Buon Giorno a Tutti!

Our next Taste & Learn will be held Saturday, September 26 from 4-6pm. We’re excited to return to Tuscany, and will be featuring Castello Banfi wines.


Castello Banfi has been owned by the American Mariani family since 1978. In the early 1980s, the Mariani family dedicated a tremendous amount of effort, money and passion and launched a groundbreaking research project focused on the Sangiovese vine. The results of their study? They narrowed 650 Sangiovese clones down to the 15 clones that perform best in the area of Montalcino, where Castello Banfi is located.

I’ve been to Castello Banfi many times for tours, tasting and (of course) dining in their great restaurant. Being very familiar with Banfi wines, I must say that today, these wines rival the best Brunellos in Montalcino .

In fact, six months ago, Tom Blanco had me taste the 2008 Brunello Pioggio alle Mura. I told Tom it was the best wine I’ve ever tasted from Banfi–and of course I purchased many cases. This wine will be the star of this Taste & Learn.

First, however, we’ll begin with Pecorino, Cortalto, by Cerulli Spinozzi. This crisp and well-balanced white wine offers flavors of peach, apricot and orange with a hint of bitter almond. Pecorino will be paired with cold peach soup topped with an involtini of tuna tartar and almonds.

Our second wine will be Chianti Classico, Conte alla Selva, Banfi. Balanced with good acidity and enticing to the whole palate, we will pair this wine with ribollita. This traditional Tuscan soup is a specialty at Castello Banfi’s restaurant and is a hearty mix of white beans, vegetables and country bread.

Our third wine will be Rosso Di Montalcino Poggio alle Mura, Banfi. It offers a nose of fresh fruit, licorice, tobacco and hazelnut.The palate is full and soft, with a long finish. We will pair it with cinta senese
ravioli, served in a porcini broth with truffle.

At last–we come to our star: Brunello Di Montalcino, Poggio alle Mura, Banfi. This wine has a nose of violets, sweet ripe red fruit and berries. On the palate, it offers plums, cherries, blackberry jam and raspberry. It has a great structure and concentrated, supple tannins with a long finish. We will pair this exceptional wine with venison loin in a light raspberry crust with potato and spicy chocolate.

Our last Taste & Learn sold out and we’re anticipating the same this month. Don’t be left out! Make your reservations now. Call 702.364.5300 or CLICK HERE

See you September 26th!

Grazie and arrivederci,