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Wine and Sopressata

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Howie Hart

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Wine and Sopressata

by Howie Hart » Fri Apr 28, 2006 8:44 am

Once again I attended the annual Home Made Wine and Sopressata Competition at the Como restaurant in Niagara Falls, NY. Although prizes are awarded, its more of a social gathering and a lot of fun. I had a table reserved for 25 and most of the friends I invited showed up. After the wines are entered, a small portion is poured into a carafe for the judges and the rest is put out on tables for everyone to help themselves. Similarly, the sopressata is sliced very thin, with enough reserved for the judges and the rest is put on large platters with cheese and crackers. It becomes pretty much a friendly free-for-all, with over 100 wines and 60 versions of sopressata among about 500 attendees. I tried several of other people's home made wines - a nice Riesling, a surprisingly nice Isabella and a terrible, sweet Baco. I overheard some of the Sopressata makers comparing notes, and I know that several were made with a mixture of pork and venison. There was quite a bit of variety here - some mild, som hot, some greasy, some grizzly and some excellent! I brought along a mixed case of my home made wines to share with my friends at our table, three of whom are also home winemakers who brought some of their wares. These included a nice Foch, an excellent dry Vidal and 2 vintages of Traminette, both of which were on the sweet side. (BTW - none of us won anything). After the free-for-all we were all served nice dinner of salad, Italian bread, pasta, pork cutlets, and Chicken Francesca (breasts with lemon). All-in-all, it was again a very fun evening. Note to self- make Sopressata for next year.
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Paul B.

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Re: Wine and Sopressata

by Paul B. » Fri Apr 28, 2006 10:59 am

Thanks for this, Howie! I was going to write you again and ask how the evening went.

I'm intrigued by the Isabella. Can you tell us a bit more about its style and what the aromas were like? I was under the impression that the variety was all but extinct in NY these days.

Thanks.
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Re: Wine and Sopressata

by Howie Hart » Fri Apr 28, 2006 11:34 am

It was pink, dry and I could have mistaken it for Delaware. Sorry, I'm just not very good at describing aromas, especially when there were so many wines there. :?
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Re: Wine and Sopressata

by Paul B. » Fri Apr 28, 2006 11:38 am

Howie, pink and dry is all it takes to get me excited. Sounds like a winner to me.

My Niagara is really well balanced - if I can filter it once more it, too, will be a real winner. Much better than I had expected given the acid-deficient grapes I got last year. I may have put in a bit too much sulfite though - I got some matchstick bite yesterday. I guess some vigorous aeration should help with that prior to bottling.
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TomHill

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Nice Notes...

by TomHill » Fri Apr 28, 2006 11:47 am

Howie,
Sounds like a very staid/stodgy evening!! :-)
PaulBertoli of Oliveto restaurant (Berkeley) swears by the use of (good) Lambrusco paired with cured meats. I agree, it works amazing well. The problem is finding GOOD Lambrusco, though. The Barbolini is easily my favorite. The BonnyDoon Frizzante Freisa works well also. And some of the Oz Sparkling Shiraz, too.
Wow...60 varieties of Sopressatta.. and probably not a one of them made from steamed tofu I bet. Pig parts be good!!
Tom
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Howie Hart

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Re: Nice Notes...

by Howie Hart » Fri Apr 28, 2006 1:00 pm

I can see where a nice Lambrusco would work with sopressata. In fact, if that sweet Baco I didn't like had some fizz, it may have worked also. No tofu, but I've read sopressata recipes that call for lard. :?
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Re: Nice Notes...

by Paul B. » Fri Apr 28, 2006 1:11 pm

Howie, just the mention of sweet Baco makes my stomach turn. I have tried a few such wines in Ontario and they have been uniformly bad. It's a poor attempt to try to mask the flaws associated with overcropping or perhaps even the detestable old practice of "water it down, sweeten it up" winemaking. That said, I think that Foch and Dechaunac do have better acid balance than Baco. Baco takes a skilled hand in the vineyard and winery to make well IMO.
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Jenise

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Re: Wine and Sopressata

by Jenise » Fri Apr 28, 2006 1:14 pm

Paul:
pink and dry is all it takes to get me excited


Must...not...respond....
Last edited by Jenise on Fri Apr 28, 2006 2:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Re: Wine and Sopressata

by Paul B. » Fri Apr 28, 2006 1:30 pm

Jenise wrote:Must...not...go...there.

Oh, but it does! I've railed against the view that rosés must be off-dry (this is a problem in North America especially - even in Ontario most rosés have that pesky bit of residual sugar chucked in). Of course most of us have pleasant recourse to Southern French rosés which are usually properly dry. But I constantly wish that the same pattern would start taking precedence here, also with our native wines.
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