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wine from italyWine Reviews & Musings

This section the website goes beyond Wines of the Month selections. Here you will find wide-ranging wine topics that explore what it is about Italian wine that is so compelling and memorable and keep you informed on current developments across the Italian wine scene. Some recent postings include:

Other topics covered include reviews of wines from specific Italian wineries, discussions of Italian wine varietals or wine regions, interviews with Italian winemakers, discussions of my favorite types or categories of Italian wines, Italian wine trends and markets and other wine-centric topics as the spirit moves me. View reviews and musings »

D.Cwineglass with iris flower. metro area wine bars and wine-friendly restaurants

Wine bars are popping up in the Washington, DC metropolitan area like corks from celebratory bottles of Prosecco. While there may not yet be one on every corner, new wine bars are appearing on the scene on a fairly regular more about D.C. metro area wine bars and wine-friendly restaurants »

Included is a listing of area wine bars and restaurants with extensive wine lists in the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia


Where to Stay, Dine & Taste Wines in Italy

Explore travel itineraries in Italy that will appeal to intrepid souls that want to explore on their own and combine their love of travel with some wine country or vineyard tours, wine-friendly restaurants and enoteche (wine bars), or just visit interesting and historically significant places. For example, there is a proposed travel itinerary for the northeastern Veneto Treviso to Marostica and return as well as An Insider's Guide to Tasting Wines in the Piedmont: Wineries, Enoteche and Wine Shops. This section of my website should especially appeal to wine enthusiasts that love to travel and sample la dolce vita. view where to stay, dine and taste wine in italy »

Of Special Interest

The Impact of Climate Change on the Wine Industry

Climate change is beginning to affect the singular flavors that people know and have come to expect from different wines as well as the viability of longtime wine regions. To counter the effects of evolving climate change on the wine industry, grape growers and winemakers will have to start making some difficult and intriguing decisions about the best way to respond. From a macro perspective, their success in this regard could well determine whether some indigenous grape varieties and/or historic wine regions become unfeasible and have to be replaced by new or different ones.
In an interesting article titled Will We Still Enjoy Pinot Noir? published in the prestigious Scientific American, Kimberly A. Nicholas examines the various climate-related issues facing the wine industry, what wine regions around the world will be most impacted and discusses various options and potential responses. Ms. Nichols is an Associate Professor of Sustainability Science at Lund University in Sweden and an international wine the article»


Wine for the month of april 2017

Les Cretes, Petite Arvine Valle d’Aosta 2015 (about $24)

Val d’Aosta is not a region that readily comes to mind in discussions of Italian wine. The Aosta Valley is a mountainous region in far northwestern Italy that shares a border with France on the west and Switzerland on the north. It is Italy’s smallest and least populous region and the only region ... read the article »


Wine for the month of march 2017

Tenuta di Capezzana, “Villa di Capezzana” Carmignano DOCG 2010 (about $26)

The Capezzana winery has deep roots, so to speak, in Tuscany. The estate’s website indicates that they’ve been producing Tuscan wines in the Carmignano region since the 804 AD  and some buildings and cellars on their property date back to the 1400’s. The owners of Tenuta di Capezzana were influential voices in the decision to upgrade the Carmignano appellation from DOC to DOCG status in 1990 ... read the article »


Wine for the month of february 2017

Duca di Salaparuta, “Passo delle Mule” Nero d’Avola 2011 (about $19)

Duca di Salaparuta is one of Sicily’s oldest and most prominent wineries. Originally founded in 1824 it has been an influential Sicilian wine producer since its founding. Today the company has extensive vineyard holdings throughout Sicily and markets a variety of premium red and white wines bearing primarily Sicily IGT appellations ... read the article »


Wine for the month of january 2017

Accordini Igino, Valpolicella Ripasso Classico Superiore 2009 (about $25)

Accordini Igino is a family-owned winery located in the hills outside Verona within the Valpolicella Classico zone. While the Accordini family has cultivated grapes and produced wines since the early 1800’s, it wasn’t until the late 1970’s that they began to sell wines under their own label. At about the same time ... read the article »


Wine for the month of november

Ricossa, Piemonte Barbera Appassimento 2014 (about $24)

This Barbera from the Ricossa Antica Casa winery is decidedly different than traditional Barbera.  It utilizes dried grapes from the appassimento process, the same process used to produce Amarone wines. In many ways this wine incorporates some of the best features of both the variety and the process ... read the article »

Two Bold Red Wines From the Veneto

Zenato, “Alanera” Rosso Veronese 2012 (about $18)

