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wine from italyWine Reviews & Musings

This section the website goes beyond Wine of the Month selections. Here you can 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 »


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»


Italian Wine for the Month of february 2024

Piaggia-Mauro Vannucci, “Il Sasso” Carmignano 2020 (about $35)

The 2020 "Il Sasso" Carmignano from the Piaggia winery in northern Tuscany is a blend of 70 percent old-vine Sangiovese with Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot. Aged in French oak barriques for 15 months and bottled unfiltered, it is a full-bodied red wine with a full, dense mouthfeel with ripe tannins and pitch-perfect acidity that impart complexity and structure to the the article



The 2019 “SantAgostino” Baglio Soria Rosso from the Firriato winery is a 50-50 blend of Nero d’Avola and Syrah grapes harvested from estate vineyards in the Trapani area on Sicily’s westernmost coast. With its intense ripe fruit flavors, muted tannins and rich mouthfeel the wine ranks high on a quality-to-price basis...READ THE ARTICLE

Two Food-friendly Inexpensive Red Wines from Puglia

Castello Monaci, “Piluna” Primitivo 2015 (about $15)

Primitivo is Puglia’s most famous indigenous grape variety and can produce powerful wines with good ageing potential. Primitivos generally are earthy, opulent wines that offer high quality at very reasonable prices. If you’re not familiar with the variety, Castello Monaci’s “Piluna” Primitivo is a great introduction to the pleasures of Primitivo... read the article

Tenute Rubino, “Oltreme” Susumaniello Salento IGT 2013 (about $14)

Susumaniello is a little-known, late-ripening red grape variety grown in limited quantities in the lower stretches of the Puglia region. While still a relative rarity, vineyard plantings of the variety have increased in recent years and wines made from this variety are now generating some positive buzz in the Italian wine scene... read 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


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

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

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’ toh 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 tough 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

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

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»

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»

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»

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»

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»

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

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»

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

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

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»

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»

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»

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»

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

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


Italian wine corksItalian Wine 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 one as my favorite Italian Wine of the Month.

Since I’m a value-focused wine consumer, many of my monthly wine selections will be quite easy on your wallet. However, every so often I have a chance to taste an expensive wine that is truly outstanding and rates high on a quality-to-price basis so I will include it as my Wine of the Month selection. .

In recent months the Wine of the Month selections have included:

I want to emphasize that I’m independent and have no financial incentive to push any particular wine. Any review or recommendation is based exclusively on personal choice for reasons of merit and/or general interest. And, with few exceptions, I only publish reviews based on drinking wines as one normally would, that is gradually and by the glass, as opposed to hurried tastings involving multiple wines.

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 - as well as Italian restaurants - 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

Top Six Most Recently Viewed Postings

  1. Valpolicella Superiore Wines: A Step-up in Quality
  2. A Tasting Tour of Sicily’s great vineyards and Native Varieties
  3. Sagrantino is One of Italy’s Best Red Wines – So Why Haven’t More People Heard of It? 
  4. Ripasso Wines - For Those Who Love Big Reds But Can’t always Afford Amarone
  5. My Favorite Value-priced Italian Red wines – 15 under $20.
  6. Italy’s Best Wines – Gambero Rosso’s 2023 Tre Bicchieri award-winning Wines



Best Italian Wines of 2023 Selected by Wine Enthusiast and Wine Spectator Magazines

Wine Spectator and Wine Enthusiast magazines recently published their independent rankings of the top 100 wines released in 2023 from around the world. Sixteen Italian wines are included in Wine Enthusiast’s Top 100 of which half are from the Piedmont region. Twenty-four Italian wines are included in Wine Spectator’s Top 100 list with Tuscany laying claim to 11 awards the majority of which are from the Chianti Classico the article»


A Tasting Tour of Sicily’s great vineyards and Native Varieties

Sicily today is one of the world’s most exciting wine-producing regions. Fueled by a new generation of ambitious, quality-oriented wine producers, Sicily has over the course of the last few decades garnered critical world praise for the high-quality of its wines, wines that are modern yet distinctly Sicilian in the article»

