Expert Tips Storing, Pairing & Serving Your Favourite Wines

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In Italy, Prosecco isn’t the apértif it is in Australia. Instead of a barside favourite, Aperol Spritz, the Italians drank their sparkling wine straight and chilled. But that just goes to show how versatile this drink is for entertaining. Just ask Pizzini Wines, who have been growing “the finest Italian varietal wines” in Victoria’s King Valley for over thirty years.

Behind their cellar door or on their official website, wine lovers will find a variety of wines, including refreshingly fizzy Prosecco, a tangy Pinot Grigio, and a soft and juicy Sangiovese, just to name a few.

At the helm sits family winemaker Joel Pizzini, who recently sat down with the Minimax Magazine team to share their passions and commitment to family and Pizzini’s Italian heritage.

Explore wine the Italian way through the eyes of Pizzini Wines.

Expert Tips Storing, Pairing, Serving Your Favorite Wines | Minimax

A Family Owned Business

The Pizzini family wasn’t always known for wine. Born in Italy, they immigrated to Australia in the early 1960s. They began working alongside their brothers and sisters-in-law to build their tobacco-growing business in King Valley, in Victoria’s northeast, the future home of Pizzini Wines.

Once the family transitioned to producing wine in the late 1970s, the next few decades would see the family-owned business switch focus from growing grapes to winemaking and hospitality.

In the early 2000s, the Pizzini family's children joined the business, establishing a new cellar door and cooking school before adding accommodation a few years later.

From their vineyard, Pizzini produces Italian wine varieties, including Prosecco, Pinot Grigio, Sangiovese and Nebbiolo. And in true Italian style, these wines are perfect food pairing wines, lighter in style, savoury and elegant. In their own words, “they don’t compete with bold flavours in food and help balance them on the palate.”

But that’s from a wine connoisseur, a master of their craft, someone that knows good wine from bad.

What about those that need a little helping hand with their wine pairings? There are plenty of people out there who want to expand their wine horizons. Questions like: how to pair wine with food to how to store wine are always hot topics.

Whether you’re a James Halliday regular or can’t tell the difference between sparkling white and Prosecco, the expert advice from Pizzini’s Italian heritage is here to guide your tastebuds and help you evaluate and better understand the complexity, flavours and aromas. And since Prosecco is their most famous wine, you’ll soon learn how to serve Prosecco for your next function or celebration.

Expert Tips Storing, Pairing, Serving Your Favorite Wines | Minimax

How To Store Wine At Home

Every home is different. Depending on your setup, space, storage options, and insulation can be challenging to control. But to keep things as simple as possible, Pizzini Wines recommends finding an area that will experience little to no vibration and temperature fluctuations.

If you’re storing wine under your staircase, you may want to reconsider, as the vibrations from daily stair climbing could impact your cellar collection.

Oh, and rather than wait for that special occasion to open your best wines, create one yourself. Cook a beautiful meal, invite some friends around and feast. We’ve got plenty of delicious recipes on the Minimax Style blog to tantalise your tastebuds.

But if you’re looking to cellar your wines and be rewarded by the promise of aged wine, here are some handy tips that we’ve sourced from Australian wine master James Halliday.

Wine Cellar Tips

• Temperature, light and vibrations can negatively affect the quality of the wine.
• If you don’t have a dedicated cellar, use the darkest, coolest space in your house to store wine.
• You can store screw cap wine bottles however you like, but you should keep corked wine on its side.
• Cellaring is an investment in time and money.
• Most wine is not designed to age and will decline in quality after two to five years.
• Wines that improve over ten or more years are surprisingly rare.
• Cellaring will not improve lousy wine.
• Ageing wine will make certain flavours more pronounced.
• Certain varieties will withstand ageing; others not so much.
• Ageing wine is a lot of trial and error.
• Well-aged wines develop flavours that some love and others loathe.
• Cellar multiple bottles of the same wine and check them periodically to determine the right time to drink them.

How To Pair Wine With Food

Ask any wine connoisseur about how to pair wine with food, and you’ll receive various answers depending on who you speak to; everyone’s palate is different, including yours. Although traditional wine and food matching rules generally follow the same established conventions - red wine with red meat; white wine with white meat - sometimes there isn’t time to create the ‘perfect’ match.

Another common rule is to pair full-bodied wines with full-bodied flavours and light-bodied wines with lighter meals. The idea is to complement the flavours of your meal rather than match them.

With the fusion of flavours in food and the array of wine varieties available to us, it is the perfect opportunity to experiment. If it isn’t perfect, does it matter? The best wine pairings are the ones that you enjoy!

Pizzini takes things even further with their wines, using Prosecco to make a Raspberry and Prosecco jam and as an integral ingredient in the marshmallow for Rocky Prosecco Road. Who knew Prosseco was so helpful!?

Tasting Notes

Speaking of helpful, Pizzini Wines offers guests tasting notes to help them evaluate and better understand the complexity, flavours and aromas of the Pizzini Wines range. While wine tasting will always have a subjective quality, some insight into how a particular wine is made and the expected flavours can make describing wine more accessible, allowing you to appreciate the entire experience better.

How To Serve Prosecco

Prosecco is just plain fun! This versatile and beloved drop is a sure-fire crowd-pleaser whether served on its own or mixed in a cocktail, like the lesser-known Margarita Spritz, which involves adding some tequila, lemon juice and sugar syrup. But we all know the real MVP of Prosecco is the Aperol Spritz.

Regardless of how you choose to drink it, here are a few helpful tips to ensure your prosecco experience is the best it can be.

Expert Tips Storing, Pairing, Serving Your Favorite Wines | Minimax

• Prosecco is best served chilled (between 6 degrees Celsius and 8 degrees Celsius) 

• Keep the bottle cold with an ice bucket (adding a bit of water will help chill things faster) 

• Open the bottle by holding the cork with your palm, and gently rotate the bottle from the bottom if you want to avoid ‘popping’ the cork. DO NOT SHAKE THE BOTTLE; this isn’t an F1 celebration.

• If you’re drinking Prosecco on its own, we recommend using champagne flutes instead of wine glasses

  ○ Krosno has an elegant selection of glassware, including these Crystalline Harmony Prosecco Glasses (set of 6). 

• For the classic Aperol Spritz, the bigger the wine glass, the better! 

• Holding the bottle by its body (never the neck), pour slowly, keeping your glass at a 45-degree angle to avoid a bubbly overflow. 

• Unlike some red wines, Prosecco does not need to be decanted in a carafe before serving. Save that for the Grange.

You’ll find plenty of glassware options at Minimax from some of the best European brands.

The Pizzini Wines Experience

A warm welcome awaits all who participate in the Pizzini Wines experience. In genuine Italian-style hospitality, the many different experiences offer guests an insight into the family’s passion for wine and their commitment to family.

From wine tastings paired with a savoury antipasto plate while you sample the Pizzini range to cooking classes at their ‘hands-on’ cooking school and overnight stays in the King Valley, allowing guests to visit other nearby cellar doors or take in some stunning natural attractions, including Paradise Falls or Powers Lookout.

“The King Valley is home to Italian wine varieties in Australia, but the rolling hills, pristine King River and peaceful vibe will keep you coming back to visit!”

For bookings and more information, visit Pizzini Wines online.

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