The Somm Set by Benchmark Wine Group






Dan Petrowski

Welcome to our newest series, The Somm Set. Each month we’ll be sitting down with a guest sommelier and uncovering their guilty pleasures, cellar staples, and everything in between! Follow as they hand-select their favorites from our warehouse, giving you the inside scoop on cellar must-haves!


This month on The Somm Set, we’re excited to feature Dan Petroski. Join us as we explore everything from his passion for wine, favorite wine and food pairing, and his newest endeavors.


The Somm Set Home
 

This week from Dan:

Hello Everyone.

I am hoping that everyone had an opportunity to dig into the Benchmark Champagne inventory last week. I will admit I drank a bottle of Vilmart Grand Cellier D’Or 2014 with friends over the weekend, and it was bursting with energy; we actually decanted it. That got me thinking about the freshness and vibrancy of the wine and our transition into white wines for dinner. The logical question is to ask yourself if you want to continue with lighter and brighter whites or go for something a little richer? (We can always do both.)

If any of you know me, you know that I founded Massican over ten years ago to create California’s best Mediterranean-style white wines. Massican is undoubtedly Italian-inspired, but the vibe encompasses the entire Mediterranean coastline. I started my wine career working at a vineyard in Sicily in 2005, and every time I smell almond cookies, citrus blossom, or seafoam (in wine and in life), I am transported back to that year of my life. So, you can say I am a white wine guy, but I shouldn’t say that too loudly because we’re transporting this to you from Napa Valley. But don’t worry, we’ll get to Napa reds in a couple of weeks.

For now, let’s look at some white wine options for dinner.

Cheers,

-Dan

White Wine

The first thing that you have to remember when serving white wines to guests is if you are serving white wine before red wine on the dinner table, then you really don’t want to go too fancy to impress your guests, or they are going to expect big things from you the rest of the evening. So, if you bought Bitcoin back in 2011, break out the Ramonet, Raveneau, or Roulot for your guests. If you didn’t and have a more modest budget, read on….

There is excellent Chardonnay all over Burgundy at less-than-mortgage prices. For example, I appreciate the Kermit Lynch import, Comtesse de Cherisey. They produce excellent Mersaults and Puligny Montrachets at a reasonable price, as does their neighbor in Puligny, Genot Boulanger, who has come on the scene of late and is getting better every vintage.

If you want to stay in the Chardonnay realm but wish to stay close to home, I would never pass up a glass of Aubert or HdV – see what I did there?.

But in my household, it is likely that we are going to pour you some whites from Italy at some point in the evening. I love Friuli through and through, but I also reminisce about my time living under the shadows of Mt. Etna and drinking Carricante from the hands of Salvo Foti when he was consulting for the Benanti family. Foti continues to keep his hands in a bunch of projects throughout Sicily. Two notable ones are: a project with fellow winemakers called I Vigneri producing natural wines, and Foti has partnered with Kevin Harvey of Rhys in California to produce a Mt. Etna White Wine that is sold through the Rhys mailing list. .

Heading back up north to Friuli - you will always find my cellar stocked with my favorite whites wines from Borgo del Tiglio, Ronco del Gnemiz, Miani, and Venica. I have this belief that Tocai Friulano is the greatest food pairing grape of all-time. It’s a white wine that can span categories from an aperitif paired with some Prosciutto and cheese, then head on to the table with salads and fish dishes and remain there all the way through a beef stew or pork-based dish. My favorite pairing was at my favorite restaurant in New York, Blue Hill; Massican Annia, a Tocai based wine, with venison. Buon appetito!.


Check out all the wines mentioned below!


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Domaine Ramonet
2017
3 Pre-Arrival
750ml
CT92

Wines due to arrive 3-4 months after purchase.

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Raveneau
2016
1 Pre-Arrival
750ml
TA93
JS91
VC91
CT91

Wines due to arrive June 2024.

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2015
3 In Stock
750ml
WA95
D93
CT93
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2014
6 Pre-Arrival
750ml
BH94
V94
WA94
CT93

Wines due to arrive June 2024.

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2018
1 In Stock
750ml
BH95
TA95
D95
AV95
VC94
CT94
V93
JS93
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Benchmark Wine Group

445 Devlin Road
Napa, CA 94558

Phone: 707.255.3500
Fax: 707.255.3503
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