Best Italian Wines of 2022 Selected by Wine Enthusiast and Wine Spectator Magazines

Wine Spectator and Wine Enthusiast magazines recently published their independent rankings of the top 100 wines released in 2022 from around the world. Sixteen Italian wines are included in Wine Enthusiast’s list of the top 100 wines while Wine Spectator includes 19 Italian wines in its Top 100 list. A 2016 Brunello di Montalcino is the top-ranked Italian wine (ranked #2) in Wine Spectator’s Top 100 while a 2018 Barolo is the top-rated Italian wine (ranked #2) in Wine Enthusiast’s Top the article»


Italy’s Best Wines – Gambero Rosso’s 2023 tre bicchieri award-winning wines

Gambero Rosso has announced the winners of its coveted Tre Bicchieri (“Three Glasses”) awards for 2023. Tre Bicchieri wines are Italy's most highly rated wines based on an intense and comprehensive panel tasting process. On a regional basis, Tuscany garnered the largest number of awards, 98 awards or 20.0 percent of the total, while Piedmont followed with 76 awards, 4 more than the year previous while Veneto is in third place with 43 Tre Bicchieri awards. This article examines the regional distribution of the award-winning wines and presents the complete list of Tre Bicchieri the article»


Top Ten Italian White Wines for 2022

Although Italy is probably best known for its red wines, it is also a major producer of a diverse selection of white wines made with a broad array of grape varieties and produced in a variety of styles. This article reviews ten Italian white wines of character and distinction by producers throughout Italy. The wines exhibit considerable diversity in pricing, ranging from $16 to $55, but all rate extremely high on a quality-to-price the article»

Best Italian Wines of 2021 Selected by Wine Enthusiast and Wine Spectator Magazines

Wine Spectator and Wine Enthusiast magazines recently published their independent rankings of the top 100 wines released this year from around the world. Twenty-two Italian wines are included in Wine Spectator’s Top 100 list with Tuscany and Piedmont both having 6 wines in the top 100. Tuscany’s total includes 3 Brunello wines from the excellent 2016 vintage. Eighteen Italian wines are included in Wine Enthusiast’s Top 100 of which the vast majority are white the article»

Italy’s Best Wines – Gambero Rosso’s Tre Bicchieri Award Winners for 2022

Gambero Rosso recently announced the winners of its coveted 2022 Tre Bicchieri (“Three Glasses”) awards for Italy’s best wines. Wines from Tuscany received 94 awards, the highest of any region, followed by Piedmont region with 72 awards. The lions’ share of Tuscany’s Tre Bicchieri awards went to Chianti Classico wines while Barolo wines garnered the largest share of Piedmont’s Tre Bicchieriawards. This article examines the regional distribution of the award-winning wines and lists each of the 488 Tre Bicchieri the article»

My Favorite Value-priced Italian Red wines – 15 under $20

Italy is a large and diverse wine market with every one of Italy’s 20 regions producing some quantity of wine for export. While some prestigious estates produce wines that carry triple-digit price tags, these estates represent a tiny minority of Italy’s total production. There are literally hundreds of talented winemakers producing quality wines at reasonable prices. This article reviews 15 quality Italian red wines that sell for $20 or the article»

The Perfect Case of Italian Wines to Tide You Through 2021

This article reviews a dozen pleasurable, out-of-the-ordinary Italian wines that will give lift to your plans to escape the confining doldrums of the Covid-19 pandemic while also, hopefully, expanding your wine horizons. The list of 12 includes some high-visibility wines that consistently garner praise from wine cognoscenti while others are high-quality but low-recognition wines that fly under the radar and don’t receive a lot of attention in the wine the article»

Eight Great, Wallet-Friendly Super-Tuscans to Help Sooth the Winter of Our Discontent