The “Alanera” Rosso Veronese from the Zenato winery is an innovative take on the centuries-old appassimento process used to produce Amarone, the Veneto’s premier red wine. However, it differs from the traditional process in two important respects... read the article »

Cesari, Amarone Della Valpolicella Classico 2012 (about $40)

The Cesari winery has been producing classic Amarone wines since its founding in 1936 by Gerardo Cesari. Today the Cesari estate produces three versions of Amarone. The Amarone Classico is Cesari’s most affordable and approachable Amarone and the 2012 is Cesari’s most recent Amarone available for sale ... read the article »


A Self-guided Wine Tour of Southern Tuscany: Where to Dine, Sip and Buy Wine in Montepulciano and Montalcino

Montalcino and Montepulciano are two engaging hill towns in southern Tuscany (i.e., Tuscany south of Siena) with distinguished pasts and embellished with historic architecture and Renaissance art. But Montalcino and Montepulciano are also prominently known for their wines - Vino Nobile for Montepulciano and Brunello for Montalcino - and both cities and their environs are filled with cantine, enoteche (wine bars), world-famous wineries and wine-friendly restaurants.

This article provides a self-guided tour of wineries in the Montepulciano and Montalcino areas that welcome visitors for tours and tastings. Also presented are listings of local wine shops that have wines available for tasting by the glass and wine-friendly the article»


Twelve Great Wines From Southern Italy Worth Splurging On

Wines from southern Italy have historically been overlooked in favor of the better-known and popular wine regions of northern Italy - mainly Tuscany, Piedmont and the Veneto. However, southern Italy has a rich winemaking heritage and is considered the birthplace of Italian wines. With its warm Mediterranean climate, rich volcanic soil and abundance of ancient native grape varieties, vineyards have dotted southern Italy’s landscape for thousands of years the article»


The Wines of Mount Etna: From High-altitude, Volcanic Vineyards Come Wines with Attitude

Among Italy’s numerous and vibrant wine regions, the Mount Etna region in northeastern Sicily seems an unlikely site for producing any wines let alone quality wines. Mount Etna is an active, fearsome volcano that has erupted from time to time, sometimes savagely, for thousands of years. Nonetheless, it is one of Italy’s hottest wine regions, so to speak, and vintners are now scrambling to purchase vineyard property in the region the article»

a selection of pizza-friendly italian wines

Finding a wine that goes well with pizza can be an intimidating challenge. What glass of red wine with pizzamakes the choice of a wine so daunting is that there is no such thing as a “typical” pizza. Pizzas, like people, come with all sorts of personalities and styles. Pizzas may have thin or thick crusts and range the article»


Italy's Best Merlot Wines

Merlot is not a wine that readily comes to mind when discussing Italian wines. In a country populated with hundreds of different indigenous wine varieties and numerous attention-getting and popular wines such as Barolo, Barbaresco, Brunello and Chianti Classico, to name a few, Italian Merlot doesn’t rise to the level of wide popular recognition.

However, Merlot wines have increased in popularity in recent years with increased production of both blended wines as well as 100 percent Merlot wines. the article»

Unexpected Pleasures – More Fine Italian Wines From Off the Beaten Path

In a previous posting on this website, I reviewed some noteworthy Italian wines that merit attention but are not particularly well known in this country. Italy is a complicated wine country with a rich and varied wine culture. Every one of Italy’s twenty regions grows grapes and produces wines and the country can lay claim to hundreds the article »

Top Ten Affordable Super-Tuscan Wines

The words “affordable” and “Super-Tuscan” don't often appear in the same sentence. Super-Tuscans are big, rich, intense and modern wines that often carry triple-digit price tags, especially acclaimed Super-Tuscans with bold-face names like Ornellaia, Messorio, Solaia, Tignanello or Sassicaia the article

The perfect $5,000 Italian wine cellar

In a previous posting I formulated a proposed personal wine cellar that consists entirely of Italian wines and costs approximately $1,000 at current retail prices. Now, I’m going to up the ante and look at what one can buy in the way of Italian wines for $5,000.

