Wine of the Day, No. 431


Made all in stainless steel and all the better for its freshness and appeal, the Tenuta Sant’Antonio Nanfrè 2016, Valpolicella Superiore, drank very nicely indeed with the sausage, kale and potato soup I made last night. A blend of 70 percent corvina grapes and 30 percent rondinella — essential varieties of this area in Italy’s Veneto region — the wine offers a beguiling transparent medium ruby hue and arresting, pert aromas of raspberries and black cherries, highlighted by notes of tea leaf and briers, violets and sage, with blue plums in the background. The lively texture leans on bright acidity and moderately dusty tannins for a lithe and supple structure, these elements supporting tasty black and red berry fruit. The lip-smacking succulence of these flavors does not keep the wine from its measure of dry spareness nor does the briery-brambly nature of its structure make it rustic. It is, mainly, ...

Wine of the Day, No. 429

Wines from this ancient property made from estate grapes get the label Badia a Coltibuono; wines produced from grapes derived from vineyards on long-term contracts are called simply Coltibuono. So, the Coltibuono Selezione “RS” Chianti Classico 2015 was fashioned from vineyards outside the Badia a Coltibuono estate in Tuscany, hence a “selection.” “RS” stands for Roberto Stucchi-Prinetti, the seventh generation of his family to run the estate since it was acquired in 1864. The Coltibuono Selezione “RS” Chianti Classico 2015 was made completely from sangiovese grapes that aged a few months in neutral oak vats. The color is the classic medium ruby-garnet that we love about sangiovese; notes of dried cherries and currants are permeated by hints of cloves and allspice and a bit of dried orange rind. The wine is quite dry, animated by dark, lively acidity and flavors of red and black cherries and a touch of ...

Wine To Match The Trees: 15 Italian Reds for Fall

Italian Reds for Fall 1.jpg There is something about fall that whispers to our senses. We seek comfort and nostalgia in the smells and tastes of spice and bounty. We long for the cool air that where I live we call “sweater weather” and the feel of chill on our cheeks. We look, oh goodness we look, for the colors of fall — in some parts of America, they call this “leaf peeping”, an attraction that causes a migration from cities into the wooded areas of the world — looking for fall colors is a beckoning. Taking inspiration from the appeal, giving into that which we seek, let’s drink to the fall colors and highlight some red wines. Ideal for this season’s meals, many-layered and long-cooked, red wines from Italy offer everything we could want from a fall drink. Variety is the spice of Italy, and here are 15 fall reds for the fall season… ...
What does wine taste like? How to taste wine. Italian wine tasting.
A lineup of fresh summer wines from Umbrian and Lazio
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Weekend Wine Notes: Nine Wines at $13 and Under

The title of today’s Weekend Wine Notes requires no explanation. I offer nine wines priced at $13 and under, each in a group of three, divided into Washington State, California and Italy’s Veneto region. Sorry to say that a couple of them are not recommended, but it happens, n’est-ce pas? As usual in this series, I omit detailed historical, technical and geographical data for the sake of brief reviews ripped, as it were, from the ages of my notebooks. Enjoy, in moderation, of course. These wines were samples for review.
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The Washington State wines of Charles Smith stand out on any shelf they occupy, distinguished by their stark black and white labels heavy on the graphic elements, a collaboration with Danish designer Rikki Korff. They also distinguish themselves by their solid QPR — quality/price ratio.
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Band of Roses Rose 2017, Washington State. 12.5% alc. 100% pinot ...

Around Italy With Red Wines For Fall

Red Wines for Fall
ITALIAN FOOD, WINE AND TRAVEL
On the first Saturday of the month, a group of food, wine and travel bloggers post about a region or a wine varietal. For September’s event, we look towards the change of season with food and wine that celebrate cooler weather and the abundance of harvest. These wines can be from any region, based on your own experience and preference. We are looking for roundup lists, pairing suggestions, travel inspiration, producer profiles and any other story that highlights red wine from Italy this time of year. The Favorite Italian Red Wines For Fall #ItalianFWT event will be Saturday, September 1, 2018. The following posts will go live early that morning and you can follow along on a Twitter chat — using #ItalianFWT — from 10 a.m. – 11 a.m. CT. Marcia at Joy of Wine reveals Lacrima – The Aromatic Jewel in La ...