The words “affordable” and “Super-Tuscan” don't often appear in the same sentence. Super-Tuscans are rich, intense and modern wines that often carry triple-digit price tags. Fortunately, there are some notable Super-Tuscans available that don’t get a lot of play in the popular press and consequently offer good value for the dollar. This article reviews eight notable but relatively inexpensive Super-Tuscan the article»

Italy’s Best Wines – Gambero Rosso’s Tre Bicchieri Award Winners for 2021

Italy’s Gambero Rosso organization recently announced the winners of its Tre Bicchieri (“Three Glasses”) awards for the best Italian wines released this year. 476 wines received awards, an increase of 11 from the previous year. On a regional basis, Tuscan wines garnered the largest number of awards, 90 awards or 18.9 percent of the total while Piedmont followed with 75 awards and Veneto in third place with 44 award-winning the article»

Sagrantino is One of Italy’s Best Red Wines – So Why Haven’t More People Heard of It?

Montefalco Sagrantino is one of Italy’s richest and most powerful wines and, when properly aged, are distinguished by silky, enticing flavors and tannins. But despite these envious attributes they remain one of Italy’s least well-known the article»

Top Winemakers of Calabria and Basilicata and Their Flagship Wines

While wines from Calabria and Basilicata are often overlooked, that may be about to change as some progressive, quality-oriented winemakers from these regions are beginning to make a mark on the international wine stage. But this is still a work in progress and it’s only going to get better. This article describes the top producers from Calabria and Basilicata and their flagship the article»

some Wallet-friendly Italian Merlot Wines  

Although Merlot is not generally thought of as being an important player in the Italian wine scene, it is in fact the third-most widely planted red variety in Italy and produces some delightful and intriguing pure varietal wines. Merlot offers up ripe, fruity aromas and complex, supple, full-bodied flavors. It also has a strong affinity for wood ageing that can augment the wine’s tannins and enhance the subtleties of the wine. Merlot – especially in the hands of a talented winemaker – is capable of producing some simply stunning the article»

Some Thoughts on Pairing Wines with Hot or Spicy Foods

Any wine enthusiast will tell you that pairing wines with hot or spicy foods is no easy task. However, by following some basic rules of thumb for choice of wines you can ensure that you and your guests will enjoy both the wines as well as every bite of those cumin-pepper ribs or spicy Indian the article

The Adverse Consequences of the Proposed Increase in Tariffs on Italian and Other European Wines

The U.S. has threatened to impose a stiff increase in tariffs of up to 100 percent on imports of Italian and other European wines. Such an increase would have a deleterious impact on European wine producers, put U.S. importers and distributors of European wines at risk as well as increase wine prices paid by consumers in the U.S. the article

Best Italian Wines of 2019 Selected by Wine Spectator and Wine Enthusiast Magazines

Wine Spectator and Wine Enthusiast magazines recently published their independent rankings of the top 100 wines from around the world released this year. Seventeen Italian wines are included in Wine Enthusiast's Top 100 and its top-rated wine is Nino Franco’s “Rustico” Brut Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore, a non-vintage Prosecco from the Veneto region. Twenty-one Italian wines made Wine Spectator’s Top 100 the article

Classy and Cool Italian White Wines for Summer Al Fresco Activities

Reviewed are ten Italian white wines that are ideal companions for a wide variety of outdoor entertaining and dining occasions. Some are aromatic with crisp acidities and are ideal companions for picnic-type snacks, hors d’oeuvres at a reception, any dinner where fish or shellfish is on the menu or simply as refreshing summer sippers. Other whites are more full-bodied with fruity flavors, textures and intensities that demand more substantive and/or flavorful fare such as elaborate seafood dishes as well as grilled, herb-flavored white meats or the article»

Valpolicella Superiore Wines: A Step-up in Quality

Valpolicella Superiore wines are very different from regular Valpolicella. The Superiore designation indicates that the Valpolicella wine has been aged for at least one year in wood and has a minimum alcohol level of 12 percent and is a more complex and intriguing wine. They will generally have a darker hue, more prominent bouquets and evolved flavors and greater texture than regular Valpolicella and are well worth the small difference in the article»

