Antonini Wines Featured at West Shore Cafe: Wine Educator George Foote Presents!

There is absolutely no place on the West Shore of Lake Tahoe that is a beautiful and elegant as The West Shore Café in Homewood. Thus it’s appropriate that they launched their winemaker dinners with beautiful and elegant wines. The Antinori wines presented in the USA in partnership with Ste Michelle Wine Estates provided a wide range of tasting experience and the chance for West Shore’s Executive Chef William “Rusty” Johns to show off his art.

George Foote, the Maryland-based and well-known National Wine Educator, was there courtesy of Ste Michelle to share stories of these Antinori wines.

Marchese Piero Antinori, the 26th generation of his family to sell wine, took the reins of the company in 1966. Somewhat of a renegade, he challenged the Italian authorities on their categorization of wines, and forged ahead with production of highly consumable food-friendly wines at affordable price points. Wines from Tuscany boomed. Now, in this generation, the three daughters of Piero Antinori are continuing the tradition of consistent excellence. This is one of the 10 oldest wine families in the world!

The Sangiovese “Santa Cristina”, Antinori, Tuscany 2009 was originally introduced in 1946 as a Chianti Classico by Piero Antinori’s father. Technically, this wine is a Super Tuscan, although it is not marketed as such. Primarily Sangiovese, it is blended with 10 percent merlot, and new in the 2009 vintage, 5 percent Cabernet. It’s a modern style Tuscan red wine, ready to be consumed, and it is referred to as “italy’s Favorite Wine.” Ruby red in color, the aroma is intense with cherry and raspberry fruit, hints of violet and toast too. It’s a very smooth wine, with soft tannins that are controlled and delicious, and a nice finish. 13 percent alcohol. $12 the bottle. Local distributor Southern Wine & Spirits is a believer in this wine, so in addition to being available at West Shore Café, Dockside 700 in Tahoe City also sells it by-the-glass and bottle. Chef Rusty paired it with Cioppino. Perfect.

The Tignanello, Tuscany, Antinori, IGT, Tuscany 2007 is a legendary Super Tuscan. The winery has focused on Sangiovese clones for years to improve this variety, and lets the fruit express itself through careful blending practices. This is the wine that singled-handedly altered the Italian wine laws, courtesy of the stubbornness and wisdom of Piero Antinori, allowing special wines from all regions throughout Italy to be produced in the new category IGT. The Tignanello is 80 percent Sangiovese and 15% Cabernet, with 5% Cabernet Franc added for balance. It is an intense ruby red, with aroma of ripe fruit and spice, vanilla and toast. Richly textured, the structure is complex and flavors are long and persistent with hints of chocolate, huckleberry and black plum on the finish. Tannins are managed well with this wine, and it is truly elegant. 14% alcohol. $100 the bottle. Paired delightfully with Chef Rusty’s T-bone steak prepared Italian style.

The Marchese Antinori Vin Santo 2006, Tuscany, DOCG , comes only in 500 ml bottles. Made in Tuscany since the medieval times, it maybe have been used during Mass. Antinori Vin Santo uses Malvasia and Trebbiano grapes from the Antinori estates in the Chianti region. Air dried in a loft and then pressed after several months, a long slow fermentation takes place over three years. The result is a bright yellow amber-hued dessert wine, with hints of honey and dried fruit. 15-16 percent alcohol. $42 the 500 ml bottle. The dessert pairing was an apple/pear tart.

The West Shore Café & Inn is on the lakefront adjacent to Homewood Mountain Resort. Phone 530 525 5200 for reservations. More information at

1 comment:

  1. I love your outlook on life, enjoyment and acceptance! What a great message for women! Thanks!