February 2014 - Page 2 of 5 - Please The Palate
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While most of the country has been suffering through an exceptionally cold and never-ending winter, here in Los Angeles, we have been reveling in the summer-like days. Of course, I am not trying to rub it in to anyone as after all, what comes with our abnormally hot weather is a drought and risk of fire and earthquakes. But, nonetheless, on a Saturday in January, in our sundresses and sandals, we returned to Santa Anita Park, California’s legendary racetrack, for their first California Wine Festival at the Sunshine Millions California Cup.  
Each year the Tre Bicchieri tour comes to the US to showcase the best wines from Italy. So, I flew up to San Francisco for this year's tasting as it is a great opportunity to taste some of the best wines from Italy all in one place! Gambero Rosso, an Italian food and wine magazine founded in 1986, publishes the annual Guida Vini d'Italia. The wine ratings are based upon blind tastings by independent experts. Ratings are built up on the number of glasses (or bicchieri) awarded to a wine. This is then indicated in the wine guide with a number of stylized glasses next to the wine's name. The highest rating is Tre Bicchieri (three glasses).
  • Three glasses indicate "extraordinary wines".
  • Two glasses indicate "very good wines".
  • One glass indicates "good wines".
Originally founded by Amalio Aragon in 1970, Cillar de Silos is named for the cellar of the monastery of Silos, where the finest local wines were aged during Medieval Times. Today Amalio's son Roberto serves as the General Manager and his younger brother Oscar is the head winemaker and enologist. Their sister Amelia lives in London and handles sales, while also in the process of studying for the Master of Wine degree.
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