Thu 17 Feb, 2005 02:05 pm
I have recently had an epiphany...I found out that I can speak italian much easier when my brain has been properly lubricated with wine. The only problem is that I know nothing about wine.
Anyone know anything about wine? What do you like? Red or White? And if anyone knows any really good italian wines, I'd be extra-appreciative.
I don't really like dry wines (I think dry kind of means bitter, but I haven't got a clue, really), and I think I'm more of a red wine fan than white.
So, please, tell me all you know!
Kicky, funny that my experience is the reverse of yours. I find that I can speak Italian when I drink enough red wine, even though I've never studied the Italian language.
By the way, for me it's red wine with dinner and beer with sandwiches. Vino tinto is the only serious dinner drink. Can't stand sweet drinks or milk with a serious meal. In a pinch, I'll suffer iced tea.
I would also reverse your last question: Does anyone know an bad Italian wines?
If it has to be white, make it extraordinarily dry.
Have you tasted some Lambrusco (red, at least three years) or a Bardolino (chiaretto, at least four years)?
If not, go out to your best italian grocer, buy some and taste.
We'll speak of tomorrow.
If you like reds, then you like dry wines (unless you are drinking lambrusco). For many years, Italian wine was really pretty poor here in the U.S. (think of the cheap chianti in the basket bottle). That has changed dramatically in the last twenty years. Several large italian producers led the charge to improve their wines, including Ruffino (widely available in the U.S.). For a treat, try one of their Chianti Classico Reservas with your favorite tomato based italian dish, or just pizza. They also make less expensive chianti's that are very drinkable.
Good reds, from Piemonte, are Barolo, Dolcetto, Nebbiolo, with Barolo being the serious contender.
Good reds from Tuscany are Brunellos from Montalcino area, and Vin nobile di Montipulciano, plus many historic Chianti mixes from vineyards of Antinori and others, plus new super tuscans, primo mixes of, I think, sangiovese and cabernet.
There are some reasonably priced delicious chiantis, I'll try to remember some and be back later.
Look up Baron di Ricasoli for some chianti history.
Not that I am so smart on all this, as the best is out of my usual price range. But some a2k wine mavens are bound to stop by and fill us in.
For whites, Vernacchia di San Gimignano is well regarded and so is Pinot Grigio Santa Margherita (please pardon misspellings.) I also like a good Tocai Friulano, but that has not been so available in the shops here.
A name to look up is Angelo Gaja - I know his name is closely associated with good italian wine.
There are some good Sicilian reds, and some good reds from Montepulciano di Abruzzi...
Just saw your post, cjhsa - agree on a nice one to start being a Ruffino chianti classico riserva.
Osso knows lots more than I do.
Excellent info to start me off in my quest for knowledge, everyone! Thanks!
I bought a Sicilian wine last weekend for a party, and I really liked it. I wish I could remember the name now, but I can't. Oh well, I'll go back to the liquor store and look. The guy at the store told me that Sicilian wines are becoming kind of a trend lately.
I have loved all but one Chilean red wine. It was too dry for my taste (note: I bought it for the price, very cheap). Now I will confess a grievous sin. I mixed that dry wine with another cheap fruity merlot. The result was very good, for my plebian taste. I went to a couple of wine-tasting parties a few years ago, and my favorites were mid-price wines. I'm SO happy to be easily pleased.
An inexpensive and widely available red wine that I enjoy very much is from the Rioja region of Spain: Marques de Caceres.
a Sicilianii red is a nice
Casa Reservo il Baddabing
Back on the whites I mentioned, the first two might strike you as dry - think you might like the Tocai friolano if you can try a glass in a wine bar.
I think I've liked that red, jl.
I just know what I like as opposed to being any great taster - some here know I have a very diminished sense of smell (but I insist I've compensated somehow...).
When we were in Montalcino we didn't go to the italian state run enoteca in the Rocca to taste different reds, since I think that was the day we had stopped at Montigliari vineyard restaurant (sigh) on the 222 road near Panzano in Chianti - anyway, we'd had enough before we got to the hill town and found an albergo.
We did, around twilight, go to a small Bar called Caffe Brunello. Very small and classy place. They had a deal where you could taste three Brunellos for the equivalent of five dollars, I think, for both of us. The counter person used an elaborate procedure of glass rinsing and quick drying, and let us review three ages of brunello.
Yep, we both liked the young no-big-deal one best.
reading and learning.....
wish I could drink . Id wind up getting hammered and start somethin and thered go my career.
Too bad, but good that you realize it. I have a number of relatives who cannot drink, but I can. It's a blessing. Two or three drinks of anything and then I cannot continue.
everything I learned about drinking, I learned in rehab.
You know, folks. I used to think the coolest thing in the world would be belonging to a wine tasting club. Now I find that if it tastes good, and I like it, then it's the wine for me. We used to camp with an Italian woman who referred to bad wine as grappa.
Same way with brandy. It's not to be swirled around and smelled, but thrown down in one quick draught. Affectations are just that.
Ever had any elderberry wine? Dandelion wine? My friend, who is now an Episcopalian priest, used to say that rose was a bastard wine. Who really cares. Drink what you like, but like what you drink.
I've drank so much goooooood redwine in Italy,
but somehow can't remember the brand (or anything else
for that matter)
The choices given by the experts here, should get
you speak fluently Kicky.
er, CJ. Have you had a bit of the grape tonight?
why Letty? What did I say?