Wine

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Italy's Heartbreak Grape

Pinot Noir is notorious for being difficult to grow. It has earned the nickname, the heartbreak grape. The wine that it produces has become most famous in the Burgundy region of France. Some Francophiles would insist that the true expression of the grape can only be found…

Well Worth A Try

Last month's column dealt with the two major philosophies of making wine today in Italy. The traditional, classic style is one in which winemakers adhere to older principles of wine making that result in the production of wine that is fairly austere upon release, contains…

Yes.It's OK To Drink Lambrusco

I don't know when it started. It seems that there has evolved in the United States a caste system of wines. Twenty years ago, Chardonnay was at the top of the heap. It was the drink of choice for a large percentage of upwardly mobile yuppies in the trendy eating and drin…

Biondi Santi in Maremma

I tasted my first Biondi Santi Brunello di Mont lcino in 1979. It was from their renowned Il Greppo estate in Tuscany. The Biondi Santi family is generally recognized as the first producer of Brunello, after isolating the sangiovese clone in the late 1800's. Ironically, I…

Wine and Friends

I have a plaque on my kitchen wall that states, Life is Like Good Wine.Best Taken with Friends. It's a sentiment expressed frequently, especially in Italian culture. In the United States, these cultural values are easily followed when leisure time is readily available, n…

The Other Vento

The Veneto region of Italy is most famous for the production of the Veronese trio of wines: Bardolino, Soave, and Valpolicella. Two-thirds of the production of the Veneto is centered in the province of Verona. This is where tourists make their pilgrimage to find the famou…

Mastering Maremma: The Affordable Way

Maremma, southern Tuscany’s premier wine region, is becoming a household word. Although it is a very young region compared to its northern neighbors in the Chianti Classico area, many famous wines are being made there. High-end restaurants and deep-pocketed consumers c…

Valpolicella Update

It’s still my favorite Italian wine name to pronounce… Vahl..pole..le..CHELL..ah. I can actually remember practicing to pronounce the name of this wine before a date to ensure that I sounded like I knew what I was doing when ordering the wine…all in the name of love! …

Making Wine in the Alps

How many Swiss wines have you had? How about Austrian? You probably think that these areas are just too far north and too cold to produce any good wine, yet their closest Italian neighbor in the Alps, the region of Alto Adige, is noted for making very high quality wine. …

Going Back Home

It’s said that we can never go back home again. Actually…I think I remember the Moody Blues singing that in 1971. I recently tasted a wine with a history that disproves both the lyrics of this British psychedelic group, as well as our old American adage. Francesco Bel…