The Great Red Wines of Lebanon’s Chateau Musar

Chateau Musar is, hands-down, Lebanon’s most famous and celebrated winery. Established in 1930 it has consistently produced high quality wines despite the economic and political turmoil associated with Lebanon’s tumultuous civil war. It has developed a cult-like following among those-in-the-know for the high quality of its wines as well as with those that favor its non-interventionist, natural approach to winemaking the article»

Fifteen Favorite Italian Red Wines under $20

Italy is a large and diverse wine market with every one of Italy’s 20 regions producing some quantity of wine. While some well-known estates produce wines that carry triple-digit price tags, these estates represent a tiny minority of Italy’s total production. There are literally hundreds of talented and passionate winemakers producing quality wines that showcase their region’s diverse terroirs and native grapes at reasonable prices. This article reviews 15 quality Italian red wines that sell for $20 or 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

Mirto and the Bounty of Sardinia

Mirto is a liqueur unique to the islands of Sardinia and Corsica. So, 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 euros 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 the article»

The Allure of Italy’s Sun-Kissed Passito Wines

Passito is an Italian word for sweet, dessert-style wines made by the appassimento drying process where the grapes are partially dried in the sun so they lose water, shrivel and become full of concentrated sugars and flavors.

It’s a daunting and time-consuming process but one that pays big dividends in the form of lusciously sweet and concentrated wines that make for a special treat at holiday celebrations or as a way to end any dinner or formal the article

A Review and Comparison of Some Really Super Super-Tuscan Wines

The Super-Tuscan movement came into being in the late 1960’s when some visionary producers crafted a new type of red wine that defied regional traditions and regulatory requirements. Utilizing non-traditional varieties or innovative vinification protocols - or both - these innovative producers crafted some truly remarkable wines that quickly caught the attention of wine critics and enthusiasts alike. Today, they are generally recognized as some of Italy's best - and most expensive - wines.
This article reviews and compares seven notable Super-Tuscan wines from the 2009 through the 2011 the article

Sicily’s Nero d’Avola Wines: Getting Better and Better

Nero d’Avola is one of Italy’s most important indigenous red varieties. Named after its historic birthplace around the town of Avola in southeastern Sicily, it is most widely planted in Sicily and accounts for the largest share of red wines produced on the island and is the primary grape in the majority of Sicily’s best red wines.

The thick-skinned, late-ripening Nero d’Avola varietal is ideally suited to Sicily’s hot, dry climate and typically produces full-bodied wines packed with dark fruit flavors. It has often been compared the article


A Tasting and Comparison of Value-priced Chianti Classico Wines

Chianti Classico is Tuscany’s most famous and well-known wine. These wines are typically red blends made primarily of Sangiovese grapes from Tuscany’s Chianti Classico zone with residual amounts of other traditional or non-native red varieties.  In general, Chianti Classico wines are medium-bodied, with floral and tart cherry aromas, firm and very dry with discreet tannins and a lively streak of acidity. With their relatively modest price tags they are one of the wine world’s great value wines, especially when compared with other fine wines today. They are also one of the world’s most food-friendly wines.
Six relatively inexpensive wines ranging from $20 to $30 are reviewed here. Regardless of price all of the wines ranked high on a quality-to-price basis and all are available in major U.S. the article

A Dozen Must-try Italian Wines that Provide an Escape from the Ordinary

This article reviews a dozen pleasurable, out-of-the-ordinary Italian wines that will give fillip to your plan to escape the ordinary and expand your wine horizons.
So how does a wine qualify for a place on this short list of “must-try” wines? First, the wines have to be enjoyable and rewarding on their own with delicious aromas and flavors and some depth and complexity. Second, they should have a special touch of interest whether it be from a not-especially-well-known variety or not-well-known wine region or some special innate flavors or a touch of nuance or complexity that make them stand out from the the article