Wine of the Day, No. 426

Ventale 2016, Valpolicella Superiore, is a new label from the Santi estate, founded in 1843 by Carlo Santi. This recent venture joins a roster that includes Proemio and Santino, both Amarone della Valpolicella Classico, and Solane, Valpolicella Ripasso Classico Superiore. Made from a blend of traditional grapes of the region — 80 percent corvina, 10 percent corvinone and 10 percent rondinella — Ventale 2016 aged 18 months in 500-liter barrels, 70 percent oak, 20 percent chestnut and 10 percent cherry wood. Such barrels are a bit more than twice the size of the standard 225-liter barrique; that is, 59 gallons for the barrique, 132 for the larger barrel. The color is a lovely, limpid transparent medium ruby; the wine combines aromas and flavors of ripe mulberries with dried red cherries in a spicy, fleshy melange that on the palate is animated by squinching acidity and a burgeoning graphite element. A ...

Wine of the Day, No. 424

It seems as if the weather is slightly cooler across the United States of America today, though showery in some areas and even thundery in others. Still, it’s probably a good day for cooking a steak or pork chops or leg of lamb or some sausages over smoldering hickory coals. A excellent choice of a wine to consume with such smoky, hearty fare would be the Tiefenbrunner “Turmhof” Lagrein 2015, from Alto Adige-Sudtirol, in Italy’s hilly northeastern region. The property was established in 1848 and is still in the family; “Turmhof” refers to the estate castle, which dates back to the 12th Century. Don’t you wish you could say, “Oh, yes, that’s our estate castle”? Good luck with that, sucker. Made from 100 percent lagrein grapes, the wine fermented in stainless steel tanks and aged eight months in a combination of large oak casks and small barriques. If you were ...

Favorite Italian Red Wines For Fall

Next month I’m the host of the Italian Food, Wine and Travel (ItalianFWT) writers group and I’ve chosen the couldn’t-be-broader topic of Favorite Italian Red Wines for Fall. Red Wines for Fall
Italian Food, Wine and Travel
On the first Saturday of the month, a group of food, wine and travel bloggers post about a region or a wine varietal. For September’s event, we look towards the change of season with food and wine that celebrate cooler weather and the abundance of harvest. These wines can be from any region, based on your own experience and preference. We are looking for roundup lists, pairing suggestions, travel inspiration, producer profiles and any other story that highlights red wine from Italy this time of year. The Favorite Italian Red Wines For Fall #ItalianFWT event will be Saturday, September 1, 2018. Posts will go live early that morning and you can follow along on a Twitter chat ...

Pira Barolo Serralunga d’Alba 2013


14%. Nebbiolo.

In short. Ready and approachable; raisins, lavender and soft leather. Super tannins - fine, supple, front to back; long and surprisingly gentle.

Later. I can still find same elements on the nose - but it seems more rounded. . . fruitcake with an inky undercurrent. Worn and rustic, fennel and small goods. My tongue has grown used to the tannins, they pause now before showing their hand, I notice the acids more clearly - they are poised, shapely, adding to the impression of open softness.

Nino Franco Summer Kir: A Refreshing Cocktail to try with Nino Franco Rustico Prosecco and Root 23

Hello Friends,

Nino Franco is one of the quality pioneers of Italian Prosecco. The winery was founded in 1919 by Antonio Franco and is located in northeastern Italy in the prominent wine growing region of Valdobbiadene. Nino Franco’s Rustico label honors the historic name of the original method used to make Prosecco, which was second ferment in bottle. Pressurized vessels are used today in what is known as the Charmat method. This method lowers the cost considerably, so sparkling wine can enjoyed any time of year, not only during celebratory occasions and holidays.

Beat the heat with this delicious, pretty cocktail! 

Classic cocktails such as the Mimosa and Bellini, which uses Prosecco and other sparkling wines, are delightful, but let’s kick it up a notch with something new and exciting. How does a flute or coupe of Nino Franco Summer Kir sound? You need only three ingredients: a bottle ...

Wine of the Day, No. 416

The tiny island of Mozia, lying in a bay off the southwest coast of Sicily, was settled by the Phoenicians in the 8th Century B.C. and served for thousands of years as a way-station in the network of sea-lanes that maintained diverse mercantile activity across the Mediterranean, come feast or famine, war or peace. The island is owned by the Fondazione Whitaker, an organization dedicated to the study and knowledge of Phoenician-Punic culture. This group asked the producer Tasca d’Almerita to revive Mozia’s early 19th Century vineyard and produce wine from it. Since construction of a winery was impossible — the whole island is an archeological site — grapes are punted across the bay in flat-bottomed skiffs and taken to be processed at Tasca d’Almerita. These happen to be grillo grapes, a white variety indigenous to Sicily. Made all in stainless steel, the Tenuta Whitaker Mozia Grillo 2017, Sicilia, ...

