"Italian wine" news and stories
We recently had a chance to taste wines from this region. Here are our six favorites.
St. Michael-Eppan 2008 Lagrein Red Wine ($16)
A nose of cocoa powder is a sweet touch. So are the intense cherry and raspberry notes that cascade into a light, delicate finish with plenty of length and richness.
Filed under: Drinks
A view of Veneto. Photo: derUltes, Flickr
Soave is a deeply complex white wine. Its rich, mineral flavors make it a really refreshing alternative to two common (and trite) styles of white wine: an oak-y Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc with tropical-fruit notes. Very clean and approachable, the light-bodied Soave is good to have on-hand when entertaining many different palates.
All Soave is made in Italy's Veneto region (in northeast Italy, near Verona). There are actually three Soave classifications: Soave DOC, Soave Classico DOC (made from grapes vinified in Soave and Monteforte d'Alpone) and Recioto di Soave Superiore DOCG (strict regulations for planting, and limited to specific hillside sites; you might see these referred to as "Riserva").
After the jump, see our Soave picks.
The name Frescobaldi may immediately evoke both history (the Tuscan family has made wine since the 1300s and once traded wine for Michelangelo's paintings) and quality (they are responsible for some of the top Brunellos in the region).
In these lean economic times, Frescobaldi is trying on an new image -- value. According to industry research, people are still drinking vino, but they're trading down. A $30-per-bottle kind of guy may now be springing for $20 bottles. Folks who snagged $15 bottles in the fat days of 2008 may be hunting for $10 wines in the lean days of 2009.
But no one wants wines as thin as their portfolios. Can we get the same quality at a lower price?
Prosecco is an Italian sparkling wine that many may label as city Champagne's less sophisticated country cousin. However, BusinessWeek finds Prosecco to be the perfect liquid accompaniment to summer grilling, picnics, and outdoor gatherings.
The wine is made from a white grape grown primarily on the slopes of Valdobbiadene and the hills of Conegliano in the Veneto of Northern Italy. The grapes also grow in Friuli and Trentino, and even in Germany and Austria. In order to be labeled Prosecco, the wine must be made from 100% Prosecco grapes, though there are Proseccos on the market that are blends. While Champagne has an "intentionally bready" flavor, Prosecco is light and fruity, with a gentle and lingering aroma of almonds, apples, and pears.
The article has a list of about a half dozen Proseccos, all of which are under $20, the usual price range for Prosecco.
TV chef, mushroom evangalist and owner of the Carluccio café chain, Antonio Carluccio, has launched an Italian wine festival.
It is actually already underway with special tastings half-way through their run with one held or to be held in each of the Carluccio cafés. Carluccio himself has selected a wine from each of Italy's 20 wine regions with each available in the cafés and many available to buy online.
The remaining wine tastings are to be held in Putney (23rd May), Brighton (24th May), St Albans (30th May), Bicester (31st May) and Tunbridge Wells (1st June). Annoying I missed the one in Reading, which is just down the road from me, that was held on the 10th.