But it’s not just a matter of going out and buying wine until you’ve reached the $5,000 limit the article »

Sgroppino - A Refreshing Venetian Treat

I was first served this drink after dinner with my wife, Julie, and a few friends at a small, family-run restaurant on Campo San Margherita in Venice last year. Dinner was delightful and as we began to tuck into our desserts, the waiter - who I believe was the owner - without any prompting, simply announced that he was going to serve us one of Venice’s most famous the article»

An interview with giovanni zullo of tenuta viglione in puglia

Puglia (or Apulia as it’s known outside of Italy) is the region located on the Adriatic coast in southeastern Italy, in the “heel” of the “boot” that comprises geographic Italy. Because of its warm Mediterranean climate and relatively flat, fertile plains, wine has been produced here for thousands of years and in prodigious quantities. Puglia’s economy is heavily dependent on wine the article»

travel itinerary for matera: Three Days Exploring Southern Italy’s Hidden Gem

Matera is one of the most unusual, interesting and singular tourist destinations Matera cathedral at summitin Italy. While located in the off-the-beaten-track region of Basilicata in southern Italy, Matera is internationally famous for its extensive and ancient cave dwellings, known as sassi, that were inhabited as far back as the article»


Franciacorta Wines: Quality Italian Bubbly to Celebrate the New Year – or Any Time of Year

Italy offers discriminating wine lovers an astonishing array of super sparkling wines with which to celebrate the New Year or just to enjoy any time of year for that matter. One doesn’t need a special occasion to enjoy a festive sparkling wine. Any excuse will work like “it’s Saturday, let’s celebrate” or the article»


Cheery Italian Sparkling Wine for Summer Festivities

A charming and refreshing but lesser known option in the Italian sparkling wine lineup is Brachetto d’Acqui. Like most other Italian sparkling wines, Brachetto d’Acqui (bra ket’ tah dahk’ qui) is produced in the cooler regions of northern Italy, in this case the Piedmont region in northwestern Italy. This seductive red sparkler is just waiting to be discovered by the American wine public. This delicately sparkling, light ruby-colored wine is characterized by pronounced red fruit aromas the article»


Taking it Outdoors: Ten Great Value-priced Italian Wines for Al Fresco Dining

No doubt about it, summer is almost here and your thoughts are turning to moving your dining outdoors. And whether it’s relaxed snacking on your patio, hors d’oeuvres for a summer garden party, grilling ribs or steaks or a picnic in the park, there is a great, inexpensive Italian wine that’s perfect for the occasion.
Listed below are ten Italian wines – reds and whites as well as a rosé - that are ideal companions for a wide variety of outdoor entertaining and dining occasions. Some are light and the article»

Prosecco, Figs and Serendipity

It was serendipity that escorted us to the cantina, er, farm last year while traveling in the Veneto. It was early afternoon on a brilliantly hot day in early summer and we were leisurely driving in our rented Fiat to Asolo after visiting Villa Barbaro, the magnificent 17th century Palladian estate in the article»

An Eclectic Guide to Rome’s Best Wine Bars

To be honest, I don’t know if these are the best wine bars in Rome. There are a lot of wine bars (or enoteche) in Rome and I Winebar in Romehaven’t the time or financial resources to sample all of them. Rather, these are simply the ones I have enjoyed the most during my several trips to Rome in recent years and that best meet my criteria for a really quality wine bar the article »

Italy's Greatest Wines for a "Magnifico" Wine Cellar

Suppose you have virtually unlimited discretionary income and want to stock your wine cellar with only the greatest Italian wines. Here the emphasis is solely on quality and price is not a constraint – you want the best of the best Italian wines. Since there are a lot of really good wines in Italy from which to choose, I limited the number of selections to what I consider to be the thirty-five best wines that Italy has to offer - regardless of price. The competition for a spot in the top 35 Italian wines is toughread the article »

a tasting of red wines from sardinia

The island of Sardinia (Sardegna) lies off the west coast of central Italy. With its rugged mountains, rocky coasts and dazzling beaches accentuated by enigmatic pre-historic stone structures, Sardinia has long been a popular destination for Italian and other European tourists. However, Sardinia is not particularly well known to most Americans and not on the American travel industry's radar screens.  For most Americans the article »

best italian white wines for summer sipping

When it comes to versatility, food-friendliness and outright summer sipping pleasure, it is hard to beat a white wine, especially one from Italy. People generally want to take a simpler approach to life during the hot months of summer. Formal dinners give way to simpler, buffet or even picnic-type get-togethers where formidable red wines would be out of place. Rather, these types of get-togethers call for crisp and refreshing white wines that can be served either by themselves for refreshing sipping, as aperitifs or as accompaniment to luncheons or other light summer the article »

amaro - the better italian bitter

The Italian liqueur, Amaro (ah ma roh), is one of my favorite after dinner drinks. Ever since I was first served this liqueur after dinner at a restaurant in Bologna, I have been hooked on them, or at least most of them (more on this later). However, on those occasions when I have served them to guests, response to them has been what might charitably be described as mixed. There is a wide range of styles the article»

Mirto and the Bounty of Sardinia

Whenever my friend Andrea schedules a return visit to his native Sardinia, I try to remember to ask him to bring back a bottle of Mirto for me and to give him some cash to cover the cost. It’s one of my favorite after-dinner drinks and since it’s difficult to find in the U.S. his courtesies in this regard are always appreciated.

