectively. In Italy's warmer southern regions, such as Sardinia, Campania and Calabria, varietals including grillo, fiano and greco entice due to their soft, round, full-bodied style, which appeals to chardonnay fans. Fiano is also floral and spicy, drawing comparisons to viognier or torrontes, and a great partner with Asian or other spicy cuisine. A Voce carries the 2008 Sannio Torre Gaia fiano ($40 a bottle), while Brabo has the 2011 Terredora Dipaolo, Fiano di Avellino ($50 a bottle), both from Campania on Italy's southwestern coast. Pino grigio is the white wine most often associated with Italy, but Carroll has seen a slight downturn in request for the varietal. So has the 60-seat Flight Wine Bar in Washington, D.C. "But recently, there has been a growing interest in quality pinot grigio," says co-owner Swati Bose. "By nature, they are simpler and lighter-bodied wines, but the good ones have slightly more body and complexity of flavors." Flight Wine Bar carries three pinot grigios from around the world, including the 2010 St. Michael-Eppan pinot grigio from Alto Adige ($36 a bottle). Its list has 70 wines by the bottle and 30 by the glass. A CASE FOR RIESLING While the aromatic varietal has long been a sommelier darling, Carroll says that many guests have a preconceived notion about riesling's style. Dispelling their misconceptions isn't easy, but he typically tries to suggest one of the dry rieslings on Brabo's list. "e lean brightness and precise acidity make these wines incredibly agile and easy to use with pretty much anything being served from the kitchen," Carroll says. He likes to recommend the 2012 Paul Blanck & Fils, Rosenbourg from Alsace, France ($60 a bottle), as well as the 2012 Pewsey Vale riesling from Eden Valley, Australia ($44 a bottle). Joshua Orr is adept at winning over the riesling-averse. "I love the astonished looks that come across guests' faces when they A white wine at Flight Wine Bar in Washington, D.C., which is seeing more interest in higher-end pinot grigios. 26-30 white wine trends CH0514.indd 27 5/7/14 10:10 AM

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