Image by Liz Clayman
Okay, we get it – frosé is all cute and refreshing, especially when paired with a lazy summer weekend afternoon. But you wouldn’t want to wake up one day in September to find your too-long-neglected oenophilic acumen has been dulled, would you? And in fact, the escalating, climate-changed temps these days often find us ducking indoors for more urbane but still season-appropriate sips in, well, an actual air-conditioned room.
And few know their wines better than Mariarosa Tartaglione, Sommelier at Michael White’s Ai Fiori, the sophisticated but laid back Italian eatery at the The Langham, New York, Fifth Avenue. Its elegant namesake bar’s plush leather banquettes, marble bar and dramatically mirrored ceiling give it style to spare.
And every Friday this summer, starting at 5pm (after aperitivo hour), Bar Fiori‘s expert sommeliers will be opening their select favorite bottles, to pour by the glass at special prices – which will carry on until those wines run out. Each week’s selections will be posted on the restaurant’s Instagram page, as is the habit in these times.
In that spirit, we asked Mariarosa to enlighten us as to some of her favorite Mediterranean wines to drink for summer, and what (besides air conditioning) is best to pair them with.
Sardus Pater, Vermentino “Lugore” 2017
From the very south of Sardegna, “Lugore” remembers the quiet nights when the full moon reflects on the vines. A truly salty wine made from the Vermentino grape, well structured and with sapid nuances of fresh citrus and aromatic herbs. A must with oysters and spaghetti with clams.
Cecilia, Elba Ansonica 2017
Fresh, bright, floral white from the Elba island, in the Tuscan Archipelago. It is made by Ansonica, a truly island grape, very popular in Sicily as well. Its delicate citrus and stone fruit notes pair best with crudo and seafood salads.
Domaine Zuria, Corsica 2017
From the most southern part of Corsica, made by Sciacarellu and a little part of Moresconu. Refreshing yet very complex rose’, with particular orange blossom and mineral notes. My favorite pairing is risotto with prawns and bottarga.
Manenti, Frappato 2016
From the south-oriental coast of Sicily, made by Frappato, a very traditional grape of this area. It is a light body wine, with bright acidity, it shows strawberry and pomegranate notes, spiced up by cloves and white pepper. A great wine to drink slightly chilled. I love it with a classic swordfish steak “alla siciliana” with cherry tomatoes, capers, olives, and oregano.
Casa d’Ambra, “Mario d’Ambra Rosso” 2015
Ideal wine for a summer barbecue, this is a full bodied, structured and persistent red, made by 50% Guarnaccia – 50% Per’e’ Palummo, that this family-owned estate has been farming on the volcanic Ischia Island since 1888. Tasting notes of dark fruits, chocolate and licorice.