This article is brought to you by our friends at Beaver County Auto

For roughly the past 8,000 years, humans have been drinking wine. With roots in western Asia, such as Turkey and Georgia, wine eventually spread throughout Europe, into countries such as Greece and Italy, and eventually across the continent and across the ocean to the Americas. The Romans used to say, “In vino veritas,” which means, “In wine lies truth.”

The truth about wine here in Pennsylvania is that we have a system controlled by the Commonwealth, and we are given selections to choose from at various Wine and Spirits stores across the state. In some of the smaller stores, the selection isn’t all that great. In the bigger stores, you can usually find anything you want, from an $8 bottle of pinot noir to a $75 bottle of Brunello di Montalcino.

Beaver County is home to a new importer of Southern Italian varietals: Sulmona Imports. Sulmona Imports began as a way to bring wine here to Pennsylvania from the regions in Italy where many of our grandparents and great-grandparents came from – Abruzzo and Calabria.

Last August, I was able to visit with the owners of four wineries that now have their wine for sale through Wine and Spirits “special order” program, which I will touch upon in a moment. In Abruzzo, they are the wineries of Margiotta and Pietrantonj. In Calabria, they are Spadafora and Le Moire. Pietrantonj is one of, if not the oldest winemaker, in Abruzzo. And Calabria is the oldest wine-making region in Italy. It’s where the Greeks came after leaving Greece and planted vineyards to cultivate their grapes. There is tons and tons of history behind these two regions and winemakers, and Sulmona Imports is proud to bring their wine to Pennsylvania. In fact, it’s the only place in the United States where you can purchase wine from Margiotta, Spadafora, and Le Moire.

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If you’re a red wine drinker, Sulmona Imports carries two Montepulciano d’Abruzzo’s and three “Super Calabrian” blends using Magliocco grapes mixed with Merlot, Malvasia, and Sangiovese that are becoming very popular with those who have tasted them. If you’re a white wine drinker, you can purchase a beautiful Pecorino, Trebbiano, or Malvasia from Abruzzo, or again, “Super Calabrian” white blends using Mantonico, Pecorello, and Greco Bianco grapes. And if you’re into rose, a wonderful Cerasuolo is available to purchase. Drinking these wines is an experience you have never had before.

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Don’s Deli and Sulmona Imports have teamed up for at least two wine tastings that are happening on Saturday, February 22 and Saturday, February 29. The event on the 22nd sold out within 24 hours, so an extra date for the 29th was added. A third event is in the works for some time in March or April. For $50, those attending will dine on Caprese salad, charcuterie, pasta, and more. Each course will be paired with a different wine – two whites, two reds, and a rose. Acclaimed tenor and Italian teacher, Marco Fiorante, will lead the wine tasting to give those in attendance a small taste of Italy. For ticket information, email info@donsdelibc.com or visit their Facebook page.

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If you would like to purchase wine and learn more about Sulmona Imports, visit www.sulmonaimports.com/our-wine and follow the links on the page to Wine and Spirits. You will select what wine you want to purchase, choose what store you would like it delivered to, and pay to complete your purchase. Once it arrives at the store you will receive a notification it’s ready to be picked up. Sulmona Imports is also available for private wine tastings, which is a great way to get together with friends and try delicious wines you’ve probably never had before.

If you have any questions, you can contact sulmonaimports@gmail.com or visit their website – www.sulmonaimports.com. Salute!

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Marc is a lifelong resident of Beaver County. A 2001 graduate of Center High School and 2005 graduate of Point Park University, Marc is employed by the Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School and officiates high school and college football. Follow Marc on Twitter, Snapchat, and Instagram @marcgrando