Category Archives: ITALY

Once the Lime’s in the Coconut, Put the Fiano in the Aglianico

The problem with referring to Viticoltori De Conciliis ‘Latoscuro’ as ‘The Côte-Rôtie of Campania’ is that no one but a select circle of snooty, snotty, snoring old pedants will get it. People like you and me. However, reference that silly, … Continue reading

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Booting the Boot: Italy Becomes My Chanterelle

Boot camp sucks, boots on the ground kill, boot licking is for losers.  All in all, referring to Italy—Europe’s most celebrated culinary gem—as a boot, the same item consumed by the Donner Party right before they switched to the inner … Continue reading

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Botticelli’s Brunello

When it comes to ageless art, the Italians certainly understand sensuality. A catalog of the masters, from Anguissola to Zandomeneghi, is a showroom of sumptuousness; a busty, broiling fleshpot. Though radical for its time, Renaissance art wasn’t a discovery of physical … Continue reading

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Can You Naima Red Wine Grape from Campania?

How about Aglianico? If, like me, you associate this grape with Greece, then like me, you probably know less about Campania than you think you do. On the other hand, if you can point to Campania on a map, you … Continue reading

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Why Some Wines Are Better Off Young and Some Men Better Off Old… ish

Simply saying that some wines are meant to be consumed young is just as easy as saying that some wines improve with a few years—or decades—of cellar aging. Words are easy; the depth of their meaning and the profundity of … Continue reading

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A Nero Hero: Frecciarossa ‘Giorgio Odero’

Ever been suckered into one of those multi-paged, data-mining websites where you learn, for example, why ’10 Things You Learned in History Class Are Totally Wrong’? Of course you have.  And, like me, you probably got to about #4 before … Continue reading

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Château Fueillet: Torrette Syndrome

I have spontaneous respect for wineries who export wines when they don’t have to; when they develop an international fan base when it makes no business because they simply produce too little wine for this to be a strategy with … Continue reading

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Coppi From Colli: Footsteps of ‘The Champion of Champions’

To borrow a joke that can apply equally to quantum physics, Greek politics or the festering appeal of the Kardashians: ‘If you claim you understand the wines of the Piedmont, it’s because nobody ever explained them to you.’ Location-wise, Piedmont—Piemonte … Continue reading

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Stugots in Montalcino: Podere Le Ripi

Tuscans have testicles, no doubt about it. Think back on the early days of the so-called ‘Super Tuscans’ when a handful of vintners decided they could make better wines using grape varieties that the Denominazione di Origine Controllata did not … Continue reading

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O Verdicchio, Verdicchio! Wherefore Art Thou?

The other day I wrote about a reputation-ravaged red (Lambrusco) and today I shift gears to confront an equally marginalized Italian white: Verdicchio. The innocuous little grape from innocuous little Marche was content to coast along on its laurels—as threadbare … Continue reading

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