The charm and heart of southern Italy in a bottle

A wine tasting that takes guests through the aromas, colors and flavors of the Fantini winery, opens the Italian Cuisine Week

Between gatherings and toasts, the guests take their seats to begin the tasting of wines from the Fantini group, from the heart of Abruzzo, southern Italy. The tasting marks the beginning of the Italian Cuisine Week that the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been carrying out since 2016 throughout the world, to reflect the history and cultural richness of the country’s cities, provinces and regions.

The annual event, which is dedicated to the promotion of high-quality Italian cuisine, is held in more than 130 countries and is promoted by Italian embassies and consulates, cultural institutes and offices of the Italian Agency for Foreign Trade.

In Panama, it starts from Monday, November 14 -and until the 30th of the same month-, with the wine tasting directed by the sommelier Flavio Andreatta and the president of the Fantini group, Valentino Sciotti, and the participation of the Italian ambassador in Panama , Fabrizio Nicoletti.

Vigneti del Salento, I Mugri Negromaro; It is the first wine they offer. Andreatta describes its structure as generous in terms of fruit, with intensity of red fruits and jams. The liquor has toasted, coffee and cocoa notes. It has a fruity aroma, velvety texture and a long finish.

“It is quite a modern wine in style; We don’t find the acidity that there is from Tuscany up, here we find a very generous land, a very intense, very strong sun, which allows the grapes to fully ripen”, says the sommelier.

The last two wines that they give to taste are from Madurria, “they will notice how the territory differs in the result”, warns Andreatta. The Vigneti del Salento Primitivo Zolla has a ruby ​​red color with violet reflections. The aroma is intense, fruity with notes of cherries and blackberries, with a remarkable and smooth structure, warm and tannic, with great persistence. The Leggenda is also ruby ​​red with purple veins, its aroma is intense. Stresses the sweetness and the final notes of coffee with cocoa. It has a lingering finish.

Before beginning the tasting, the president of the Fantini group, Valentino Sciotti, recounts part of the company’s history. “They discovered that southern Italy was an area with a lot of history, many years producing wines, but they never focused on the quality of these; they were loaded with sugar, and they were exported to give wines from the north, France and Spain a little more looseness of body”.

Sciotti says that the vineyard owners did not have the means to take advantage of the grapes, despite the fact that they had vineyards that were over 80 years old. However, they produced wine with no interest in reaching quality, so the founders of the group decided to save the heritage and make a wine with vineyards that are many years old, “it was something unique in the south, someone with that kind of concept, that was the key of the Fantini group”.

About Italian Cooking Week

Through the social networks of the Italian Embassy and the Italian-Panamanian Business Association (AEIP), a contest will be held to reward customers who get the most ‘likes’ with their photos of Italian dishes.

In addition to the restaurants, several importers and distributors will also be participating, supporting this great initiative that seeks to promote food consumption and knowledge of the Italian culinary tradition.

Italian cuisine is based on the Mediterranean diet, declared Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by Unesco in 2010, and is imitated, loved and practiced all over the world. Therefore, the Italian Embassy in Panama and the AEIP reiterated that “they are faithfully committed to promoting the culture, history, and social, professional, and economic development of Italy.”

They highlighted that with the event they also intend to encourage consumption in restaurants, “hard hit by the covid-19 pandemic, generating and supporting the economic development of Panama.”

The list of participating restaurants is published on the Instagram profile of the Italian Embassy: @italyinpanama.

The charm and heart of southern Italy in a bottle