Tag: italian wines

What makes different champagne and prosecco?

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When we talk about sparkling wines, the first that come to mind are of course champagne, cava and prosecco, from Italy, specifically from the Veneto region. But, what makes different this Italian wine and its French counterpart? What is the reason because its price and reputation are lower? Here are some of these differences.

Origin, elaboration and price

While champagne is produced in the homonymous French region (in the north-east of France and around the city of Reims), prosecco is produced in Veneto, near the city of Treviso and north of Venice.

The grapes used in the production of champagne are chardonnay, pinot noir and pinot meunier, and in order to obtain the final product they use the traditional method or champenoise (the same used in cava, American sparkling wines and Italian Franciacorta), the costlier system among the ones used to add bubbles to wine.

As for the Italian sparkling wine, it is made from Prosecco grapes, also known as glera, and following the Charmat or Italian method, in which the second fermentation takes place in stainless steel tanks, which makes its production cheaper.

Is this because champagne is more expensive? Partly yes, although the processing method alone does not explain why a good “inexpensive” champagne can cost about 40 Euros and a prosecco in the same category costs only 12-15 Euros. The higher price of champagne is also explained by the perception of luxury product that it has been able to generate over its history in consumers worldwide.

Taste

Champagne is aged longer, so it presents typical notes from a longer contact with the yeast, which can range from cheese rind to cake. The bubble is finer and more persistent and we can also find tastes of almonds, orange zest and white cherry.

In prosecco we can find more fruity and floral aromas, due to the grape variety, with thicker and less persistent bubbles and tastes of tropical fruit, hazelnut or vanilla.

 TAGS:Pol Roger Brut RéservePol Roger Brut Réserve

Pol Roger produces Pol Roger Brut Réserve, a sparkling wine of the Champagne DO which blend contains pinot Noir and chardonnay and with an alcoholic strength of 12.5º. 

 

 

 TAGS:Vigna Dogarina Prosecco Extra DryVigna Dogarina Prosecco Extra Dry

Vigna Dogarina is the maker of this Vigna Dogarina Prosecco Extra Dry.

 

 

Bars to drink a good wine in Rome

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When you walk through Rome it is best to put aside the idea of pub to discover wine bars. In Rome wine bars may have different styles and one of the qualities they have is that if you try a good wine, you have the option to buy a bottle and take it home.

1. Il Goccetto, Via dei Banchi Vecchi 14:

This wine bar open since 1983 has a rustic style and it’s located in the centre of Rome. Here you can see the best wines of Italy and some foreign covering the walls, the owners have made efforts to promote natural wines and affordable prices. They have 800 different wine brands for sale, mostly Italian and French.

2. Il Piccolo, Via del Governo Vecchio 74:

This is a small wine bar with seating for 16 people maximum in winter, but in the warm months they place tables on the street. It has remained a family business for 4 generations, they have a happy hour and offer buffet style food.

3. Vino al vino, Via dei Serpenti 19:

Located in near the forum, they offer a wide variety of terroir wines and its walls have different wine choices. Poached eggs have excellent reputation.

4. Ristorante Roscioli, Via dei Giubbonari 21:

The Roscioli restaurant, located just around the corner from Forno, has a luxurious style. Although called restaurant, it also serves as bakery and wine tasting club. They serve “spumanti” to accompany every meal, and offer wine sales and tastings led by sommelier Alessandro Pepe.

5. Casa Bleve, Via Del Teatro Valle 48/49:

At Casa Bleve you can enjoy wine choices you would not find elsewhere. It has a stained glass roof worthy of admiration and it was created in the early 1970s. It combines the best food and wine in Rome.

6. Palatium Enoteca Regionale, Via Frattina 94:

This regional “enoteca” was created to promote the history, traditional producers, a selection of wines from the best wineries and culinary wonders of Lazio. The menu changes with the seasons and they also sell local products to take away.

7. Enoteca Cavour 313, Via Cavour 313:

At this wine bar near the Colosseum you can enjoy the predominantly wooden decoration with bottles on high shelves. It works as a restaurant, where you can see a blackboard with the daily menu, and at the same time it is a wine bar with a counter at the entrance.

