Skip to main content

Wines of Italy - Vino d'Italia: Gambero Rosso Tre Bicchieri 2016

With material from a media release:

Wines of Italy - Vino d'Italia
Gambero Rosso Tre Bicchieri 2016

• Here's a guide to all the Tre Bicchieri winners

What could be more appetizing than a room full of Italian wines and foods to sample? Add the posh surroundings of the Liberty Grand complex at Exhibition Place, and the experience was nothing short of sublime.

3 Glasses is the top distinction awarded to some of Italy’s best wines by Gambero Rosso, an Italian journal that celebrates the hedonistic pursuit of food, wine & culture.

Every year in the Fall, Gambero Rosso announces their short-list of Tre Bicchieri winners (pronounced “tray bee-kee-AIR-ee”, which means “3 Glasses”). These are the wines that are judged as the best from a massive collection of 22,000 wine contenders from 2,400 Italian wineries. Taste testing 22,000 wines continues over a 6 month period.

This year just 421 wines earned the Tre Bicchieri distinction. That’s the top 2% of all wines taste-tested.

Luckily, I got to check out the Gambero Rosso road show when it hit Toronto this week. There was tiramisu, meat balls, polenta and osso bucco, cheeses, salads and did I mention tiramisu...? There was organic fair trade, single origin, richly aromatic coffee from  Caffè Paranà.

Vino d'Italia

And the wines? I can only comment on a few that I sampled, very inexpertly - and in no way to besmirch the good name of the very many that I couldn't get to.

From La Guardiense, a winery in the Campania region in the south of Italy - the Sannio Aglianico Janare '14. This is a lovely, big, fruity dark red with a nice finish, not too tart and perfect for sipping.

Monte del Fra Bardolino 2015 is a light red wine made on the eastern shores of Lake Garda, in the Veneto region of north-eastern Italy. Monte del Fra Bardolino is made from 55 year old indigenous native vines from Custoza in the Verona region.

Just released in Vintages (the LCBO store) it's a perfect summer wine - fruity and fragrant. It would be lovely for sipping or with light summer dishes.
Cantina Nals Margreid - Pino Bianco Sirmian '14. Made in the Alto Adige or South Tyrol region of Italy, this white wine has a bright acidity that fills the nose, with light citrus notes from grapes grown 1200 meteres high on the slopes of the Tyrolean mountains. It's a nice sipping wine with fruit or cheese or perhaps accompanied by fish and seafood.

From Tuscany, I checked out a classic Chianti '13 from Badia A Coltibuono. The Badia A Coltibuono itself is a fascinating place centered around an 11th century monastery that has evolved into the burgeoning agritourist area. The Chianti '13 was fruity, with dark notes of cherry; it would go with any Italian dish I could conceive of.

From the Emilia Romagna region, I tasted the lovely Cleto Chiarli Tenue Agricole Rose Brut De Noir. It was nicely effervescent, with a light acidity. I could sip this wine with fruit and cheese for days on end.

Since I was on to bubblies, I finished with Bartolomiol - Voldobbiandene Brut Priot '14. It has a lovely and light taste with subtle peachy notes for a nice alternative to Champagne.
I regret I didn't get to all of those lovely bitters and liqueurs, but at least I got to a few.

Fernet-Branca Amer/Bitters
If you like bitters - and I do! - you'll have to try Fernet-Branca Amer. It's the perfect digestif, wonderfully aromatic with a variety of spices and herbs, made in Milan, Italy by Frateli Branca Distilleries.

I found it light and flavourful, delicious on its own or over ice. It's made with 27 different herbs from 4 continents - including aloe ferox, gentian, chamomile, chincon, colombo root, Chinese rhubarb, myrrh, peppermint, saffron and ireos - and then aged in oak barrels for 12 months for a taste that's light, mot syrupy, with just the right bitter edge.

Amaro Lucano
Amaro Lucano is an Italian liqueur made by Amaro Lucano S.p.A., a family-owned company founded in 1894 and based in Pisticci, Basilicata. The liqueur is made using a secret recipe that uses wormwood, Roman wormwood, clary sage, musk yarrow, sweet orange and gentian, among others. Nice with ice or on its own, Amaro Lucano was made for mixing in cocktails too.

Lucano & Chinotto
45ml Amaro Lucano
Chinotto with soda

Amaro Lucano cocktail
(Chinotto is an Italian soft drink made with the juice of the fruit of the myrtle-leaved orange tree.)

Lucano 1894
2/5 Amaro Lucano
1/5 Red Vermouth
2/5 tonic water
Orange juice - just a splash
Orange slice

Pour everything into a tall glass and stir with a straw and add the splash of orange juice last. Garnish with an orange slice.

Lucano & Gazzosa
45ml Amaro Lucano
100ml Lemon soda


What Else Is Hot This Week?

