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Italian wines for beginners

April 26, 2020 Tags: Beginners, Italian Wines 0 comments
Life is now different for all of us and will be for many weeks to come. We are all spending more time at home, learning new skills and hobbies, including wine. Not drinking, but tasting wine, to help you we have made a few videos explaining the wine tasting process.

I’ve probably tasted hundreds of wines during these weeks, I start tasting in the morning and finish late in the afternoon, seven days at week, it is harder and more exhausting than going for my daily run, but I am definitely getting fitter, or at least my nose and palate are. Learning wine is exactly like going to the gym, the more we taste, the more our noses and palates get better.

We are tasting new wines, wines that we will soon start importing, and getting to know new producers, thanks to the technology we are having plenty of chats to get to know the people behind the wines. Wine is only half of the story.

If you have read my blog, in more than one occasion, I wrote that Italian wines are the most interesting because of their variety and unique characteristics, I also wrote that Italian wine offer an outstanding value for money amongst the “old world” wine countries. I am not talking about the best wines in the world, the adjective “best” is very subjective, great wines are made all over the world, but interesting wines. Wines expressions of the unique “terroir” Italy possess, from mountains to volcanoes, each Italian wine represents a piece of Italy. And great wine is made in the vineyards not in the winery, probably the first lesson my grandpa taught me.

With this in mind, I have chosen 5 wines that Italian wine beginners should start their discovery journey with. I have chosen wines made with native grapes, wines easy to understand and enjoy at the same time. Suggesting a Barolo or Amarone to a beginner, can have the opposite effect, put them off Italian wines all together. Here is my list:

Piedirosso. A great red wine from a little known grape from Campania grown on the Vesuvius dried volcanic lava, unaged, a joy to drink but also a wine that, thanks to the “terroir”, introduce to volcanic wines

Gavi di Gavi. Because Italian wine is also white. This is a white wine that we all know and tasted at some point, but not all Gavi are the same. Not only this is fantastic example of Gavi di Gavi, but shows that Cortese grapes, have the potential to produce more than easy to drink white wine.

Chianti. Even though Chianti is an aged wine, this is a 100% Sangiovese wine, the base of many great Tuscan wines.

Valpolicella. This is the first step toward the understanding of the Amarone. Valpolicella, even thought is often unappreciated, can be a good, more than decent wine.

Primitivo. Lastly Primitivo. A good Primitivo is easy and simple, big, bold with plenty of fruity, a good introduction to southern Italian wines.

Check our wine maps to learn more about Italian wine.
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