 

 TAGS:Allegrini Palazzo Della Torre 2011Allegrini Palazzo Della Torre 2011

Allegrini Palazzo Della Torre 2011 is a , a red wine with Veronese DO made with rondinella and sangiovese of 2011.

 

 

 TAGS:Cusumano Benuara 2012Cusumano Benuara 2012

Cusumano Benuara 2012 is a red wine from the Sicily DO which blend contains syrah and nero D’Avola of 2012 and 14º of alcohol strength. 

 

 

*Image: from_the_sky (flickr)

Tell me what movie you like and I’ll tell you what wine you should drink

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If you are a wine and cinema lover, you’d probably already discovered some films related to the world of wine that filled you with joy and made you feel completely identified. In fact, since cinema is as a good universal symbol, there are all kinds of films having wine as a background, protagonist or theme.

Here are some of our suggestions:

1. A Good Year: This film released in 2006 tells the story of Max Skinner, an investor who inherits his uncle’s vineyard in Provence. When he visits it, memories of his childhood and family traditions revive, and he also meets a woman who will change his perception of life.

 TAGS:Miraval Côtes de Provence Blanc 2012Miraval Côtes de Provence Blanc 2012

Miraval Côtes de Provence Blanc 2012 is a French wine from the Provence, the region in which it develops A Good Year.

 

2. The Grapes of Wrath: This film is an adaptation of the novel of the same title written by John Steinbeck, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for this work. It tells the life of Tom Joad, his exodus, that of his family and other California wine producers because of the Great Depression in the United States in 1929.

 TAGS:Francis Ford Coppola Diamond Collection Silver Label Pinot Noir 2012Francis Ford Coppola Diamond Collection Silver Label Pinot Noir 2012

This Francis Ford Coppola Diamond Collection could be one of the wines that were harvested in those years when the dust covered everything. On this occasion, we selected it because of its undeniable connection with the world of cinema.

 

3. Sideways: This Oscar winning film is an adaptation of the novel by Rex Pickett, entitled Sideways. It tells the story of a couple of men with opposite personalities that make a trip to the Santa Barbara vineyards.

 TAGS:14 Hands Hot To Trot White Blend 201214 Hands Hot To Trot White Blend 2012

Will this 4 Hands Hot To Trot White Blend 2012 up to the roof of the protagonists of this already classic road movie?1

 

 

4. Autumn Tale: Two friends decide to move to Provence; one of them wants to get a partner for the other friend and uses the classified ads for that purpose.

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Chateau de Pibarnon 2008 Château de Pibarnon 2007 is also harvested in the idyllic land of Provence. What this region has to be one of the busiest scenarios of cinema?

 

5. Corked: This mockumentary is the story of 4 different wineries in California, looking to get the attention of a critic while he visits the area.

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In ?Tinseltown? they take advantage to elevate the nearest wine areas, such as California. This Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon 2000 is also a Californian wine.

 

6. A Walk in the Clouds: This romantic movie starring Keanu Reeves tells the story of a couple who falls in the vineyards at harvest time.

 TAGS:Castello Banfi Rosso Di Montalcino 2012Castello Banfi Rosso Di Montalcino 2012

This list could not miss Tuscany, the land of which Castello Banfi Rosso Di Montalcino 2012 is a good example.

 

7. Mondovino: This documentary by sommelier and filmmaker Jonathan Nossiter covers the issue of loss of identity of large transnational corporations over small winemakers and family wineries.

 TAGS:Lafou Els Amelers 2013Lafou Els Amelers 2013

Lafou Els Amelers Blanc 2013 is a wine produced by a family who works the land in La Terra Alta, an example of small scale winemaking.

 

 

8. You Will Be My Son: This is the story of Paul Marceaul, owner of the known vineyard Saint Emilion. This man is passionate oenologist that does not sees his son as a worthy successor to perpetuate the tradition of the family business.

 TAGS:Château Dassault 2010Château Dassault 2010

Château Dassault 2010 is a wine with Saint-Emilion appellation, the scenario that hosts this film.

 

 

9. Red Obsession: This documentary narrated by Russel Crowe compiles a series of interviews with various wine producers and resellers, as well as wine experts, to analyze the Chinese market demand.

 TAGS:Habla del Silencio 2011Habla del Silencio 2011

Habla del Silencio 2011 certainly will like any wine consumer in China, where imports of Spanish wine has grown markedly in recent years.

