Our journey through the wines and cheeses of Italy stops in Veneto, where we will be sampling a selection of Venetian wines. This highly productive wine region in northeastern Italy region is especially known for the sparkling Prosecco, named after the village where the grape originated, and made from the glera grape. While Prosecco may be the most well-known, a variety of wines and grapes are found here, including Verdiso, Bianchetta, Pinot Grigio and Pinot Noir. One of the other predominant and most important wines of the region is Soave, Prosecco’s non-sparkling cousin, made from the garganega grape. On Friday, we’ll be featuring Bottega Vinaia Pinot Grigio, Pizzolato Pinot Grigio, Bertani Valpolicella, Pizzolato Prosecco.
Along with those wines, we will be featuring another excellent Italian cheese, Grana Padano. Produced beginning in the eleventh century in the Po River Valley of northern Italy, this cheese remains a very popular alternative to its cousin Parmigiano Reggiano. The name “grana” comes from the grainy consistency or texture it has to go along with its sweet and nutty flavor. Made from cow’s milk, it is aged for up to two years or slightly more, developing stronger and more complex flavors and more crumbly texture as it ages. Try it as an alternative to either Parmigiano Reggiano or Pecorino Romano on your next bowl of risotto or plate of pasta.