Mirto is a liqueur unique to the islands of Sardinia and Corsica. It is made the article»

The Subtle and Bubbly Charms of Prosecco

Prosecco is easily Italy’s most popular sparking wine. Light, refreshingly effervescent and inexpensive, it is an integral part of most luncheons, weddings, birthday parties and other celebrations throughout Italy. It is also a popular before-dinner drink (aperitivo), not only in the Veneto region in northeastern Italy - which is Prosecco’s traditional home - but throughout the the article»

Aperol – An Italian Summertime Elixir

Aperol is an Italian liqueur made by infusing orange peel and oranges with a subtle blend of bitter and sweet herbs and spices.  With its low alcohol content, intriguing aromas of orange and tangerine, complex bittersweet taste and its vivacious bright orange color, Aperol may well be the perfect summertime refresher. It is refreshing, vibrant and convivial the article»

Chinato - the Better Barolo

The Italian liqueur, Chinato, or as it’s more formally known, Barolo Chinato, originated - not surprisingly, given its name - in the Piedmont region in northwestern Italy. Chinato (key’ not toe) is still produced in the Langhe area of the Piedmont, the same area where Nebbiolo grapes are grown for the production of the celebrated Barolo wines, Italy’s “king of wines.” Barolo Chinato can trace its roots back to the late 19th the article»

Moscato d’Asti - Italy’s Fizzy and Fun Gift to the World

Moscato d’Asti (mos scah’ toh dah’ stee) is a lightly sweet and gently effervescent wine from the Piedmont region in northern Italy. While it is a festive and fun wine, it does have a sense of place and style that help explain why it ranks so high as one of Italy’s favorite wines.

Moscato d’Asti is related to - and often confused with - Asti Spumante. Both are DOCG wines made with the same grapes grown in the same general area. However, they are quite different the article»

Best Value-Priced Italian Red Wines - Twelve Wines Under $20

It’s that time of year when we start seeing numerous “best of” lists. You know what I mean - lists enumerating the best of this or that for the year such as favorite restaurants, movies, music, etc.
So, in the spirit of the season, I have assembled a list of my favorite value-priced Italian red wines for the year. Specifically, presented here are the twelve best red wines I’ve tasted over the course of the year that retail for $20 or the article»

Dolcetto Wines - hiding in plain sight

Dolcetto is an early-ripening grape and like many similar varieties produces wines that are soft, fruity and acidic with mild tannins. As such, they generally do not benefit from long bottle ageing. Dolcettos are very popular in Italy, particularly in the Piedmont region, and many use it as their everyday, go-to wine. It is a fixture at their daily dinner tables and for entertaining close friends the article»

Break out of the Routine This Year: Six Out-of-the-Ordinary Italian Wines to Expand Your Wine Horizon

There are many finely-crafted and pleasurable wines from Italy on wine shop shelves that simply get overlooked because they’re not particularly well known and consequently outside the typical wine purchaser’s comfort zone. This article reviews six pleasurable, out-of-the-ordinary Italian wines that will give fillip to your plan to escape from the ordinary and expand your wine horizons this new the article»

The Winning Wines of umbria

White wines play a significant role in Umbria today and constitute the bulk of the region’s total wine production and wine exports. But it is Umbria’s dry red wines that have garnered the most attention in recent years. The Sangiovese-based Torgiano Rosso Riserva wines from the Torgiano area and the Sagrantino-based wines from the area around the ancient hill town of Montefalco are wines of character and distinction that garner rave reviews from wine critics and consumers alike the article»

More value-priced super-tuscan wines

I enjoy touring Tuscany and visiting wineries in that beautiful part of Italy. Wines from the Chianti region are among Tuscany’s most famous while the Brunello di Montalcino wines from southern Tuscany are some of the best Italy has to offer, prized for their structure, elegance and longevity.

But another category of Tuscan wine - called Super-Tuscan - has received considerable critical acclaim from critics and consumers alike over the past several decades and in the process has recharged the entire Italian wine the article»

Value-priced Italian Red Wines for Fall Festivities

Here are some inexpensive red wines from Italy to accompany your fall activities, whether they involve participating in tailgate parties with friends, taking advantage of the outdoor grill before winter sets in or just chilling out watching the leaves change color. And you don’t necessarily want an austere and complex wine. Rather, something flavorful, easy to drink and not too expensive will do the the article»



Italian wine corksBest Italian Wines of the month

I taste quite a few Italian wines every month. While some are just OK, many are good and some are really great wines. In the spirit of sharing my wine experiences with you, each month I will select two as my favorite Italian Wines of the Month: one under $20 and the other over $20.

