Tuscan Wines – Alternatives to Chianti


Vernaccia di San Gimignano pic

Vernaccia di San Gimignano
Image: castelwine.com

Michael Schamis, an experienced marketing analyst, enjoys both travel and wine tasting in his free time. Michael Schamis and his wife spent their honeymoon in the Tuscan region of Italy, an area known for its wine.

Many wine drinkers think of Tuscany and automatically associate it with Chianti. Produced from the Sangiovese grape, this category of eight different wine types has become the most famous type of Tuscan wine. Connoisseurs know, however, that the region produces not only other wines but other varieties of grape, as well.

The Vernaccia grape, for example, produces the Vernaccia di San Gimignano. A floral white wine, it pairs well with seafood and has an appealing crispness. The Trebbiano grape also produces such crisp whites as the Montecarlo, as well as the dessert wine Vin Santo. This particular variety, sometimes made from Malvasia grapes, involves a drying process that results in varying levels of sweetness.

Tuscany is still best known for its reds, however, and these include several that carry the superior Denominazione de Origine Controllata e Garantita (DOCG) designation. Such honored varieties include the Vino Nobile de Montepulciano and the Brunello di Montalcino, both of which produce wine from the Sangiovese grape.


Galicia’s Seafood Tradition in Northwest Spain


Galicia pic

Image: spanishfood.about.com

New Jersey entrepreneur Michael Schamis is experienced in diverse areas of marketing. He most recently provided regulatory consulting services to Registered Investment Advisors all over the United States. Michael Schamis has a passion for travel and exploring new cuisines, and loves cooking dishes from countries such as France, Italy, and Spain.

One of the distinctive food regions of Spain is Galicia, which occupies the northwest corner of the country, above Portugal. The rainy province is well known for its hearty stews, such as caldeirada, which is made with white fish, potatoes, and vegetables. Other popular dishes feature freshly caught seafood such as mussels, scallops, and oysters.

A particular local delicacy is pulpo a la gallega, also known as polbo à feira, which is made with octopus and potatoes. The dish involves simmering octopus in a pan for half an hour and then cooking the potatoes in the same liquid. The potatoes and octopus are then sliced and drizzled with olive oil. Finally, paprika, cayenne pepper, and rock salt are sprinkled on top, which gives the dish some spice.

Michael Schamis- Wine Spectator’s 100-Point Scale

The recipient of a master of business administration in sports and entertainment management from the Frank G. Zarb School of Business at Hofstra University, Michael Schamis currently serves as a sales associate with Mister Wright Fine Wines and Spirits on the Upper East Side of New York City. In this role, Michael Schamis aids people in selecting wines, including those ranked 90 points or higher on Wine Spectator’s 100-point scale.

Considered one of the world’s leading wine experts, Wine Spectator magazine assists customers by grading wines on a 100-point scale. The periodical’s professionals judge each wine based on its quality compared to other wines at their peak. Those scoring between 50 and 74 are “not recommended,” while bottles with a 95 to 100 ranking are deemed “classic: a great wine.” The other scores represent a range that runs from “mediocre” to “outstanding.”

To arrive at these scores, tasters adhere to a strict set of judging procedures. Wine tastings occur in private rooms with optimum temperature and humidity levels, and begin with the tasters trying a previously judged wine as a reference point. Subsequently, they go on a blind flight of between 20 and 30 wines organized by coordinators based on varietal, region, or appellation. While tasters learn the type of wine and vintage, they do not receive additional information related to cost or vintner. Although they generally taste each wine once, particularly poor-scoring and great-scoring wines are tried again to verify the initial reaction. Wine Spectator posts the final score on its website or in an upcoming issue of the magazine; the organization may also include a tasting note or a range of years to start drinking the wine so that consumers experience it at its best.