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My New Italian Love Affair

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I love Italian food, but I know absolutely nothing about Italian wine.  (My personal cellar is over 50% French, with an affinity for pinot noir, champagne, Cremant d'Alsace, and white Burgundies.)  Aside from the occasional glass of Chianti that I'd order with pasta, Prosecco, Lambrusco, and one particular domestic Nero d'Avola that has been a consistent favorite of mine for the past year, I have always pictured most Italian wines to be too robust for my palate.  Until now.

During a recent lunch, I got to try several pretty fantastic Italian wines.  We started off with the 2007 Cantina Terlano Terlaner - a nice, floral white wine with stone fruit notes, a little on the drier side.  Next, a 2007 Cos Pojo di Lupo, a general crowd pleasing Nero d'Avola.  Somewhere between the pasta and the meat course, we had 1996 Produttori del Barbaresco- Barbaresco Riserva Rabaja

The wine director at Bar Bambino recommended a Barolo which she described using the words "ripe peach" - very unusual for a red wine.  She wasn't kidding.  The 2004 Parusso Mariondino was poured after being decanted for half an hour or so, and brought with it a fruity and plush nose that undoubtedly smelled like peaches.  Mouth-watering and luscious, nice balance with velvety tannins, and a smooth finish.  Two bottles later, I am absolutely in love with this wine.

The last wine brought to the table was the NV Martelletti Brachetto, a sparkling red sweet wine that was a pleasant end cap to the litany of wines we'd tried.  After five shining examples of wines that I could wrap my head around, I am now seriously curious about Italy's wine offerings. 

Which got me to thinking - what else have I been missing out on because of my previous bias against Super Tuscans and other highly tannic Italian wines? 

Italy, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful relationship.
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What people are saying (4)

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Ricknat1 commented (6 years ago)
Bernadette, i second the idea of the trip to Peidmont. Best wine country visit I have had. Go in October and you will also get to the Truffle festival. Because there is a huge rift amongst the winemakers there in staying to the old ways or using "modern" techniques, they will invest much more the time to share how they make the wine in an effort to win you over. You might want to try some great Barbera's like Bricco del Uccione or Ai Suma from Braida (Giacamo Bologna)
Pino M commented (6 years ago)
Hi there, You might already know that COS, the Sicilian winery that makes Pojo di Lupo, uses the very old method of fermenting some of its wines in huge terracotta recipients which are buried underground. Try their Pithos! Being a Sicilian living in Los Angeles I like to follow the wines from Southern Italy. Good luck with yoru love affair! Pino
Yilmaz commented (6 years ago)
Great post. That Brachetto was certainly an unexpected highlight to end with.
petesf commented (6 years ago)
Now you have to take a trip to the Piedmont region in Italy. We went there a few years ago and it was AMAZING!
Year, Name, Varietal, Country, Region, Appellation, Color Drink dates Score(s)  
Martelletti Brachetto d'Acqui
NV Martelletti Brachetto d'Acqui
Red Brachetto
Italy - Piedmont
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Produttori del Barbaresco - Barbaresco Riserva Rabaja
1996 Produttori del Barbaresco - Barbaresco Riserva Rabaja
Red Nebbiolo
Italy - Piedmont - Barbaresco
1996 Produttori del Barbaresco - Barbaresco Riserva Rabaja
IWC ...
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Giovino commented (518 days ago)
A great wine and best value for Barolo
Terlano - Terlaner Classico
2007 Terlano - Terlaner Classico
White Proprietary Blend
Italy - Trentino-Alto Adige - Alto Adige
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COS - Nero D'Avola Pojo di Lupo
2007 COS - Nero D'Avola Pojo di Lupo
Red Nero d'Avola
Italy - Sicily
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Armando Parusso - Barolo Mariondino
2004 Armando Parusso - Barolo Mariondino
Red Nebbiolo
Italy - Piedmont - Barolo - Monforte
IWC ...
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