Since I’m a value-focused wine consumer, many of my monthly wine selections, especially the under-$20 selections, will be quite easy on your wallet. However, every so often I have a chance to taste a really pricey wine that I think is truly outstanding and I will include it in my over-$20 Wine of the Month selection. Think of my two monthly selections as the best Italian wines for the month on a value-to-price basis.

In recent months the under-$20 monthly wine selections include:

In recent months the over-$20 monthly wine selections include:

I want to emphasize that I’m independent and have no financial incentive to push any particular wine. Any review or recommendation is strictly determined by personal choice for reasons of merit and/or general interest. I buy my wines the same way most of you do — that is, I pay the full retail price at local wine stores. While I do have some favorite wine shops, I visit at least two different wine stores a week to assess their pricing and wine selections.

Top Six Most Recently Viewed Postings

  1. Best Italian Wines of 2016 From Wine Spectator and Wine Enthusiast Magazines
  2. italy's best wines - gambero rosso's 2017 Tre bicchieri award-winning wines
  3. Passito Wines for a Sweet End to a Grand Meal
  4. My Favorite Piedmont Restaurants Worth a Visit When Touring the Wine Roads of Northern Italy
  5. italian Wines as Gifts for Any - and All - Occasions
  6. Unsung, Affordable Red Wines from Southern Italy - Ten under $20

Want to be notified immediately of postings to this website? If so, click on Contact Me, enter “add me to your mailing list” in the subject line and indicate your name and email address in the text and I will add you to the mailing list. All information is held confidential and not distributed to anyone.  Typically, new articles are posted 2 or 3 times a month.

Of Special Interest

Oldest Grapevines in the Western Mediterranean are Discovered in Sardinia

The Phoenicians and later the Romans have traditionally been credited with introducing grapevine cultivation in the western Mediterranean. But the recent discovery and analysis of ancient grape seeds found in west-central Sardinia indicates that the practice of growing grapes for the production of wines was in place earlier than originally thought. It raises raises interesting questions about exactly when, how and from whom these viticultural practices originated.

This research is based on analysis of more than 15,000 grape seeds discovered in the Nuragic site of Sa Osa in west-central Sardinia that date back approximately 3,000 years to the Late Bronze Age the article»



A Tasting of Top-End California Cabernet Wines

I know, California Cabernets have nothing to do with Italy or Italian wines. But every once in a while you need to branch out and explore new venues and different wines. So in that ecumenical spirit I recently attended a small group tasting of top-rated California Cabernet wines that range in price from $55 to $133. Of the six wines tasted, the clear favorite is Francis Ford Coppola’s 2013 “Archimedes” which retails for $86.

All in all, it was a rare and wonderful group opportunity to taste some highly-rated, expensive wines that might otherwise strain an individual’s budget the article»


Wine-friendly Italian Restaurants in Washington, DC

Here are ten wine-friendly Italian restaurants in Washington, DC any one of which is worth a visit after touring the National Gallery of Art and/or other museums on the Mall. All are relatively convenient to the NGA and can be reached by a short taxi ride or, in some cases, a quick hop on D.C.'s Metro subway system the article»


Oldies but Goodies: The Pleasures of aged Wines

One of the real pleasures of collecting wines is storing age-worthy wines in the cellar for future enjoyment. The additional ageing permits the wine’s aromas and flavors to evolve and become more complex and intriguing and, hence, more enjoyable than in their youth. And when old wines are paired with the right foods they can significantly enhance the enjoyment of the dining experience. Here are three Italian wines that have stood the test of time the article»


Best Italian Wines of 2016 from Wine Spectator and Wine Enthusiast Magazines

Wine Spectator and Wine Enthusiast magazines recently published their rankings of the top 100 wines released this year from around the world. This article reviews which Italian wines are included in each magazine’s selection of the top 100 wines of 2016 and compares their choices. This year 18 Italian wines made Wine Spectator’s Top 100 list with more than half from the Tuscany region. Sixteen Italian wines made Wine Enthusiast’s Top 100 with the majority from the Piedmont and Sicily the article»


