Jessica Altieri, CEO and Founder of Wine Channel TV, curated the wine program for Chicago’s high-end VIP charity event, Once Upon a Stage – Piven Theatre Workshop Gala 2017, honoring Joyce Piven. Over 18 wines from around the world were featured for the 350+ VIP guests in attendance.
Enjoy this brief overview of the wine sponsors’ brands who generously supported our recent Piven Gala Event:
Bodegas Borsao Syrah Spanish in origin, this wine features flavors of dark berries, dried plums, with notes of espresso coffee, pepper and black olives. Its rich and full body complements roast leg of lamb, venison steak and souvlaki.
Bodegas Borsao -Tres Picos Grenache Another favorite, it boasts a very intense cherry red color with tones of purple and offers a great concentration of aromas of ripe red fruit with floral nuances. This well-structured, rich wine evokes hints of blackberry and plum and tones of leather and vanilla.
Bodegas Borsao – Rose A clear, bright raspberry-tinged wine produced from the best Garnacha grapes. Fruity, enchanting aromas evoke flavors of banana strawberry custard, macadamia cookie, and spiced cherries with a soft, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body. A very attractive rose for everyday enjoyment best paired with fish or turkey.
Concrete – Cabernet Sauvignon This cab is lush and firm in the style of the vintage made with 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. Blackberry jam, currants and cassis notes are well-balanced with firm tannins. The big and bold entry from Lodi, California is the perfect accompaniment to a juicy steak or pasta bolognese.
Donnafugata – Lighea The first thing you notice about this Sicilian entry is its striking straw yellow color with green undertones. It offers a rich and fragrant bouquet with classic notes of orange blossom combined with scents of saturn peaches and Mediterranean scrub which can even hold up to fried fish.
Cantine San Marzano – Tramari Rosé di Primitivo Salento A fresh and elegant wine, it is softly rosé-colored, yet intense at the same time with cherry and raspberry notes. Originating from Puglia, Italy (“the heel” of the Italian boot), it is best served with Italian-style starters like antipasti or slightly-aged cheeses.
Cantine San Marzano – Sessantanni Primitivo di Manduria Intense ruby-red color, wide and complex to the nose, fruity, with a prune and cherry jam aroma, with notes of tobacco, even slightly spicy. Look for the notes of cocoa, vanilla and coffee at the end. Try this one with savory first courses or alone for your evening meditation.
Gloria Ferrer – Gloria Ferrer Blanc de Blanc Its lively acidity comes from using only Chardonnay, hence “the white of whites” reference in its name. Aromas of crisp green apple and Asian pear come through with just a hint of toasty brioche. The finish features hints of creme brulee. Yum!
Laurent-Perrier – Champagne Laurent-Perrier Brut NV It features a pale, golden hue and tiny effervescent bubbles. A delicate yet complex nose, fresh and well-balanced with hints of citrus and white fruits. It is a perfect aperitif drink, and it paired most suitably with fish, poultry and pork.
Lenz Moser – Grüner Veltliner Get ready for summer with this entry! Fresh and friendly green pear notes. This crisp grüner pairs well with a variety of foods.
Masottina – Extra Dry, Prosecco di Conegliano A fresh green apple nose and palate offering a lovely balance between sweet and refreshing. The fruit undertones in this wine include a hint of pear and lemon zest. Best when served with pork dishes.
Masottina – Le Rive di Ogliano Millesimato Extra Dry, Prosecco di Conegliano Another striking straw-yellow entry with suggestions of hay, mint, pear and fruit stone notes backed by eucalyptus (surprise!) on the nose. Be prepared for a peppery palate with a clean, well-structured attack yet short-lived finish. This friendly wine pairs well with soft goat cheeses.
Opolo Vineyards – Cabernet Sauvignon Paso Robles A rich, full choice with a ruby color. One taster notes “flavors of beeswax candle, vanilla nougat, and berry pie crust with a silky, bright, fruity medium body and an engaging finish with notes of mocha cream and spiced berries with firm tannins.” Very versatile; try it with meat or vegetarian dishes.
Opolo Vineyards – Albariño Edna Valley An extremely well-balanced and well-integrated wine. Classic Albariño taste aromas of honeysuckle, tangerine, and grapefruit. Creaminess and depth pair well with crisp acidity in this popular entry.
Opolo Vineyards – Viognier Central Coast California This Viognier possesses notes of mango, peach, and orange blossom with a hint of rose. Barrel aging in French Oak results in this complex, fragrant wine with a toasty finish. A great alternative to Chardonnay.
Raymond Vineyards – 40th Anniversary Napa Valley Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Forty never looked better on this release, right down to its elegant, velvet label making the anniversary of the first vintage made by the winery. The special wine is a blend of Cabernet Sauv, Petite Verdot, Petite Sirah and Malbec. The grapes were sourced from Raymond’s certified organic and Biodynamic® vineyards in Rutherford and St. Helena, California.
Robert Mondavi Winery Maestro Red Blend Napa Valley A dark, deeply-colored Bordeaux with Merlot leading the orchestra. Juicy plum and cassis fruit notes play effortlessly with violet, cinnamon, and unsweetened cocoa in sumptuous sips full of vibrant flavor. The red blend of Cab Sauv, Cab Franc, Merlot, Petit Verdot varietals ends with a crescendo of peppery spice.
Vivanco Viura -Tempranillo Blanco-Maturana Blanca Rioja The first wine in Rioja, and in the whole world, to be made with this unique blend. Using traditional Viura as the base and main variety (50%), the wine includes, for the first time, two grapes which are exclusive to Rioja: Tempranillo Blanco and Maturana Blanca. It features a fruity, intense aroma of bananas, citrus fruit and tropical fruit with underlying floral notes.