“Wine is culture”, said Gian Matteo Baldi, Commercial Director at Cav. G.B. Bertani, traditional Italian wine producers from Verona, at a wine dinner held at Hyatt Regency Pune. Five wines from Bertani, paired with gourmet preparations by Italian Chef Luca Casini, were served during a multi-course meal at La Terrazza, the hotel’s Italian restaurant, on 21st October 2011, reports Brinda Gill Pictured above is Gian Matteo Baldi (right) who is visiting from Verona.
Due to their political views in the first half of the 19th century, the Bertani brothers were in exile in Burgundy. On their return to Italy having observed the wine culture around them as well as wine production techniques, they founded the House of Bertani in 1857, a few years before the unification of Italy in 1861. Their goal was to produce quality Italian wines that would hold their own across the world. As their wines drew appreciation, the company was appointed by the Italian royal family in 1923, and their Soave featured on the official menu of the Coronation celebrations of King George VI of England in 1937.
And so it is with a measure of pride that Gian introduced the wines to guests. Due Uve Bianco 2010, an aromatic blend of Pinot Grigio and Sauvignon Blanc – a difficult wine to blend as the two grapes have distinct characteristics – was served with appetizers. The light, fruity and immensely appealing Bertani Soave Classico 2010 was served with a light and delicious Tomato and Bread soup.Two light and fruity, rounded reds were served with the main course preparations – Bertani Valpolicella 2010 with a delicious portion of Fresh Pasta layered with vegetables or meat and cheese, and Valpolicella Classico Ripasso-Superiore 2008 with an offering of Roasted Stuffed Mushrooms with vegetables or Pan Seared Duck with herb potatoes and vegetables.
And then the much awaited finale. The Amarone Classico 2003 that Gian called an iconic wine was served with a platter of Italian cheese with walnut bread and homemade ice-cream, accompanied by a mille feuille of rich chocolate with decorative swirls of Crème Chantilli in between, and a brandy snap basket filled with tiramisu ice-cream. A total treat for the senses!
Gian explained that the Amarone Classico is produced from specially selected grapes that are ripe with good acidity and are harvested a bit early. They are then spread out to dry on mats for four months so that the sugars and flavours get concentrated, thus yielding fruit – and subsequently wine – with good acidity, sugar and flavours; the wine also undergoes a long ageing process. Bertani was the first producer of Amarone; the first vintage was produced in 1959. While a bottle of wine is normally produced from one kg grapes, one bottle of Amarone Classico is obtained from three kgs of grapes. No wonder the wine is rich, luscious, deep and utterly enjoyable!
“You put something of yourself, your soul when you make wine. The more you drink wine, the deeper you go into its nuances. You learn that different wines have different personalities, different regions in a country produce different wines, and then different countries have different wines. Drinking wine is a long journey,” he added.
Bertani Wines are imported in India through through Berkmann Wine Cellars India Pvt. Ltd. Ph: (022) 26191366.