In 1975, Charlie Massie opened his own import and wholesale company, the first in New York City — a move that branded him a pioneer in the alcoholic beverage industry. In time, Massie landed Stolichnaya and later helped design the image and new bottle design for Absolut Vodka, going on to become Absolut’s largest distributor.
In 1982, Massie became the first distributor to bring fine California wines to the New York tri-state area. In the early ’90s, he traveled to less-explored areas of France looking for new brands to include in his portfolio; he picked up 55 properties. In 2001, Massie saw an opportunity in prosecco, a little-known Italian varietal, and brought the sparkling wine from Cantine Riondo into the United States, launching Riondo USA in 2006 in partnership with Italy’s Cantine Riondo Winery.
Riondo Prosecco is from the Veneto region of Italy, which has 20 DOC zones and is renowned for the quality and quantity of its grapes. Riondo Prosecco is fruity and light- bodied, with floral notes, effervescence and a clean, delicate finish. Try this sparkling wine before or after dinner or on its own. It retails for a budget-friendly price of $14.99.
Riondo Pink Spago Argento is also from the Vento region, one of the foremost wine-producing regions in the world. Light-bodied, this pink sparkling wine also has terrific floral notes and a very clean, delicate finish. Try this wine on its own, or before or after dinner. Retail price: $14.99.
Riondo Moscato d’Asti is from the Piedmont area in the northern part of Italy and is one of the hottest wines on the market because of its touch of sweetness. This fruit-forward wine is made with 100 percent Moscato and has distinguished aromas of over-ripe peaches and honeydew melon, with lingering flavors of rich apricot. Try it on its own, or before or after dinner. It retails for $14.99.
Look for these wines at Acme Fresh Market, Buehler’s Fresh Foods, Heinen’s, Giant Eagle, Papa Joes, Unexpected Wine and Gift Basket and other fine wine retailers in the Greater Akron area.
/ Rick Rodger is a manager at Heidelberg Distributing Company.