Italian Wines?

Apr 5th, 2006, 07:20 AM
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Hi Traviata,

who was it who produced "your" Sagrantino Passito bottle? My favourite Passitos are those of Ruggeri and (though overpriced) Bea, followed by Fongoli's...
franco is offline  
Apr 5th, 2006, 08:18 AM
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Thanks again to everyone for the wonderful recommendations. I will be printing out this thread to read on the plane on the way over and keep as a reference. Salute!
BrentA100 is offline  
Apr 5th, 2006, 08:24 AM
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Hi Brent,

My favorites (so far)

Sagrantino di Montefalco
Rosso di Montalcino
Vin Nobile di Montepulciano
Orvieto Classico

Barolo is great too, but I've only had it in the US.

Loved tasting at the Enoteca di Fortezza in Montalcino. Huge selection (not cheap). In addition to the Brunellos, I tried 4 "super Tuscans". Surprisingly, I liked 2 and didn't care for the other 2. Isn't wine wonderful? Every bottle and vintner is different.

Buon viaggio!
Dayle is offline  
Apr 5th, 2006, 01:37 PM
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Hi Franco,

The producer appears to be "Terre de Trinci"....We have not opened our take home bottle as yet, but wish to purchase more Passito in October...if you can suggest others, we will definitely look for them.....also had a divine after dinner wine in Montone but lost the name I had written down...all I recall was that it ended in "Siracusa" was sweet but not cloying..really fabulous...any ideas??
Traviata is offline  
Apr 5th, 2006, 01:57 PM
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Prosecco is a very pleasant aperitif wine. Don't turn your nose up at it becuase it's not champagne.

Barolo and Amarone would be my favourites, but I like big red wines. 14-15% would be more common thn 16%, which I would only expect to see in an Amarone.

There are very strict rules about the varietals which go into DOCG wines. Many Chianti producers, for example, would prefer to put more Sangiovese grapes in the mix, but they're not allowed to.

So they produce table wines -Vino di Tavola, which, in some cases are better- and more expensive than the DOCG they grow alongside.

So if someone recommends a Vino di Tavola, don't turn your nose up at that either.
sheila is offline  
Apr 5th, 2006, 02:39 PM
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I do not consider myself an expert, but I know what I like and I did not have a bad glass of house table wine in Italy.

I also had some other really good wines, but the table wine was always excellent and quite inexpensive.
LCBoniti is offline  
Apr 5th, 2006, 03:01 PM
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Shiela you are confusing me! Sangiovese is the principal Chianti grape and the law that requires other grapes to be blended into a DOCG wine no longer exists. A few hours ago I tasted a Chianti Classico DOCG from Vignamaggio that was 100% sangiovese.

Here is something I learned today: the word Sangiovese comes from "blood of Job."
ekscrunchy is offline  
Apr 5th, 2006, 04:16 PM
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I don't know Terre de' Trinci's Passito, unfortunately. I have a faint memory of tasting their Secco which didn't particularly attract me, but that says nothing about the Passito. Paolo Bea, whom I've mentioned before, makes a really weak Secco, but his Passito is excellent. Alas, he knows it. Alas, he's selling most of it to the US. Alas, his price is crazy.
My favourite, no doubt, is ... hm, Traviata: I must admit I've deleted two entire paragraphs now which I had already written! I just don't want the whole world to go where I'm buying my favourite wines!! Just think what happened with the Bea wines - prices are being pushed up unreasonably with increasing demand, especially from abroad... but of course, I'm ready to give out my favourites to a nice Fodorite like you. Just email me at [email protected]
Re: your "Siracusa" wine, it must be Sicilian (Siracusa is in Sicily), and I'm afraid I don't know much about Sicilian wine - hardly anything, in fact.
franco is offline  
Apr 5th, 2006, 04:29 PM
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I will be in touch at the provided address...I suspect the Passito we had was a more commercial one..we had it at Il Molino, but it is enticing to think we can taste even better!!

