Organic Piedmonte wines at an exceptional value

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By Dathan Kazsuk | Feb 15, 2013

I was suppose to do a social networking event in downtown Raleigh on the day of Feb. 7, but when I got an email from my friend and store-owner of Wine 101, Joe O’Keefe, telling me to bring my wife and I to his shop for a wine class hosted by Piedmont Wine Imports’ Jay Murrie – I couldn’t pass up that opportunity.

Wine 101 is a wine and beer shop located in Wake Forest, and we have considered this one of our favorite places to go to hang out with friends, gossip, and enjoy some great beer and wine. Joe is amazingly great with people, unlike a few other shops we’ve been to where it seems the owner goes out of his way to avoid you.

But when Joe has an event, it’s best to pencil that date down on your calendar and be sure you attend. And you know you’ll usually run into a handful of the locals, who seem to call Wine 101 a home away from home, just like we do.

This time, Joe brought in Jay Murrie, co-owner of Piedmont Wine Imports, a company that sells wines from small family wineries out of the Piemonte and Tuscany regions of Italy. It’s also great because Jay and Luc Suér (the other co-owner) only select wines that are natural (none of those nasty chemicals and such that you find in some of the other wines we all drink).

That night Jay selected 5 wines for the class to sample, along with a bonus wine selected by Joe himself. The wine class consisted of around twenty people in the new “beer” room.

Let me start by saying Jay is a great storyteller. Each wine he poured had a story that went along with it, as Jay talked about his travels to Italy visiting each of the winemakers at their small vineyards in the Piemonte region. From binge-drinking, driving on icy roads to having a winemaker prepare a day-long meal for Jay – it was all there in his rather lengthy stories.

The first wine we sampled was the Borgo Moncalvo, bottled by Andrea and Luca Elegir. It was a nice, crisp white wine, which went well with the antipasto plates Joe had available for us to snack on.

From there, I got a little lost with the exact names and order of the wines we sampled. We did have a sheet on our table, but they weren’t matching up with the wines Jay was pouring. But that really didn’t matter, because each one of the organic wines we tried that night were nice wines. 

In the end, we had a great time listening to Jay’s stories and will be back again on March 7 when Piedmont Wine Imports will be back at Wine 101 with a selection of wines from the Tuscany region.

Wines purchased that night: Saccoletto Minerva Vino Rosso and Cascina Barisel Dolcetto. Two nice snags that I can’t wait to open the next time I craft up an Italian meal at home.