Overlooked Gems in Rome Worth a Visit When Next in the Eternal City

Rome is a tourist’s delight and millions of tourists a year visit Rome’s marquee-name sites like the Colosseum, Trevi Fountain and St. Peter’s, to name a few. But there’s also another Rome of less-well known monuments and historic treasures that flies under most tourists’ radar screens. This article describes four of these less well known but no-less-significant sites and includes Church of St. Louis of the French, Basilica of St. Peter in Chains, Basilica of San Clemente and Villa Farnesina. Since visitors may find themselves in need of sustenance after touring, a few near-by wine-friendly restaurants are listed with each of the four the article

The remarkable wines of salento

The Salento area is located in southern Puglia, in the “heel” of the “boot” that comprises geographic Italy. It has a sun-drenched, Mediterranean climate with dramatic landscapes of gently rolling hills dotted with vineyards and olive groves as well as  historic buildings and great food. It also has a thriving wine industry that is gaining increased attention and respect for producing flavorful wines from primarily local varieties such as Primitivo, Negroamaro and Susumaniello. Significantly, there has in recent decades been a dramatic shift away from the hastily-made, rustic wines of Salento’s past towards more structured wines with good aromas and flavors that exhibit a strong sense of the article


Traces of 6,000 Year-Old Wine Discovered in a Sicilian Cave

A team of international researchers has uncovered evidence of what would be Italy’s - and perhaps the world’s - oldest wine-making facility in a cave in southern Sicily. Various terracotta amphorae found intact in the cave contained organic residue that chemical tests indicated was a by-product of wine fermentation. This finding plus carbon dating of the pottery suggest that the practice of fermenting grapes for wine was in place in southern Sicily as early as 4000 BC, much earlier than previous studies the article

The Wines of Feudo Maccari - Helping Boost Sicily to the Top of the Italian Wine List

Feudo Maccari is a Sicilian wine estate owned by Antonio Moretti Cuseri, the successful textile entrepreneur and veteran Tuscan wine producer. Located south of the town of Noto in southeastern Sicily, this relatively young winery has developed a well-deserved reputation for producing balanced, elegant and food-friendly wines that exhibit a sense of place that is helping boost Sicilian wines to the top of the Italian wine the article

The Winning Wines of Castello di Montegiove

The Castello di Montegiove winery is located in a magnificent castle after which the winery is named. It is a family-run enterprise, a “boutique” winery that produces a small number of red DOC and IGT wines from selected Umbrian and Tuscan varieties such as Sangiovese, Sagrantino and Canaiolo Nero. Large sections of Montegiove’s vineyards have been replanted in recent years with an emphasis on quality clones and the winery takes a progressive approach in its vineyard management the article

A Tasting and Comparison of Some of the best Aglianico Wines

Aglianico is one of southern Italy’s best red grape varieties. It shares some characteristics with the Nebbiolo variety of the Piedmont region used to produce the renowned Barolo and Barbaresco wines. Aglianico wines have long had enthusiastic fans in Italy but are just now starting to receive the critical international acclaim and recognition they deserve. I recently had the pleasure of tasting six Aglianico wines that ranged in price from $40 to $51 and were from producers in both the Campania and Basilicata regions of Italy. It was a wonderful opportunity to taste and compare some highly-rated Aglianico the article

Wines of the Colli Berici DOC

Colli Berici is a DOC of the Veneto wine region in northeastern Italy. A number of very respectable and interesting red, white and rose wines are produced here but generally go unrecognized outside their local market area. But that may change soon. Marketing initiatives in combination with improvements in wine quality and just plain word-of-mouth endorsements have increased the visibility of Colli Berici wines beyond their traditional market area. The entry of established, marquee-name producers from northern Italy and elsewhere has also the article

A Tasting of Top-End California Cabernet Wines

I know, California Cabernets have little 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

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

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 basis 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

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

six 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 and the area’s rolling hills are dotted with numerous wineries. 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 six 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»



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