When one sits and ponders all the fascinating Italian grape varietals that exist, Teroldego doesn't normally make the list. In fact, "Teroldego" (Tear-ahl-de-go) doesn't even SOUND Italian.
That's because the red grape Teroldego hails from the northern Italian province of Trentino-Alto Adige (Südtirol), located on the southern border of Austria. Trentino-Alto Adige is a high alpine area annexed to Italy as a spoil of victory over the Austro-Hungarian Empire in World War I. Natives of Trentino still speak German as their first language, hence the existence of words like "Teroldego."
This light-bodied red grape has an intense, violet-toned ruby colour which becomes garnet with age. Intense and intriguing violet scented fruit characters, typical of this wine, dominate the nose, becoming full, ethereal and persistent as the wine ages. The palate is warm and sappy with a pleasingly bittersweet aftertaste, well balanced with a good tannin structure. If you had to compare it to another well-known variety, Pinot Noir or Gamay would be a good fit.
The wine's acid structure makes it a great accompaniment to many types of cuisine including stew with dumplings, Italian Speck, minestrone soup, and fresh young cheeses. $19.99
This Verdicchio di Matelica is made of grapes grown on vineyards that have a Jurassic period raised sea bed, near salt water springs called "le salse" (from "sale" which means salt). The raised and unique North-South mountain valley blocks off tempering coastal winds to cause extreme diurnal temperature differences resulting in this racy, mineral driven wine. Notes of tangerine and green apple. $15.99
"Settled first by Etruscans then the Romans, the territory of Tuscany has been prized since antiquity for its rich soil and favorable climate for the cultivation of grapes and olives. The earliest documentation of a "Chianti wine" dates back to the 13th century when viticulture was known to flourish in the "Chianti Mountains" around Florence. The name 'La Maialina' (little pig) references the Cinta Senese heirloom breed that originated in the Siena area during the 1300's and is the only Tuscan native pig to survive extinction.
La Maialina Chianti expresses a ruby red color, with bright aromas and flavors of red cherries and ripe strawberries with hints of sweet spices and a soft finish."
Wine maker Dave Phinney is responsible for such cultish and iconic wines as 'The Prisoner', 'Saldo', and 'Papillion.' On his latest wine project, Phinney traverses the globe crafting elegant & approachable wines in places like Spain, France, and Italy.
The Locations Italy project is a blend of native Italian varietals including Negroamaro, Nero d'Avola, Barbera, and other varietals from Puglia.
"Revealing an attractive color spectrum of crimson and scarlet with a slight magenta band on the rim, the wine explodes with aromas of macerated raspberries, dried lavender, plum tart, and toasty oak accents. The palate is immediately hit with super lush flavors of ripe berries and spice, supported with a dense core that has just the right amount of characteristic acidity. The tannins are already velvety and soft which provide for a lingering finish with hints of minerality and some herbal notes." $19.99
Known for their prestigious Brunello di Montalcino, Altesino began making the Rosso di Altesino in 1989 to offer a high-quality wine at a price that could be enjoyed everyday. 80% Sangiovese with 20% Cabernet and Merlot, this is a fresh wine with a bright, ruby red color. Notes of red roses and violets, the wine itself is dry and slightly rustic. Pasta or lasagne with a bolognese sauce would be a match made in an italian kitchen...or heaven, isn't that the same place? $19.99
Baracchi Winery's O'Lillo Supertuscan hails from the hills outside Cortona in southern Tuscany. "Supertuscan" refers to a style of Italian red wine made in the region of Tuscany from a blend of both autochthonous and non-autochthonous grape varieties. In this case, O'Lillo is made with 25% Sangiovese, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, and 25% Syrah.
The wine is macerated in conical tanks for 22 days; 6 months in stainless steel followed by 3 months in bottle. Ruby red in color, traditional in its complexity, roundness, elegance, yet modern in its intense fruitiness, accessibility, and soft tannins. You'll find aromas and flavors of black fruit and roast coffee. $19.99
The Barbera grape variety hails from north western Italy and can be found growing in & around the quaint village of Alba. Barbera flourishes here and produces medium-bodied reds that burst with red fruit flavors, offer mild tannins, and high levels of acidity. Barbera d'Alba is ideal alongside lighter fare, especially dishes such as pasta, stewed chicken, barbequed dishes, veal, grilled lamb, and tomato sauces.
The Barbera d'Alba Superiore DOC from Palladino is made with 100% Barbera grapes, fermented from 15 to 16 days at a controlled temperature. The must is stirred 3 times a day starting the wine making process. In March the wines is placed in big barrels of Slavonia oak for a period of 12 months. $15.99
The Italian viticultural area known as the "Langhe" is situated in north-western Italy in the province of Piedmonte, at the foot of the Alps. It is here you will find some of Italy's most noble red wines made from the variety known as Nebbiolo. Nebbiolo (from the word 'nebbia', which means fog) is king of the Langhe and produces wines that are lightly colored, highly tannic, and which offer scents of tar and roses.
This Langhe Nebbiolo is a great entry to the category which includes Barolo, Barbaresco, Gattinara, and a few others. Although those wines fetch much higher prices, the Nebbiolo from Monchiero will offer an expression of Nebbiolo without breaking the bank.
Light, bright ruby red color. Straightforward fruity aromas of cherry, plum, strawberry, and red flowers. A bit more depth and grip than the light color and bouncy, fruity nose would lead you to expect. The acid is strong, and noticeable tannin makes this a very food-frinedly wine. Clingy flavors of dark cherry and some roasted herbal resin.
Try it with Venison, roasted meats, pasta with a strong meat sauce, beef casseroles, and salami. $15.99
Amarone is one of Italy's most noble wines. Hailing from the northern Veneto region, Amarone is produced with the Corvina, Rondinella, and Molinara grape varieties. The grapes are harvested ripe in the first two weeks of October and allowed to dry, traditionally on straw mats. This process is called appassimento or rasinate (to dry and shrivel) in Italian. This causes an intense concentration of the remaining sugars and flavours.
Wine Enthusiast magazine awarded this wine 89 points and had this to say:
"Young and sprightly, this bright Amarone delivers fresh notes of berry fruit, exotic spice and cola. The quality of the nose is very clean and polished, and the wine boasts sweet flavors backed by impressive intensity. Although it's ready to drink now, the wine will show even better after 2010." $54.99
Another Blair Taylor import, this is made from the Brachetto grape and is the red cousin to everyone's favorite Italian dessert wine, Moscato. If you enjoy Moscato, you'll fall in love with Villa M!
Hand-picked Brachetto grapes are rushed into the wine press to preserve their fresh and vibrant flavors. The result is a markedly sweet red with a bubbly effervescence that leaves your palate longing for more.
Grab a bottle of Villa M along with some strawberries and whipped cream and you just might end up like Mickey Rourke and Kim Bassinger in '91/2 Weeks!' $16.99