Category Archives: Italy

More Interesting Grapes and Wines from Italy

Italy has a mind-boggling number of indigenous and international grape varieties and wine appellations. In this article, we review some of the more interesting ones recently sent to us for review.  They include well-known indigenous varieties like Grillo and Nero … Continue reading

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Current Releases from Sicily’s Mt. Etna

Some of Sicily’s most exciting wines are grown on the northern and eastern slopes of Mt. Etna [see map below] where we spent several days for our report on the Wines of Sicily.  Mt. Etna is one of the most … Continue reading

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Special Holiday Gifts for Wine Lovers: Selections from the Finest Wines Reviewed in 2021

What to give a friend who appreciates and is knowledgeable about wine?  In this article, we give our recommendations based on the many fine wines we’ve tasted this year.  The list includes Champagne, Sparkling Rosé, California Pinot Noir, Napa Cabernet … Continue reading

Posted in Cabernet Sauvignon, California, Champagne, Chardonnay, Countries and Regions, Dessert Wine, France, Italy, Oregon, Portugal, Portuguese, Red Wine, South Africa, Spain, Sparkling Wine, Uncategorized, White Wine, Wine Type | Comments Off on Special Holiday Gifts for Wine Lovers: Selections from the Finest Wines Reviewed in 2021

Contratto: Excellent Vermouths from the Piedmont

Made from 19th century recipes, the Contratto Vermouth and Vermouth-like aperitifs are some of the most appealing we’ve tasted. While often used as a base for cocktails, they’re also delicious by themselves over ice with a twist of citrus. The … Continue reading

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Chinato and Quinquina from Italy’s Piedmont, South Africa’s Swartlands, and the Columbia Valley

While technically not a Vermouth, Chinato is similar in its infusion of herbs and spices. What’s different is the addition of Cinchona. Cinchona is the dried bark of the South American tree that is a source of quinine and used … Continue reading

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Contratto of Alta Langa: An Impressive Showing of Metodo Clasico

Italy makes some of the world’s great sparkling wines.  We’re used to tasting the superb ones coming out of Franciacorta as well as Trento. Now, Piedmont’s Contratto joins this elite group.  Contratto was founded in 1867 by Giuseppe Contratto, making … Continue reading

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The Sordo Barolos from Eight Different Crus

The Azienda Agricola Giovanni Sordo is a family run vineyard with a century long history in Barolo. With 8 vineyards covering 53 hectares in 5 different municipalities, no other winery in Barolo has access to as many crus as does … Continue reading

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Authentic Wines from the Indigenous Grapes of Sicily and Southern Italy

Italy has many indigenous red grape varieties used for making wine including several lesser known ones in Sicily, Campania, and Molise reviewed here: Perricone, Corinto Nero, Nerello Mascalese, Nerello Cappuccio, Tintilia, and Aglianico.  These are wines of character and a … Continue reading

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Vermouth’s Resurgence as Aperitif: Dry and White Vermouths from Europe and America

Vermouth is enjoying growing popularity, including a number of American producers of attractively packaged, premium bottlings.  As shown in the graph below, sales in the US are on a strong upward trend (a 21% increase in US Vermouth imports in 2018 … Continue reading

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Cottanera’s New Releases from Sicily’s Mt. Etna

Mt. Etna is one of the world’s most unique wine terroirs, as we discovered on our trip there for our report on The Wines of Sicily.  In this article, we review the current releases of one the most prominent producers, Cottanera. Located … Continue reading

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