Rethinking Primitivo

The iron-rich calcareous soils of Goia del Colle planted with vines of 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 […]

Apulia Sparkles

The best sparkling wines from Apulia are made with a grape variety found nowhere else 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 winethe grapes that […]

Montecucco Sangiovese Comes of Age

20 years of Montecucco DOC in a vertical tasting of Montecucco Sangiovese 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. […]

Finding Good Value in Wine

Yeah, it’s cheap. But is it good value? Perhaps. 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 […]

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 […]

A bottle and glass of raspberry wine from Shady Lane Estate Winery

Fruit Wines Worthy of the Name

Shady Lane Estate Winery “This tastes too much like wine…” That was what my wife said. But when that is the only criticism there is for a bottle of fruit wine that you happen to be drinking, then things could be worse. Fruit wines have a well-earned reputation for being sweet and simple. In fact, […]

The colour of Ciliegiolo

Ciliegiolo: Jewel of the Maremma

Ciliegiolo, Jewel of the Maremma For all my talk – and writing – about little-known or forgotten native grapes, there is another category that is no less worthy of closer examination. Not forgotten, perhaps, but overlooked. An ensemble player – often in the scene playing a supporting role, but seldom in the spotlight: the blending […]