 

 

So, for you, what are the best wine-related movies or series? Do you agree with our selection?

Shops that sell in Uvinum: Xtrawine

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This week, we spoke with the leaders of Xtrawine, another of the stores that sell in Uvinum, to know them more thoroughly and learn from their way of approaching the world of wine and the online store, as well as to discover their recommendations for wine lovers. Here’s our interview with them:

How did you start?

Xtrawine was founded in 2011 by a group of friends united by their passion for wine and confidence in the potential of the internet vehicle. With the time, our careful selection of wines, the competitive prices and the high-technology internet that make the site fast and easy to use, pose Xtrawine as a reference shop for the distribution on-line of Italian wine.

The richness of information content makes Xtrawine a unique tool to explore the fabulous world of wine and what revolves around it, such as: recipes matched to the different types of wine pairings with food, production techniques, cross-evaluation by experts, information features and much more.

What’s your speciality?

Our speciality is Wine! And this is not too generic because wine is not only a beverage but also a culture. In addition to uncompromising quality, always at the right price, among Xtrawine goals are a focus on speed delivery and transports costs, and free the world beyond a small purchase threshold that varies from country to country.

Our speciality is transfer little wine dreams to our customers and make the wine experience more enjoyable.

What do you recommended?

There’s not a recommended wine. It depends on situations, emotions, costs, feeling, and so on. We would like to give high quality experience. We have about 1400 labels and we would like to suggest every label. There is not a right wine for everyone. But there is a right wine for you. But, if we have to recommend one, it will be an Italian wine.

The more drunk wines from our staff are wines easy to drink like the Sanfeletto Prosecco Treviso Brut, the Coppo Oltrepò Pavese Luigi Coppo Brut, the Ruggeri Prosecco Valdobbiadene Argeo Brut and for cakes the Coppo Moscato d’Asti Canelli Moncalvina 2013.

What is your last discovery?

Our last discovery is “Pignoletto”. It’s a native grape variety from Emilia Romagna. A very emerging wine also for international market.

 

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Luigi Coppo Oltrepo Pavese Brut

 

 

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La Tunella Schiopettino 2009

 

 

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Ferghettina Franciacorta Brut

 

 

The major Italian grapes

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The Italian wines do not lose hope to keep climbing position within marketing sectors and worldwide popularity. Much has been achieved with the quality of crops marketed and currently a number of indigenous grapes are giving a lot to talk about.

Nebbiolo

It is one of the most important Italian grapes, it is harvested in many parts of the world, but no one managed to find the secret of Piedmont, most likely to be the terroir, as indicated by Berry Green. Nebbiolo of Alba and Nebbiolo of Langhe represent excellent choices for this grape.

Nerello Mascalese

This grape from Sicily comes from the foot of the highest active volcano in Europe and turns out to be as versatile as Pinot Noir. It is produced in limited quantities and inside of Sicily, this limits its fame in other parts of the world.

Nero D’ Avola

One of the grapes that have become popular in Italy and more specifically in Sicily is the Nero D’ Avola. It is dark and for now it is used to produce wines of entry. Pierpaolo Messina (producer) ensures that this grape can age up to 10 years and this would give greater position of fine wine, but people quickly trade it, so that they are still ignoring their potential.

Aglianico

This Italian grape, grown in Basilicata volcanic soils, concentrates a good potential to produce wines. The plantations continue to grow and it is said that it is robust and tannic, but lacking the smooth fruity flavor. For now it is sold in small quantities and is considered by many astringent and heavy.

Fiano, Falanghina and Greco Bianco

These grapes for white wines stand out for the unexplored potential of Italian grapes, Fiano is accessible and is the most popular, Falanghina and Greco meet matches based on minerality and are expected to reach a level of Sauvignon Blanc in the future.

Vermentino

Another white variety prepared for a successful insertion into the UK market. It is less oily and citrus than other Tuscan varieties. The harvested soil does not change and this makes it uniform. Still, there are different shades of Vermentino .

Glera

Another primary grape in Italy is Glera. It is used to make the Porsecco in UK. The Porsecco has been more sold than Cava and Champagne in 2012.