FACTORY presents World Premiere ACTS OF FAITH November 19 to 28 2020 - Free Livestream

 From a media release: World Premiere FACTORY presents  ACTS OF FAITH by David Yee Directed by Nina Lee Aquino Starring Natasha Mumba November 19 – 28, 2020 @ 7:30PM Streamed live for 6 performances Free of charge TORONTO (October 19, 2020) - To kick off its groundbreaking 2020/21 season, Factory presents the world premiere of acts of faith, by multi-award winning Asian Canadian playwright David Yee, directed by Nina Lee Aquino, and starring Natasha Mumba. Written specifically to be performed for a digital platform, acts of faith will stream live to audiences at home for six performances, November 19-28, 2020.  Thanks to the generous support of the TD Bank Group, admission is being offered entirely free of charge to audiences across the country and beyond. acts of faith tells a story about the power of faith, the inescapable persistence of our online identities, and the nature of truth in a digital age. The story follows Faith, a young woman who gets mistaken for a prophet. When a ques

Blues Single | Bushwick Blooze Band: Waiting (Independent / 20 October 2020)

Blues Single Bushwick Blooze Band: Waiting (Independent / 20 October 2020) Stream It From Your Fave Service Waiting is the latest in a string of singles released by Bushwick Blooze Band. The Brooklyn-based blues trio have been performing and recording the blues around the NYC area since 2018. Their first album "Cryin' for the L Train" was released in January 2019, and included covers of famous songs composed by their greatest influencers such as Little Richard, The Allman Brothers Band, Freddie King, and Eddie Vinson.  Bushwick Blooze Band is finishing up the production of their second album "Yes Dear" and unlike the previous cover record, this new album will be their first original contribution to the genres they love. Waiting is an upbeat blues track with a party kind of veneer over solid musicianship. What begins with a classic blues feel transforms into an extended psychadelic flavoured trip. Inventive guitar licks almost make you forget about the virtuosity

Experimental Solo Guitar | Dan Pitt: Monochrome (Independent / September 4 2020)

Experimental Solo Guitar Dan Pitt: Monochrome (Independent / September 4 2020) Buy it on Bandcamp Toronto guitarist and composer Dan Pitt explores new ground in Monochrome, a recent release. The compositions for solo guitar each take a different approach. Pitt's musical imagination is inventive. Ghosts is contemplative, criss-crossing the line between jazz and classical music, and in and out of tonality. It has an interestingly eerie effect. The piece contrasts with Attraction and its buzzy, erratic energy that bursts into spurts of lightening quick notes. He returns to a more conventional contemporary jazz idiom in The Sorrow - but one that ends with an intriguing twist on the form. Long Lake is a classic acoustic guitar track, folky and melodic. Ditto is a standout, a distinctly contemporary exploration of contrapuntal melodies that at times sounds like a murmur of voices. Which Way Is Up is another highlight of the release with its elegant approach to minimalism. Electronic effe

CD Release: TriBeCaStan's New Deli Breaks the Time/Space Continuum in New Deli (Feb 7)

From a media release: New Release from Little Known Government of TriBeCaStan : Capital New Deli Found to Have Irregular Time-Space Continuum EverGreene Music - February 7, 2012 TriBeCaStan: News Alert. This morning Aljazzeera reported that the questionable nation of TriBeCaStan ( ) has made scientific breakthroughs in time travel. The unrecognized republic of nomads has broken the code of the time/space continuum. And by broken we mean: it no longer works. Applying sonic techniques once only known to a small group of punk rock shamans, the nation's most prestigious scientific entity, the TriBeCaStani FolkLorkEstra, uses sound alone to simultaneously place listeners in eras separated by decades and terrains separated by oceans. The breakthrough is outlined in an auditory compendium titled New Deli (distributed by the state-run EverGreene Music, set for release February 7, 2012 ), a recording that allows the world to experience a type of soulful networking mor

Blaise La Bamba & Kotakoli November 7th 2020 Online - PWYC

 From a media release: Batuki Music Society and Alliance Francaise Toronto present A virtual concert featuring Blaise La Bamba & Kotakoli November 7th 2020 at 8:00 PM Enjoy the concert from home! K inshasa’s vibrant nightlife has long been world-famous. It is home to the subculture known informally as the Society of Ambiance-Makers and Elegant People (SAPEUR), which has spread its influence through artists such as Papa Wemba. Blaise La Bamba is part of this scene. He has worked with some of the top names of Congolese music, in particular General Defao. I n 2018, Blaise La Bamba founded Kotakoli , an all-star collective of musicians that perform an energetic mix of Congolese rumba and soukous . In the company of Kotakoli, this veteran musician brings Congolese popular music back to the forefront, with spellbinding dances. The Details Date: Saturday November 7th, 2021  Blaise La Bamba and Kotakoli Virtual Concert Time: 8:00 PM Tickets: Pay what you can This concert is offered to you