All Hail Italia!

My basement is cold…I mean, two blankets wrapped around me cold.  Springtime in Edmonton means melting ice and snow, which means cold concrete foundations.  Yup, despite 2″x8″ engineered joists, and double insulation, it’s still chilly in spring.  Probably the chilliest time of year in my basement.  But, this is where my computer sits, and this is where I blog.  And quite frankly, it’s ok, because I’m blogging about something I’m passionate about…and that’s wine!

The store that I work part-time at, has some GREAT tastings, and tonight was no exception:  All wines from Italy, and to be honest, there wasn’t one I disliked exclusively.  Even the Chianti (which I’m generally not a big fan of) knocked my socks off.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERALove that they have the line-up ready to go on the barrel as soon as you walk into the store! Prepare to purchase after you’ve tasted these amazing wines folks!

OK…so, admittedly, I’m a bit of a wine geek, and I take copious notes!  But it’s all learning right?  And what I learn, I love to share! 🙂 There’s even stuff on the back!!


Bortoluzzi Sauvignon Blanc
– got some nose tingling immediately, which led me to believe that it would be high in acid:  it was! Lots of huge tropical fruits, fresh-cut grass and nice minerality!  THIS is a great Italian summer wine! I especially love that it’s a family owned, operated small-time vineyard/winery!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFantino Barbera – another small family producer! (LOVE these!) This is the Barbera grape, not to be confused with Barbaresco, which is a DOC in the Piedmont region of Northern Italy. This 2011 has this beautiful, rounded nose of plums, cherries and just a hint of chocolate…For $32.75 retail, I would invest in this…it would age nicely, as the tannins and acid had a nice marriage in the finish.  Mm, mm……beautiful….

2009 Berardenga Chianti Classico– I don’t like Chianti’s. And I’m not afraid to admit it. Too many times, I’ve tasted the Sangiovese based wine and it’s just….roofing tar.  Ugh..

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI.  Can’t. Do.  It.  When in so many examples, that’s what I smell and taste, I will NEVER buy.  This one, however, changed my mind.  Truly, one of the ONLY, and best Chianti’s I’ve had. The Sangiovese grape is rather unforgiving.  You either love it, or hate it.  Typically, I hate it.  And even though this one was still tight with its grippy tannins, and could use more time, it would be freaking amazing with this über layered lasagna that my friend makes.  Seven different cheeses, and a mile high, my Italian Soul Sister Veronica could bring this wine to its knees with her lasagna…I kid. You. Not. And leave it sit in your glass for a while.  I dare you.  It’ll only get better….

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERACignale– that’s Italian for “Wild Boar”. Yes, there’s a story behind this wine…..In a nutshell, the wild boar destroyed the vineyard, trampling through and ruining an entire vintage.  Can’t be all that bad though, as (another) family owned winery paid tribute to the beast by sketching it (and naming it) on the bottle!  This is a “Super Tuscan”, which means they don’t have to put the Sangiovese of the region into the wine.  This one is 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 10% Merlot. This 2006 vintage was pretty “austere and elegant”, to quote Brett Norrie, but the 2007, which the store also carries, is supposed to be even better…Might be worth investing the $76.25 for this little IGT wine…

2010 Marcarini Moscato d’Asti – I bought this one…

It’s so fun and fruity with its frizzante effervescence… It took me in with its non-cloying sweetness and mousse-y finish.  This would be delightful with a light dessert, such as strawberry shortcake.  It’s signature Moscato, and at 5% alcohol, even your non-drinking friends might just want a sip of its satisfying sweetness.  Totally worth it at $21.50!

What you didn’t see?  On the back of my notes…

” Wine is alive and moving – constantly changing. Give it time to show its true colours. It could be positive or negative.  It could end up shining brightly, or just be a dumb wine “- Brett Norrie, Epsom Wines

I’m becoming quite fond of Italian wines. LOVE me some good Italian wines!  I can’t wait to go there someday!!~

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