Hank Zona’s Happy Hour AND Wine List
"The Grapes Unwrapped" debuts tonight, Thursday, at 9:30 p.m. on SOMA-TV.
Hank Zona, proprietor of Swirl Wine Events, is taking it to the tube. The first episode of his television series, "The Grapes Unwrapped," will be broadcast tonight on SOMA-TV or can be seen here. The show is produced by Jim Calabrese; Joy Yagid is executive producer.
Local resident and active parent volunteer, Zona has taken his wine expertise to the masses before. This Friday will see him introducing an array of sparkling wines to fencing parents and friends as a fundraiser.
Now a broader audience can share his knowledge and passion, which, in this first episode, Zona traces to his immigrant grandparents. “Wine was a big part of everyday life,” he says, and his interest and knowledge grew over the years.
This first episode takes viewers with Zona to Arturo’s for conversations about what makes the pizza work – and why Arturo’s has become a destination for serious eaters and wine drinkers.
Zona talks viewers through a pizza meal, what to seek in a wine, and gives suggestions that work with Arturo’s six-course tasting menu. Future episodes will see him take viewers through other meals. The wines sampled are shown at the end of the episode, including price information.
As Zona says in closing, “We love what we do and we love to share that passion.”
Fill a glass and tune in tonight.
In South Orange: Cablevision channel 19; FIOS channel 44
In Maplewood: Comcast channel 35, FIOS channel 24
SO/Maplewood: FIOS channel 22
UPDATED: By popular reader demand, Zona has revealed his vintage picks for Arturo's. He notes that if you can't get the exact wine, this will help you find something similar.
Wines at Arturo's
Brezza Dolcetto d'Alba San Lorenzo, Piemonte, Italy, 2008 (around $18)
Mauritson Estate Wines, Zinfandel, Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma, California, 2007 (around $27)
Opera 02 Lambrusco di Modena Secco, Emilia Romagna, Italy, 2008 (around $18)
La Spinetta Barbera d'Asti Ca' di Pian, Piemonte, Italy, 2007 (around $17)
Wines On The Counter
Tomasello Winery Outer Coastal Plain Sangiovese-Shiraz, Atlantic County, New Jersey, 2008 (around $9)
Charles Smith Wines, "The Velvet Devil" Merlot, Columbia Valley, Washington, 2008 (around $12)
Three Wine Company, three Petite Sirah, Contra Costa County, California, 2008 (around $18)