Brunello di Montalcino Anyone?

One of my goals for 2019 is to do more local wine events here in Utah so I was excited when I noticed Veneto, an authentic Italian restaurant, here in Salt Lake City was hosting a wine event focusing on Brunello di Montalcino!

Let me start with the restaurant itself and then I’ll move on to the wine. Owners Marco and Amy Stevanoni make you feel right at home from the moment you step into this quaint space. Not only is the food authentic but you truly feel like you are in a small European bistro surrounded by antique furniture, intricate details and an inviting setting you would expect from this culture. The menu offers year-round classic favorites and seasonal specialties from the Veneto region with most of the ingredients farmed locally.

There is no tipping in Veneto or at VENETO, adding to the relaxed environment of simply enjoying a delicious meal and quite possibly learning something new along the way. Their team is paid a professional salary and then they simply add a small “coperto” (“covered” in Italian) of $4 per guest to each check. Again, allowing their guest to focus on their dining experience instead of worrying about how much to tip at the end of the evening. Any tips above and beyond that are donated to The Danielle Byron Henry Migraine Foundation.

The focus of the tasting was on Brunello di Montalcino, a red Italian wine produced in the vineyards surrounding the town of Montalcino located south of Florence in the Tuscany wine region. There are four different areas of Montalcino which includes modern and classic producers. As Marco stated, it’s more important to drink where the wine comes from, not who is making it.

Wines from the south have a connection with the sea. Heat and sun play a role in the grapes ripening early. Of the two Brunello’s I enjoyed from the south, I favored the classic versus the modern. The 2012 Col D’Orcia Brunello. It was earthy; mushrooms, forest floor and herbaceous notes with chewy tannins.

The west region of Montalcino has a sandy terrain, creating more lean and simple wines…not as much complexity. It also has the least amount of wineries. This area doesn’t get as much sun and is wetter. Even so, I preferred the Classic Brunello from this area as well. These wines pair nicely with high fatty foods.

The North is also a cooler climate, more fog and frost than the other areas. The 2013 Il Marroneto Classic Brunello was a good one. Very interesting and complex, I love that I would pick up on different characteristics of the wine each time I smelled it.

The favorite of the day was the 2013 Casanova Di Neri Modern Brunello from the east region. This wine has the perfect balance between fruit and earthiness. Also includes herbaceous notes, licorice, vanilla and oak. Wines from this area tend to be more complex.

If you are local, in the Salt Lake City area, make it a point to experience Veneto’s fine dining. It’s a treat, you will not be disappointed. I have also linked a few of the wines below that I really enjoyed from the tasting. Simply click on the picture and it will take you to a site where you can order it directly! These are all unique and exceptional in their own true fashion. I’ll definitely be adding more of these favorites into my regular wine routine. Cheers to Brunello di Montalcino!