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Taste of Italy: Wines & Small Bites at Zio Peppe

August 8, 2023 @ 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM


Tuesday, August 8, 5:30 PM – 7:30 PM. Taste of Italy: Wines & Small Bites at Zio Peppe with Chef Devon Sanner & Bob Leopardi. Cost: $75.00 per person.

Cin Cin! Wine has been part of Italian culture and everyday life since the Mycenaean Greeks brought viticulture with them when arriving in Sicily and southern Italy in the 8th century BC.

Centuries later, Romans took it to the next level, using props and trellises, and presses for extracting juice, discovering aged wines tasted better and were the first to store it in wooden barrels. They also forged the foundation of generally accepted winemaking wisdom, taking time to classify their grapes, and learn more about climate and terroir.

Whether you’re a seasoned sipper or a novice, join Zio Peppe Chef/Owner Devon Sanner (who on July 22 will compete to become Tucson’s next Iron Chef) and wine authority Bob Leopardi for this deliciously fun evening. No passport required! Wines will be available to order.

You’ll enjoy three whites: San Lorenzo Gavi from Piemonte. Cortese, a white grape variety, is famously associated with the crisp, lime-scented wines of Gavi, where it’s been grown for hundreds of years. It’s known for its bracing acidity and ability to retain freshness even in warm environments. Apple, peach and honeydew flavors are commonly associated with Cortese wine, with lime, almond and light herbal or grassy aromas. It’s considered Piemonte’s finest white variety and is often credited as introducing the world to Italian white wine.

Viticoltori de Conciliis Falanghina from Campania, the wine region in the shin of Italy’s boot, with Naples the largest city. Falanghina vines thrive in the porous volcanic soils around Mount Vesuvius and the warm Mediterranean climate. The fuit is yellow skinned and coated with a thin layer of protective wax. As a wine, Falanghina can have a slight pine scent, but is better known for its citrus-blossom aromas, in particular bitter orange. On the palate it typically shows apple and pear flavors, with spicy or mineral notes.

Venica & Venica Pinot Grigio from Friuli-Venezia Guilia, the source of some of Italy’s best and most distinctive white wines, where Italian, Germanic and Slavic cultures converge. The wines produced in this far northeast region reflect this merging of cultures. The natural copper-colored extracted with maceration is the wine’s signature and its intriguing taste and pleasant richness is reminiscent of pear, banana, quince peels, and Acacia flowers wrapped in a slight scent of fresh apricot. It has a good acid/alcohol balance with a long fruity finish.

Three reds: Lenotti Valpolicella from Veneto, a region in Italy’s northeast corner with Venice the capital. Lake Garda is to the west, the Dolomite Mountains are north and the Adriatic Sea to the east; the landscape of Veneto is rich and varied. The wine is intense, deep and fruit-driven, with a plethora of spices with characteristics of pepper, raspberry, cherry, plum, and leather.

Domenico Clerico Dolcetto from Langhe, Piemonte. With the visually stunning Alps the backdrop, the enchanting and rolling hills of Piemonte are the source of some of Italy’s longest-lived and most sought-after red wines. The winemaking for Dolcetto sees just four days of skin maceration, accounting for its delicate approach. The early harvest keeps the alcohol content low and the gentle extraction maximizes its aroma and drinkability; it ages in steel. Its red fruits notes push out of the glass with pleasant tannins and slight spice.

Bastioni dei Collazzi Chianti Classico DOCG from Impruneta, Florence. Villa Collazzi, designed by Michaelangelo in 1560, is one of the most impressive estates in Tuscany. The architectural landmark sits atop a hill a few miles south of Florence, offering commanding views of the surrounding countryside. A few kilometers from the cellar, mature Sangivoese vines, along with smaller sections of Merlot and Malvasia Nera, combine to create “Bastioni.” The hand-harvested grapes, registered on the DOCG list, are fermented in controlled temperature vats, later refined for 12 months in barriques (AKA Bordeaux barrels), giving the wine elegance, complexity, character, and flavor. Its unique personality: bouquet notes of red fruit and cherry, with thick, ripe tannins.

CLASS NOTES: The class, limited to 40, will be held at Zio Peppe, 6502 E. Tanque Verde Rd. You’ll receive an email with event details 3 days in advance. Please use an email address you frequently check. Our emails can get caught in spam filters or blocked entirely. Please contact us if you don’t receive the class information.

All classes, workshops and events are nonrefundable. You can request a transfer to a different class or event up to 7 days prior to the class or event. Culinary Boot Camps or workshops require a 14-day notification. Your request must be emailed to [email protected]. If you’re exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms, contact us immediately at [email protected]. Click here for required in-person waiver.

Please know it may be necessary to cancel select classes if 20 or fewer guests enroll. We apologize in advance for any inconvenience; we’ll personally reach out to each guest in case of cancellation.


Sponsored in part by Tucson Foodie. Tucson’s best restaurants, covered daily.


August 8, 2023
5:30 PM - 7:30 PM
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Zio Peppe
6502 E Tanque Verde Rd
Tucson, AZ 85715 United States
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