The Italian Abroad Wine Blog
The Italian abroad wine blog is my wine blog and diary. I founded Italyabroad.com in 2003 and have been living abroad for almost 20 years and this blog is a collection of my thoughts mainly about Italian wine and food, but also wine and food in general. I come from an Italian wine making family and got acquainted with wine at a very early age, but I don't just love Italian wine, I love any good wine and enjoy plenty of it, as well as good food and travelling, and often my posts include a bit of everything.
To help you understand Italian wines, we have designed a series of Italian wine regions maps featuring DOC and DOCG wines showing the origins and the grapes making your favourite Italian wines. I also wrote a post on the Italian wine appellation system explaining and demystifying the Italian wine classification system and what it really means for Italian wine lovers and wine drinkers in general.
Lastly, we have a Youtube channel where you can watch me tasting some of our wines and answer your questions about Italian wines and grapes, from the real meaning of DOC to what is an orange wine.
Hope you enjoy reading this wine blog and please get in touch if you have any question.
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A few weeks ago we attended, as exhibitor, the Manchester Wine Festival. Standing behind the table, we could hear people’s comments, and noticed that they were attracted by the vegan wines, everyone wanted to taste them, they were always the first and sometime the only wines people would taste. There was a visible interest but it was due to a lack of knowledge, very few knew what a vegan wine was, in fact only one person knew what differentiate a vegan wine from a non vegan.
During the course we tasted 6 or 7 extra virgin olive oils, blind tasted, and not only we had to identify each oil characteristics but hidden amongst them, there were two faulty ones: one very evident and the other slightly, and a supermarket olive oil. Exactly like when tasting wine, everyone had a different nose and palate, so we all picked different aromas and characteristics, but I was able to spot the faulty oils, which made me very happy, my nose and palate are getting there, been training for years tasting wine.
Wine tasting is a great way to hone your wine appreciation skills and by comparing wines with a common theme you can really appreciate their subtle differences. A bit like with a science experiment, the idea is to keep as many wine factors constant as possible and then compare the one variable. Wine tastings don't need to be as serious or expensive as they sound either, set a budget and theme and each of your friends can bring a bottle to your next meet up.
I managed to finish the book, but the excitement had become pain, I wasn’t enjoying the story anymore and wanted to give up in more than one occasion. We all need food to live and a way or another, our taste changes, often evolves, but food for Italians is much more than a recipe. I was hoping the book would have not only followed his series, letting “Italians” doing the cooking and telling their stories, but also showed the other side of food for Italians
The 2022 vintage has just started, this is only the beginning; the next couple of months and the amount of rain falling will determine its quality and what to expect from the wines. But 2022 has also reminded wine makers of the challenges ahead due to the extreme weather events that are becoming more and more frequent
If the various consortiums had the right management and skills could easily see that, from a financial and marketing point of view, these “wins” bring little benefit to their members and the same money could be better spent promoting the real products and educating consumers instead of paying thousands to lawyers all over the world to apply and enforce trademarks.
I recently read a post from a fellow wine blogger titled “Simple wines”. The post is about good, drinkable wines costing less compared to the “others” produced by the same winery and the article takes inspiration from the writer enjoying a good prosecco costing only “about €10”. After reading the post I asked myself whether these were simple wines or simply made wines? I can certainly define a simply made wine but could not define a simple wines, what is a simple wine? I believe simply made wines, for me, or simple wines, in a time where living costs are sky rocketing, could not be more actual to talk about.
I have recently returned from Villaggio Coldiretti, a village organized by the Coldiretti, the Italian farmers’ association, held in Milan and what a great trip it was. Not only the weather was hot, maybe a bit too hot, but the food and the wine were simply beautiful and then the location, more than the venue, Castello Sforzesco and its park, in the heart of Milan, only a few minutes away from the Duomo, with its green and tranquillity.
When I founded Italyabroad.com, in 2003, wine was, for many, an unknown subject; a subject that very few people could understand let alone explain; these were the times where wine critics could make or break a winery, they were treated like celebrities. These were the times where winemakers worshipped wine writers; winemakers would have given anything for a 90 plus review or a mention from the likes of Robert Parker, and wine drinkers were eagerly waiting for their Sunday’s wine columns with their wallets ready and there were only a few wine competitions. These times are now gone
Awards come and go, one year the wine is a gold medal winner the next not even bronze, every vintage is different, every judge has a different palate and nose. I recently saw an advert for a wine with a big gold medal and when reading it, I read “2016”, an award won for the 2016 vintage is being used to promote a 2021 vintage and has been for every vintage in between. If we don’t judge a book by its cover, we should not judge a wine by its award.
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