Thursday, May 27, 2010

Lee Dewyze; Italian Wine Lover; 2010 American Idol Winner

Thanks to an "All-Access" backstage pass that was granted to Hollywood insider, The Italian Cellar, we were afforded an opportunity to briefly speak with season nine American Idol winner Lee Dewyze after his upset victory last night:

Lee, congratulations on your being voted 2010 American Idol. What was the first wine that made you realize you loved wine?

Damijan Ribolla Gialla 2002 made me change the way I look at white wine, and the first time I had Quintarelli Amarone I knew I’d never tasted anything even close to that before. However I have to say that the wine that did it for me, that truly made me realize that I love wine was Bartolo Mascarello’s 1989 Barolo (out of a magnum). Like the Quintarelli it possessed layers and depth that I could draw few comparisons to, and definitely had the "what was that?" impact on me. However the one thing that made this one truly stand out was it’s elegance. To this day if you asked me to describe my idea of “elegance” I would have to say that that wine is an example that I would use.

Describe your perfect meal and the wine you'd pair with it.

Well, prior to Idol, I was in Piemonte, so how could I not mention white truffles on Tajarin with aged Barolo. But there is also something to be said about the simplicity of a white like Verdicchio from Le Marche (look for Sartarelli) that work their magic with the seafood of the Adriatic on a summer day. The zing and citrus nuances bring just about any fish back to life - no sauces needed here - just some grilled fish and lemon. A Rosso di Montalcino with some pici topped with wild boar ragu is also a nice, simple classic pair.

Simon sounded sincere last night - don't you think?

He was very gracious indeed.

Well, congratulations again, and thank you for your time.

It was my pleasure.

Monday, May 10, 2010

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La Corte Salice Salento (2007) Puglia

A delicious quaffer from La Corte, a Lecce-area winery owned by the Tuscan firm of Renideo, who produce a number of spicy Italian reds made from Negroamaro and Primitivo grapes. Their Salice Salentino is a blend of 80-85% Negroamaro and 15-20% Malvasia Nera that is aged in a combination of stainless steel tanks and oak for 18 months. Dark brick red in color, with a spicy, earthy nose. Peppery, but smooth finish. Terrific food wine. Not complex, but well made.