Italian Wine and Food Institute in New York

Italian Wine and Food Institute in New York
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(ANSA) – Rome, November 19 – The Italian Wine and Food Institute (IWFI) is holding a Gala Italia Special Edition on December 7, 2012 to remind the US public just what makes Italian wines so special.

‘This year is the first time we are holding a special edition of Gala Italia,’ IWFI president Lucio Caputo told ANSA, ‘It will be a highly prestigious and elegant event aimed at giving more prominence to major Italian wines in a period of time that is certainly not easy’. IWFI (www.italianwineandfoodinstitute.com) is a non-profit organisation based in New York. It has been holding yearly events to promote Italian wines and gastronomy since 1985.

The event will take place in the ballroom of one of New York’s most renowned hotels, The Pierre Hotel. Located on New York’s fashionable Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, the luxurious hotel overlooks Central Park.

The evening’s line-up with begin with tastings of special vintages of Italy’s most acclaimed wines produced by highly respected names in the wine industry, such as Marchesi Antinori, Biondi Santi, Castello di Gabbiano, Lunelli, Folonari, Planeta, Rocca delle Macie, Sella e Mosca and Zonin. The owners of these well-known Italian wine estates will be present at the gala.

Guests include the cream of New York’s society, Italian VIPs, leading restaurateurs and trade representatives as well as the media. ‘Some of New York’s most famous restaurants, ranging from Le Cirque to SD26, have confirmed their attendance,’ says Caputo. ‘There will also be a prize awarded to the Italian wine that best presents the excellence of Made in Italy around the world’. A prize will also be given to 86-year-old Italian sculptor legend, Arnaldo Pomodoro, who will be attending the gala dinner.

Pomodoro is best known for his ‘Sphere Within Sphere’ works, which can be seen in New York, Washington, San Francisco, the Vatican Museums Ireland and Israel among other places.

The Wine Tasting will be followed by a black-tie dinner, where the Big Apple’s best restaurants will treat guests to their signature dishes. ‘The dinner will be supervised Sirio Maccioni and chef Filippo Gozzoli, who will personally pair the various dishes with ten Italy’s top wines,’ anticipates Caputo. Tuscan-born Sirio Maccioni is one of Manhattan’s most celebrated and charismatic restaurateurs, having wined and dined New York’s high society for almost half a century. The multi-awarded Miccioni is owner of Le Cirque, Circo and Sirio Ristorante in New York, as well as a variety of other ventures in Las Vegas, Mexico and the Dominican Republic. Chef Filippo Gozzoli has worked in prestigious restaurants and hotels throughout Europe now works in Maccioni’s Sirio Ristorante, based at the Pierre Hotel.

Between January and September 2011, Italian wine export in the USA was on the ascendancy, rising by 14.3% from the same period in 2010 for profits of over $926 million. Last year, Italian wines managed to amply beat main wine competitors in the US market: Australia, France, Chile and Argentina.

‘Italian exports are now losing ground to US wines, which are booming this year,’ Caputo told ANSA, ‘To try and combat this tendency we decided to organise this year’s special edition so as to give more lustre and visibility to Italian wines, showing what distinguishes them from lower-priced alternatives’.

Caputo has been promoting Italian wines and gastronomy throughout the world for over 20 years and has been awarded some of the nation’s top honours as a result, including the Cavalier of the Great Cross. He is the chairman of the European Wine Council and of the executive committee of the National Wine Coalition, among other things.

The Gala Italia Special Edition is organised by IWFI with the collaboration of the Italian Trade Commission and is under the patronage of Italian President Giorgio Napolitano and the Italian Ambassador to Washington. The event is sponsored by the Italian Ministry of Economic Development.

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