For those of you who celebrated Christmas this past weekend, I hope all your celebrations were filled with joy! My Christmas sojourn included exploring downtown Asheville, NC and  a marvelous day getting reacquainted with the Biltmore House that was beautifully decorated for Christmas. Since this is our last tasting of the year, I have selected a special red wine from Campania, the Costa d’ Amalfi DOC Furore Rosso from the Cantine Marisa Cuomo.

If you watched “Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy”, the second episode of season one was filmed in Campania with its  focus on Naples and the Amalfi Coast, where the Apennines end their run to the sea with stunning views of the picturesque seaside villages of Sorrento and Positano. Tucci felt this stretch of the Amalfi Coast was one of the most beautiful coastlines in Italy, if not the world.

Cantine Marisa Cuomo is located further west along the Amalfi Coast in the village of Furore. Although it shares its geography of steep cliffs that plunge to the sea with Sorrento or Positano, Furore’s houses are scattered along the slopes of the cliffs that await exploration on footpaths between small plots of land cultivated over many centuries, after the owners’ winning their struggle with the rocky soil.

Interspersed between the houses are views of the sea enhanced by gardens, terraces, pergolas, low walls of stone, murals painted on the walls of the houses and churches with bell towers or domes dating from the Muslim influence that began in the 9th century.

Cantine Marisa Cuomo was established in 1980 by Marisa Cuomo and Andrea Ferraiolo. Their 10 hectares of both red and white indigenous grapes are planted on extremely steep hills so the grapes bask in both the sun and the salty sea air. One of my Piazza colleagues and her husband spent their honeymoon on the Amalfi Coast and had a very memorable food and wine pairing at Cantina Marisa Cuomo. I am indebted to them for sharing their photos with us!

Costa d’Amalfi is a dry red wine blended with equal amounts of  Piedirosso and Aglianico grapes making it bright red with ruby hues, with an aroma of berries, hints of blackberries and currants, a smooth flavor and an aromatic finish. Perfetto with grilled meats or game, and Piazza ‘s aged cheeses.

Come join us for a tasting on Friday from noon to 5:45 or Saturday from noon to 4:45 to kick-start your New Year’s Eve weekend!

Jennifer Martella has pursued dual careers in architecture and real estate since she moved to the Eastern Shore in 2004. She has reestablished her architectural practice for residential and commercial projects and is a referral agent for Meredith Fine Properties. Her Italian heritage led her to Piazza Italian Market, where she hosts wine tastings every Friday and Saturday afternoons.