Trebbiano

Trebbiano positive features are its tropical fruity flavor, creaminess and minerality. It is the favorite of all winemakers but is an excellent alternative crop for premium wines. He won first place in the competition of the best wines of Italy Sommelier Luca Gardini.

Pinot Grigio

The wine made from this grape has been undervalued because of mass production, but it is looking to rebuild its image on the basis of quality that characterizes him. Dividends from the producers of this grape in Italy are greatly favored by UK demand but the status does not rises, even if it is the most potential white variety for fine Italian wines, by same production methods implemented.

What is your favorite Italian grape ? Today we recommend two great Italian wines :

 TAGS:Masi Costasera Amarone Della Valpolicella Classico 2008Masi Costasera Amarone Della Valpolicella Classico 2008

Masi Costasera Amarone Della Valpolicella Classico 2008

 

 

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Serrocielo Falanghina 2012

Stellenbosch, the great South African wine area

 TAGS:Italy, France, Spain, United States … Now the big wine producers will have to count with countries referred as the ‘new world’, (talking about wine aspects). There are many areas of the world where good wines are made, and among them, South Africa is an emerging area that stands out for the quality of its wines. It has 100,000 hectares of vines, being the seventh largest producer of wine.

Among these areas, Stellenbosch, near Cape Town, is one of the most popular, where are made the Cape Town or Western Cape wines. Excellent and tasty white and red wines are made from Pinotage landraces for the red and Semillon for the whites, (depending on the area in which they are produced).

Stellenbosch has a diverse climate with mountains and sea, which creates rich varieties of wines with power, color, taste and personality. The climate is Mediterranean, with hot summers and cool winters and very clear skies.

The grapes that are grown are used for the production of wine, and not for table grapes. The vineyards of the region have heights of over 140 meters to 600 meters and you can visit it, which favors wine tours to see the countryside and visit the wineries of this beautiful area.

The promotion of these wines is getting bigger and stronger, and it is said that it is a region that is getting a very special place in the wines talks from now on. Those wines traveled many countries of the world and this export is getting bigger. A lot of growers are investing in foreign Stellenbosch, seeing in it a powerful and tasty wine that marries with all kinds of food.

Would you like to try different wines? Then do not miss our recommendations today:

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Pierre Jourdan Brut

 

 

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Kleine Zalze Cellar Selection Chenin Blanc Bush Vine 2012

Discover the wines of Lazio

 - Italy is famous for its gastronomy, but also for its wines, young, strong, aged, of long tradition… 

In the region of Lazio, whose capital is Rome, the wines are very recognized, mostly the whites, thanks to the Trebbiano grape. The most popular is the one from Frascati, called “wine of the Popes”, also white, which in addition to the grapes of this region, is elaborated with Malvasia, offering a fresh fruity aroma and a sweet taste of better quality. 

The Frascati Classico is elaborated in the mountains of this area of volcanic origin. The local winemaking tradition dates back to the Romans, when different types of wines were made; and in the Middle Age was a favorite wine by the British monarchy. The color of Frascati wine is yellow and has an alcohol content of about 11°. We find three distinct types: the actual Frascati, Frascati Superiore and Frascati Cannellino

Being light, cool and dry, it goes perfectly with many appetizers that are often consumed in this place, such as breaded snacks, salads, crostini and, of course, the delicious pastas with multiple flavors. 

In the same region of Lazio we can find other wine appellations, such as Castelli Romani, where white wines are also protagonist, although we are talking, in this case, of red wines. The Castelli Romani population is so committed to the wine that makes the Grape Festival, with many varieties of wine, cellars, new vintages and tastings to accompany the wine. 

Other appellations of white wines are Colli Albani, Marino, Orvieto and Velletri. And, among the reds, we can name the wines of Torre Ercolana and Aleatico di Tuscia. 

The reds pair with pasta, pecorino cheese and the poultry from this area, which is also characteristic of Roman cuisine.

Great Italian white wines

 - Although Italy is renowned for its red and rosé wines, it produces also white wines. His most recognized appellations of origin produce high quality white wines, fresh, full-bodied and with a light touch of spicy flavor that usually fascinate the most demanding palates.

We have an example of this in Tuscany, a region famous for its Chianti and other red wines, which elaborates also white wines made with the Vernaccia grape variety. Their elaboration is mainly located on the famous medieval town of San Gimignano. 

