Every Wednesday, I meet with the staff of Osteria Via Stato for wine class. We pick 3-4 wines to taste, discuss and talk about what dishes might pair well with them, how you would describe the flavor to a guest, should you decant, not decant, etc. Italy has many wonderful wines that come from obscure regions that may not be as well known to diners and the staff at Osteria Via Stato are great ambassadors for these unique selections. They are an inquisitive bunch and diligently take notes as they swirl, sip, and taste. Despite the academic nature of these tastings, it is a great deal of fun and I look forward to these weekly sessions. The food at the restaurant is based on Chef DiGregorio’s travels throughout Italy and follows the Italian tradition of seasonally-prepared dishes featuring local ingredients. The all-Italian wine list features more than 300 Italian labels. Also nestled within Osteria Via Stato, is the cozy, Roman pizzeria - Pizzeria Via Stato.
This week I was particularly taken by the Nicolo from the Cosimo Maria Masini winery. The wine is based on Cabernet Sauvignon grapes grown in the province of Pisa, Italy. It is in essence a Super Tuscan or IGT wine meaning it does not conform to the government prescribed recipe for making Chianti. The wine features flavors of black cherries, cocoa, coffee and black berries. It is ripe enough to work well for fans of California Cabernet Sauvignon. It's on the list for $65 which is a relative bargain compared to it's more illustrious Super Tuscan counterparts which often sell for hundreds of dollars. If you happen to make it down to OVS - tell them I said hello and keep up the good work!