Yes, the Siracusa was from Sicily, the owner of the hotel/restaurant was from there..I,too, had not had wine from this area, but loved it was a golden colored wine and truly delicious....I thought we would find it easily in our travels, but never did and really regret not buying a bottle that evening... much little time....
Traviata is offline  
Apr 5th, 2006, 05:29 PM
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The Barolos, especially those with some age, are tough to beat, although the Barbarescos can be incredible. But as someone else noted, even house wines (at least a good restaurants) can be an absolutely joy.

On my last trip, I hung out with a crew that was buying 60 euro bottles of Piedmonte wines. Didn't have one that wasn't wonderful. Later on with a different group, we were drinking 10-15 euro bottles. Not as spectacular but always very good -- did not have a bad one.

OK, I'm off to open that Barolo right now ...
repete is offline  
Apr 6th, 2006, 04:10 AM
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I have read that it is "Blood of Jove"! Whichever - he Sangiovese grapes have been around have been around a long time.
Brahmama is offline  
Apr 6th, 2006, 04:54 AM
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Another vote for "blood of Jove". Jove is Giove, Job is Giobbe in Italian, so blood of Job should translate "Sangiobbese".
franco is offline  
Apr 6th, 2006, 05:45 AM
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Franco I was thinking about this later. How does it come to be "blood of Job?" I thought "san" meant "saint." Is it being used here as a shortened form of "sangue." or "blood?" Thanks again.
ekscrunchy is offline  
Apr 6th, 2006, 06:16 AM
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Yes, ek, the Italian language is great on shortened forms - and especially the dialect of Venice! Just think of church names: Santi Giovanni e Paolo becomes Zanipolo; Santi Gervasio e Protasio - San Trovaso; San Giovanni in Oleo - San Zaninovo; Santi Ermagora e Fortunato - San Marcuola. Funny, eh?

Ah yes, Venice, and actually, the topic of this thread is wine... BRENT, I have one more gorgeous wine bar for you, in Venice: Ai Rusteghi, in an inner courtyard just across the lane from Osteria alla botte. Great wines, and Italy's best panini (don't laugh, they're really good - I normally hate panini, too).
franco is offline  
Apr 6th, 2006, 06:23 AM
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Thanks Franco. I love those examples in Venice. I remember reading a mystery by Donna Leon in which she wrote about someplace called, if I am remembering right, San Zan. I could not find this on the map in the book and I could not find it on my own map of the city. And while we are on this, is "ombra" a Venetian phrase? I thought is meant shadow but it is used for a small glass of wine in Venice, no? Soon we will have to change your name to Professore Franco!
ekscrunchy is offline  
Apr 6th, 2006, 06:34 AM
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ek, San Zan is always San Giovanni, in Venetian. It could be San Zan Lateran, for example, where "Zan" stands alone (other than in Zaninovo or the like), but I'm not an avid Donna Leon reader, I must admit. San Zan Lateran is a few steps east of Zanipolo/Ospedaletto, you should find it on a good map. (There is a Rio San Zan Lateran, and a Fondamenta, too, if my memory is correct.)
Ombra means shadow, that's right, but also dusk (in Venice, at least), and that's why - l'ombra, si prende all'ombra, you take your aperitif at dusk.
franco is offline  
Apr 6th, 2006, 07:21 AM
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Thanks, yet again, Franco!
ekscrunchy is offline  
Apr 6th, 2006, 07:33 AM
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You're always welcome, ek. Another example for S. Zan spring to my mind: S. Zan Degolà, i.e. San Giovanni Decollato, that's a second possibility for Donna Leon's San Zan. Btw, when you return to Venice, don't fail to visit that church of S. Zan Degolà (it's still existing, other than S. Zan Lateran) - a wonderful and totally unknown example of Venetian romanesque style. It's near S. Giacomo dall'Orio.
franco is offline  

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