Verona produces the soave, another of the most popular white wines. Made from Garganega and Trebbiano di Soave varieties, is usually somewhat dry and goes perfect with salads, fish and seafood. 

The Classic Orvieto, meanwhile, made in Umbria, is usually sweeter and somewhat dry, defining characteristic of most of the Italian white wine. The Orvieto provides transparent yellow color and a delicate scent, besides having a fresh taste and a bitter touch. 

In this review of Italian white wines, we can not miss the Frascati, which comes from the city of the same name within the region of Lazio, in central Italy. The Frascati wine is dry and intensely fruity. It is usually served cold to drink with appetizers before a meal and is made from Malvasia and Trebbiano grapes. 

Perhaps one of the most known Italian white wines is the Marsala, produced in the region surrounding the city of Marsala in Sicily, and it is one of the most exported to different countries. The Marsala is made with the white grape varieties Grillo, Inzolia and Catarratto. And it is also usually served cold with the first or second course, or even with desserts, because of its dry and sweet taste.

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Casa Sant’Orsola Moscato d’Asti 2011

 

 

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Planeta la Segreta Bianco 2011

The Italian grape Nebbiolo

 TAGS:The wines of Italy are recognized all around the world, and their character and good taste are due to grape varieties such as Nebbiolo, typical of the Piedmont region in northern Italy. It’s a really valued red grape variety, grown only in this region and in some South American countries, but to a small extent.

The intense dark color is quite characteristic of other varieties of red grapes and it has a somewhat late maturation (sometimes, around November) than other red grapes that originate here. The wines elaborated from Nebbiolo grapes thanks are high quality and offer an intense ruby and burgundy color.

Its aroma is varied: ripe fruit (cherry, plum…), truffles (abundant in this Italian area), wood… and the flavor is strong and slightly acidic. Bear in mind that these are wines with an important alcohol content, which is usually about 14°, approximately.

The variety is used for the elaboration of two of the most distinctive wines in Italy, such as Barolo and Barbaresco, both with Appellation of Origin and usually high priced. The Barolo has a higher production than Barbaresco, which we found only in three specific locations in the same region.

So, which dishes can be paired with this wine? If we consider that the Piedmont mixes French and typical Italian dishes, this grape variety is perfect for beef, lamb or game. But it also pairs with cheeses, risottos and some pasta dishes, often matched with different creams and sauces. The truffle, as we already mentioned, is found in the forests of Piedmont, and makes an excellent couple with the Nebbiolo grape, provided that we can afford it.

 TAGS:Produttori del Barbaresco Barbaresco Montefico Riserva 2004Produttori del Barbaresco Barbaresco Montefico Riserva 2004

Produttori del Barbaresco Barbaresco Montefico Riserva 2004

 

 

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Massolino Barolo 2008

The worst summer in 50 years for the Italian wine harvest

 TAGS:Italian wine harvest suffers the worst summer in fifty years. The stifling heat that Italy has suffered during the summer months has been the guilty of disastrous harvests which has made the producers to lose up to 20% of the estimated volumes in some cases. The regions of Tuscany and Lombardy have been the most affected by this weather.

However, if we talk in terms of wine as a business these results can be interpreted differently. What for the producers means significant liquidity losses to the final buyer can be an advantage.

Every time something like this happens, higher quality grapes are obtained resulting in a higher quality vintage in general, although not as extensive. We have always heard: better quality than quantity, but the fact is that for some this is good but for others it is not. In this case, and as usual, the producer is the one who loses out.

What has happened in Italy also shows that large differences may occur linked to the provenance of the wines that come from this Mediterranean country.

After this summer heat, the wine regions of the North and the Midwest are preparing to take the losses associated with the decrease in volume, while in southern areas the opposite has occurred.

The region of Campania and Sicily are in the opposite situation, as they expect that the results of their crops achieve higher volumes than they did in the previous year (up to the 10% more). This percentage means that half a million hectoliters of wine more will be released.

Analysis and figures that reflect the reality of the wine world, in which producers are at the mercy of the vagaries of weather and the quality, age and strength of the strains are tested each year. That is the value of a product that takes a lot of work even though sometimes the result has much to do with luck.