italian Wines as Gifts for Any - and All - Occasions

The gift-giving season is fast approaching so it’s time to stock up on wines that make good presents and/or good company at holiday parties. Since there is a staggering number of wines potentially available as gifts the challenge is to find the right wine for the person and/or occasion. To help resolve some of these tricky issues I have devised several wine-gifting alternatives with suggested gift price ranges that depend on who the gift recipient is and/or the occasion the article»


italy's best wines - gambero rosso's 2017 Tre bicchieri award-winning wines

So what are Italy’s best wines? Gambero Rosso - the arbiter of good taste for all Italian food and drink - has after an intensive review and tasting process anointed 428 wines as Italy’s best new releases for the current year. These wines are the recipients of the prestigious 2017 Tre Bicchieri (“Three Glasses”) award. The wines honored with a Tre Bicchieri are generally recognized in Italy and internationally as Italy’s best the article»


Vinsanto 2006 from Santo Wines - A Fabulous Sweet Wine from Greece

Vinsanto is the traditional wine of the picturesque Greek island of Santorini. It is an exceptionally sweet wine made in the passito style, that is from grapes dried in the sun for several weeks before they are pressed. The primary grape variety utilized is Assyrtiko, a high acid white grape capable of producing long-lived wines. Vinsanto is unique to the island of Santorini and is only marginally related to the Vin Santo wines produced throughout the article»


Top Producers from Puglia and Their Must-Try Wines

Puglia’s star continues to rise in the Italian wine firmament. Heir to a winemaking tradition that has its roots in ancient Greek civilization, Puglia has always been one of the most exuberant viticultural areas of Italy. However, for much of modern history rough, rustic wines that were consumed locally or shipped the article»


Staying True to Native Varieties: The Wines of Antonelli San Marco

Antonelli San Marco’s 425-acre agricultural estate includes 100 acres of vineyards situated at an elevation of about 1,150 feet above sea level with good southern and western exposure. Ever respectful of tradition, the estate grows a small but select number of native varieties that include Grechetto, Trebbiano, Sangiovese, Montepulciano and the article»


the wines of leone de castris: a fresh take on tradition

The Leone de Castris winery is located in the Salento area in southern Puglia. Blessed with abundant sunshine, sparse but adequate rainfall and refreshing Mediterranean breezes, the Salento area is an ideal environment for grape growing and today is, as in centuries past, rich with vineyards and olive groves. Founded in 1665, Leone de Castris is the oldest winery in Puglia and produces a number of quality wines made primarily from native grape varieties all of which rank high on a quality-to-price the article»


Ripasso Wines - For Those Who Love Big Reds But Can’t Always Afford Amarone

Ripasso is a red wine from the Valpolicella zone which is located north of Verona in the Veneto region of Italy, which is also the home of the world famous Amarone wines. Ripasso wines are generally less well known than Amarone wines even though the two wines share some of the same features and flavor profiles. Ripasso wines are rich, full-bodied and have some of the same aroma and flavor contours as Amarone wines. They are more approachable and less expensive than Amarone wines so they can be enjoyed regularly while saving the Amarones for those special the article»

Angelo Gaja Receives 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award from Wine Enthusiast Magazine

Italian winemaker Angelo Gaja, one of the most prestigious and iconic names in Italian viticulture, was recently awarded the 2015 “Lifetime Achievement Award” from Wine Enthusiast magazine. This distinguished award is in recognition of Gaja’s numerous innovative wine making achievements during his 50 year career. This the article»

Best Italian Wines of 2015 from Wine Spectator and Wine Enthusiast Magazines

Wine Spectator and Wine Enthusiast magazines recently released their picks for the 100 best wines from around the world released in 2015. Both magazines are highly regarded and their selections for the world’s best wines of the year include a number of Italian wines. It is interesting to look at exactly which Italian wines made the the article»


twenty amazing chianti and chianti classico wines under $40

Chianti and Chianti Classico wines are known throughout the world and are generally available at all price points. Listed here are 20 amazing Chianti and Chianti Classico wines all under $40 in price. These wines have with their balance, structure, richness and, yes, elegance made an indelible impression on me and are worth searching out on wine shop the article»


