St. Joseph. Note the lily

Saint Joseph is most often thought of as the husband of Mary, the mother of Jesus and also his earthly, or foster father. But over the years as Christianity grew he was given many other hats and responsibilities. He is considered the patron saint of workers, with a feast day of May 1, patron saint of families, teachers, furniture makers (he was a carpenter by trade), travelers and a host of other things way too numerous to list here. His feast day is celebrated on March 19 which I grew up holding sacred as my name day as I was given his name at birth. In Italy and to Italians all over the world, “La Festa di San Giuseppe,” is a major holiday. And so it is that when I saw this bottle of wine it kind of called out to me. Kind of like hearing someone in the old neighborhood yelling “Hey, Joey Boy!!!”

Juliet’s Balcony, Verona

Valpolicella is an excellent wine from the Veneto region of Italy but specifically from the area around Verona, home of Romeo and Juliet as well as two gentlemen from Verona with whom Shakespeare was acquainted. It is made from three distinct grapes, Corvina Veronese, Rondinella and amd Molinara, each contributing a unique characteristic. But this particular wine is made from 70% Corvina Veronese, 15% Corvinone and 15% Rondinella, allowing for a uniqueness, a slight variation. There are also a few tiers of Valpolicella with this one being a Classico Superiore meaning that it is made only from grapes grown in the original production zone, has an alcohol content of at least 12%, is aged for at least one year and is made with partially dried Amarone grape skins in the second fermentation, or the ripasso.

Founded in 1989 by Robert Musoforiti and Frank Gentile, this was a typical wine importing business. But when they lost their largest selling brand to another importer they decided to begin again and create their own brand of premium wines exclusively from Italy. Thus the new, more exciting and personal brand was born, dedicated to quality and personality, and a devotion to the saint they prayed to. On each label you will find a lily, a flower usually being held by the saint, as a silent tribute to him.

Negrar Hills, Verona

Ripasso Valpolicella is a dry red wine made from the grapes grown in the Negrar Hills of Verona. This area is considered to be the finest spot for grape growing due to its microclimate. Harvesting at just the right time is just one of the many secrets to making this wine a true Classico Superiore. After the initial fermentation, the young wine is mixed, as I said above, with just pressed Amarone skins to undergo a second fermentation in oak barrels. This is what produces a stronger bouquet and a rich, velvety smoothness.

Now, Valpolicella wine is an excellent table wine. Good on its own it will also complement either a lighter meal of say lamb or pork, but will also pair very well with more robust dishes like a beef roast or tenderloin, or an old-fashioned Sunday gravy with all the usual trimmings like sausage, meatballs and the like. But it will also go well with hard cheese and dried meat appetizers like fresh mozzarella with prosciutto and arugula or soppressata.

Now, maybe I am a little prejudiced because of the name, after all, what is a greater honor than drinking wine with your name on the bottle, but I found this wine to be a real find. Rich ruby red color with a slight hint of violet. On the nose there is a hint of red berries and an equally slight hint of spice, pepper mostly which almost adds a mystery to it. On the palate, it is dry and full bodied, more so than other wines of this type, but velvety smooth with an ever so slight taste of vanilla. Because of the body of this wine it may not be the perfect selection for a hot summer day on the patio or by the pool. But for a dry, cool day outside, or when you crank up the A/C, it is perfect.

Alcohol – 13.5%
Price – about $17

By the way, your comments are always welcome and appreciated.

Alcohol – 13.5%
Price – about $17

Published by JC home

Retired and loving life in North Carolina. Writing was always an interest, so I decided to give this a try. Former teacher, Wall Street Brokerage Associate and Postmaster for USPS.


  1. This was a delightful post! Italian wines are incredible food wines (what grows together, goes together kind of food wine). Italy has hundreds of grape varietals that indigenous to Italy. I enjoy reading the story and the grape varietals in this wine. Thanks for sharing with us!

    This my first visit to your site.



    1. Thank you very much for your kind comments. I agree that Italy has so many different grape varietals. Just a shame that I may not get to try them all!lol.
      Thank you for visiting my site and for your comments. I really appreciate them. Visit again. I look forward to it.


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