Make Zibibbo Your Holiday Dessert Wine

Sweet wines – that is, wines that are generally intended as dessert wines – get far too little attention and respect. This is tragic, because many of the world’s finest, most eloquent wines are, in fact, sweet wines. They can command astronomic prices, too, when coming from the right place and producer. Any grape can […]

Rethinking Primitivo

Oh, Primitivo, I’m sorry! I should never have doubted you and your potential. Continuing on the theme of “breaking stereotypes”, allow me to share what I discovered in Apulia recently: there is Primitivo being made there that can easily compete with the great Zinfandel wines of California. Wines with freshness (!) and elegance (!!), fruit […]

Apulia Sparkles

It is a long-standing stereotype that “the south” cannot make sparkling wines of any real interest because the climate is too hot and sunny, meaning the grapes that thrive there lack the necessary acidity for great sparkling wine the grapes that are generally acknowledged as making the best sparkling wines (Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, even Riesling) […]

Montecucco Sangiovese Comes of Age

Montecucco Historical Tasting In 1998, a small appellation for Sangiovese-based wines was carved from the Maremma. Forged on the slopes of Mount Amiata, the extinct volcano that is also the hallmark and birthright of Montalcino, Montecucco DOC celebrates 20 years of appellation status this year. The elevation of Montecucco Sangiovese to DOCG, now the calling card of Montecucco, was granted […]

Finding Good Value in Wine

Good Value Wine If you want to find “good value” in the wine world, how easy is it?  How much do you need to know about wine? Is it possible to get “good” wine at a supermarket, or even at a hard discounter like Aldi or Lidl? Well. Defining “good value” is almost as difficult […]

Stop and Smell the Vinegar

Recently I wrote a couple of articles about Ciliegiolo and the Maremma. This was made possible because I had been invited to Grosseto to take part in the Maremmachevini event, showcasing the wines and producers from the area. Normally, it is necessary to fly to these kind of events – particularly if the events are […]

A five-barrel Solera found at Ermete Medici

Solera and the Solera System

Solera You may have encountered this word before. If you drink Sherry or Spanish Brandy, you almost certainly have. But what does it mean? Let us first get some possible confusion out of the way. “Solera” is not to be confused with “Solaris”, which is both 1: a disease-resistant grape variety first created in Freiburg […]