My all-time favorite inexpensive Italian wines - 15 wines under $15

Good tasting, quality wines needn't be expensive. Here are my all-time favorite inexpensive Italian wines, the wines that consistently have the highest quality-to-price ratios of the many I’ve tasted over the years. No matter your income status, this list of 15 Italian wines should be useful for all wine enthusiasts in search of real wine bargains the article»


an interview with piero mastroberardino: campania, pompeii and ancient vines

Piero Mastroberardino, president of the iconic Mastroberardino winery in Campania, Italy, was in Washington, D.C. recently to make a presentation at a public conference sponsored by Smithsonian Associates. Piero graciously agreed to meet with me for an interview prior to his presentation. This transcript of our hour-long interview touches on a number of subjects such as the history of the Mastroberardino winery, their work in preserving the ancient native varieties of the Campania region and their pioneering initiatives to reintroduce grape growing in the ancient city of the article»


a tasting of cesari's classic valpolicella wines

The Cesari winery was founded in 1936 when Gerardo Cesari purchased 100 acres of vineyards north of the city of Verona in the heart of the classic Valpolicella zone. He began producing the traditional wines of the Valpolicella region such as Valpolicella, Bardolino and Soave in addition to what was then a little-known specialty wine called Amarone della Valpolicella (or more simply, Amarone). Today, the Cesari winery has a amazing collection of vineyards in prime areas of the Valpolicella zone and elsewhere in the Veneto and is one of the Valpolicella region’s leading the article»

Forty Great Italian Wines Every wine enthusiast should try

Italy is one of the oldest and largest wine producing countries and today produces some of the most celebrated wines in the world. Since Italy has an astonishing array of grape varieties and wine styles it can make the task of selecting its best wines a daunting task. Despite the challenges, it’s both interesting and worthwhile to try to identify what wines are really the best among the many that Italy produces the article»

Marinella Camerani and the Wines of Corte Sant’Alda

Corte Sant’Alda is a relatively new winery in Italy’s Veneto region that has within its young life risen to the top ranks of Valpolicella and Amarone producers. The winery dates back to 1985 when its owner, Marinella Camerani, decided it was time to change her life style and moved to her family’s country house near the hamlet of Mezzane de Sotto northeast of Verona. She started to the article»

It’s Tasting Time for the 2011 Amarone della Valpolicella Wines

Each year at the end of January, Verona Italy hosts the wine extravaganza Anteprima Amarone (or Preview of Amarone). This two day event is dedicated to celebrating the release of the newest vintage of Amarone, the most celebrated wine of the Veneto region. This year, the event celebrated the current release of the 2011 vintage of Amarone wines and was held over a two day the article»

Italy’s Best Wines – Gambero Rosso’s 2015 Tre Bicchieri Award-Winning Wines

Gambero Rosso recently announced the winners of its coveted Tre Bicchieri awards for 2015. Tre Bicchieri (“Three Glasses”) wines are Italy's most highly rated wines based on an intense and comprehensive panel tasting process. The entire results of the panel tastings are published in Gambero Rosso's Vini d'Italia which is generally recognized as the gold standard for the article»


Five Tips to Enhance Your Wine Tour of Tuscany’s Chianti Classico Region

The Chianti Classico wine region in central Tuscany is Italy's most popular wine destination. The area’s rolling hills are dotted with numerous wineries surrounded by sweeping vineyards. Visiting these wineries and tasting their wines can be interesting and informative as well as a lot of fun.

But to get the most out of your time in Chianti Classico country it’s worthwhile following some simple rules. This article discusses five simple guidelines that will make your wine tour of the Chianti Classico region more enjoyable as well as the article»


A Wine Tasting Road Trip Through Tuscany’s Chianti Classico Region: Siena to Castellina and Greve

With its numerous wineries, wine bars (enoteche in Italian) and wine-friendly restaurants the Chianti Classico region in central Tuscany is a paradise for wine enthusiasts whether they be novices or wine savants.

The first of a two-part series, this article presents a proposed wine-tasting road trip through the Chianti Classico region, exploring the enoteche, wine-friendly restaurants and famous wineries in and around the cities of Siena, Castellina and the article»


A Wine Tasting Road Trip Through Tuscany’s Chianti Classico Region: Panzano to Radda and Gaiole

This article is the second of a two part series on a self-guided wine-tasting road trip through Tuscany’s famed Chianti Classico wine region. This article resumes where the previous article left off - in the city of Greve-in-Chianti - and continues the wine tour itinerary by exploring the wine-destination cities of Panzano, Radda and the article»

The Modern Classical White Wines of Campania

The Campania region has long been recognized as the home of some of highly-regarded red wines. Flavorful and full-bodied, these red wines are some of Italy's best. But the Campania region is also the source of some of southern Italy’s most textured and complex white wines the article»

Marsala Wines - Once Famous, Now Awaiting Rediscovery

Marsala was once one of the most popular fortified wines in the world. It gradually fell out of favor but a small cadre of producers has worked hard to restore Marsala to its former glory. Despite dramatic improvements in quality, market acceptance has not kept pace and Marsala is just waiting to be the article»