Chiaretto Goes With Everything: Italy’s Versatile Rosé Wine

rosato, Italian Wine, Lombardy,
Chiaretto, dry Italian rosé
One of the most popular stories on L’Occasion is this > Rosé or Rosato: Is There A Difference? Reader interest in pink Italian wine is much stronger than I’d known at that time, causing me to pay much more attention, drawing me into wines like Chiaretto.
Chiaretto Means A Lighter Shade of Pale
Chiaretto is short for Chiaretto di Bardolino, a pale, dry rose-colored wine produced on the shores of Lake Garda in Lombardy, Northern Italy. Hop in your care in Verona after breakfast, and have plenty of time to drink wine before lunch. Highly popular in Italy as well as Germany, Americans have recently taken note, claiming a bit of their share of the 8.5 million bottles that are produced each year.
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Chiaretto means ‘a lighter shade of pale’
Similar to other dry rosés, Chiaretto is beautifully versatile and food-friendly. Because it is ...
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rosé or rosato? what is rosato?

Wine of the Day, No. 406


There’s the vast sea of innocuous, indistinguishable pinot grigio, and then there’s the Peter Zemmer Pinot Grigio 2017, from Italy’s northeastern Alto Adige-Südtirol region. Made in stainless steel, this appealing wine offers a pale straw-gold hue and enticing aromas of green apple and almond blossom, roasted lemon and spiced pear with an intriguing leafy, grassy edge; a few moments bring in notes of hay, lemongrass and flint. This pinot grigio is savory and saline on the palate, lithe and crystalline in texture, animated by chiming acidity and a scintillating limestone element. For all that, it manifests these qualities — as well as tasty, tangy citrus and stone-fruit flavors — with nuance and elegance. 13.5 percent alcohol. A terrific wine for Summer, try it with all sorts of patio and picnic fare — I’m thinking cold fried chicken, shrimp salad, deviled eggs, cucumber and watercress finger sandwiches — or with ...

Wine of the Day, No. 405


How do the adjectives “lovely” and “drinkable” sound to you? If your reaction is positive, head straight to the Luca Bosio Dolcetto d’Alba 2015, a delectable red wine from Piedmont. Offering a dark ruby hue that shades to a transparent magenta rim, this fresh and appealing wine delivers a pure expression of the dolcetto grape in the form of black cherries, currants and plums given structure by notes of dusty graphite and sleek, silky tannins. Zinging acidity keeps it lively and engaging, while the finish opens to touches of leather, underbrush and dried thyme. A few moments in the glass bring in hints of violets and lavender. 13 percent alcohol. A perfect accompaniment to pasta dishes and pizzas, chicken Marengo, pork tenderloin or a simple herb and cheese risotto or frittata. Very Good+. About $15, representing Good Value. Imported by Quintessential Wines, Napa, Calif. A sample for review.

Wine of the Day, No. 404


Here’s a dashing and debonair red wine from Tuscany’s secluded southwestern Maremma region that lies athwart the Tyrrhenian Sea, where the sun is bright and the wind blows constantly. The name of the Rocca di Montemassi Le Focaie 2016 refers to the flint-like soil — “focaie” — that demands a great deal of the vines. Made from 100 percent sangiovese grapes and aged 12 months in French oak barrels of 350 liters — half again as large as the standard 225 liters — the wine offers a dark ruby hue that shades to medium ruby at the rim and enticing aromas of dried red cherries and blueberries, lapsang souchong tea and graphite, lavender and sandalwood, with undertones of orange rind and wet violets, all adding up to classic sangiovese. Not so much flinty as reminiscent of crushed gravel in structure but softened by mild dusty tannins and ripe, spicy black ...

Frank Cornelissen Munjebel Blanc 2016


Mt Etna, Sicily, Italy. 60% Grecanico Dorato (more commonly known as Garganega) and 40% Carricante. Ardea seal. 13%.

A known unknown. . . a meticulous orange wine with absolutely no additions - nothing in the vineyard and nothing in the winery. Pure, clean, distinctly other. . . Musk and aniseed, perfumed, savoury and spiced like a traminer might be. . . Salty, nutty and gripping. . . textured and tannic; satisfyingly difficult.