Unsung, Affordable Red Wines from Southern Italy - Ten under $20

While it’s Italy’s great red wines from the north - renowned wines like Brunello di Montalcino, Barolo, Barbaresco, Amarone and Super-Tuscans - that garner the greatest attention in the wine world, they also tend to be expensive and out of the financial reach of many consumers. But there is a growing recognition that wines from various regions south of Rome - an area generally known as the mezzogiorno or “southern” Italy - have improved dramatically in quality the article»

Refosco - northern Italy's hidden wine gem

Refosco dal Peduncolo Rosso is both the name of a grape as well as the red wine produced from that grape. Both the grape and the wine are popularly known as “Refosco” although technically it is only one sub-variety of the extended Refosco grape family. It is grown principally in the Friuli-Venezia-Giulia region in northeast Italy and the nearby Venezia and Treviso provinces . the article»

a tasting of barbera Wines

Barbera is an unusual grape variety. It is an early-maturing variety and its juice has a dark ruby color with high acidity, wonderful berry-like aromas and flavors and discret tannins.  It is a vigorous, hardy variety that adapts well to different climates and soils and is grown in many parts of the world such as Brazil. Argentina, Australia and in several areas of the the article»

The Renaissance of Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Wines

Vino Nobile di Montepulciano does indeed have a noble and storied heritage. The wine is named after the ancient and scenic hill-top town of Montepulciano whose soaring Renaissance architecture enlivens the landscape of southeastern Tuscany. These wines have been admired for centuries and were held in such high regard that they were reputedly reserved for the tables of Tuscan the article»

Break out of the Routine This Year: Six Out-of-the-Ordinary Italian Wines to Expand Your Wine Horizon

There are many finely-crafted and pleasurable wines from Italy on wine shop shelves that simply get overlooked because they’re not particularly well known and consequently outside the typical wine purchaser’s comfort zone. This article reviews six pleasurable, out-of-the-ordinary Italian wines that will give fillip to your plan to escape from the ordinary and expand your wine horizons this new the article»

Morellino di Scansano - Tuscany’s Other Sangiovese Wine

Morellino di Scansano is a Sangiovese-based red wine produced in the area around the ancient village of Scansano in Tuscany’s Maremma region. The area's rich volcanic soil and dry, hot weather makes it a prime area for growing wine grapes. The sea breezes from the nearby Tyrrhenian Sea also promote large day-night temperature swings which, counter-intuitively, are beneficial the article»

My Favorite Piedmont Restaurants worth a visit When Touring the Wine Roads of Northern Italy

Traditionally, where you find good wine in Italy you also find good food and restaurants. The Piedmont region is no exception to this rule. Its array of world-class wines is matched by the quality of its food and restaurants - it's a foodies' paradise. Listed are ten of my favorite, must-visit restaurants in the Piedmont the article»


Passito Wines for a Sweet End to a Grand Meal

Passito is an Italian word for wines made by the appassimento process whereby grapes are partially dried on straw mats or pallets in airy rooms or barns in order to concentrate the grapes’ flavors and sweetness prior to vinification. As the grapes shrivel and lose water they become full of concentrated sugars and flavors the article»

Eight Organic Italian Wines You’ve Got to Try

Organic wines and environmentally friendly wineries in Italy - as well as elsewhere - are in vogue now. Formerly the domain of small, artisanal, off-the-grid wineries, the movement has expanded, evolved and become generally accepted in a way that could not have been forecast or even imagined a few decades ago. Today, any number of producers tout their organic or eco-friendly credentials as much if not more than the quality of their wines. Even establishment organizations such as Gambero the article»

Fine Italian Restaurants To Visit in New York After Touring the Frick's Piero Della Francesca Exhibit

The first U.S. exhibit of paintings by the early Italian Renaissance artist Piero della Francesca is at the Frick Collection in New York now through May 19, 2013. This is a rare opportunity to view some of the work of one of the earliest and greatest Italian Renaissance painters. Since viewers will need some post-gallery sustenance, this article reviews some wine bars and wine-friendly Italian restaurants worth a visit after touring the Frick’s Piero della Francesca the article»

What I’m Drinking Now - the Pleasurable Wines of Puglia

Puglia can lay claim to 29 DOC wine zones of which more than half (16) are located in the southern-most part of Puglia in what is called the Salento peninsula, the fertile, flat and sun-drenched tip of the “heel” of the “boot” that comprises geographic Italy. Puglia also has 4 DOCG wine zones of which 3 are in the Castel del Monte wine region, an up-and-coming wine area that holds great promise. The zone takes its name from the octagonally-shaped 13th century castle lying south of the city of the article»




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