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Robin Garr

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Netscape Forum Poll: Favorite Italian region

by Robin Garr » Mon Oct 16, 2006 12:09 am

Which of Italy's wealth of wine regions makes your favorite Italian wine? Tuscany, Piemonte, the Northeast? Or down south to Puglia, Campania or Sicily? Or something else? You don't have to be an expert, you simply need to know what you like to participate in this week's Netscape/CompuServe WineLovers Community poll. It's easy to vote - here's no need to register or log in - so we hope you'll take a moment to express your preference. Feel free to add a comment if you like!

Click here to vote!
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OW Holmes

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Re: Netscape Forum Poll: Favorite Italian region

by OW Holmes » Mon Oct 16, 2006 12:25 pm

Kind of a "which of your kids do you like most" kind of question. So I answered it on the basis of comparative consumption. And at this early stage of the balloting, I see that I am alone.
-OW
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RichardAtkinson

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Re: Netscape Forum Poll: Favorite Italian region

by RichardAtkinson » Mon Oct 16, 2006 2:59 pm

Can't narrow it down to just one...its a toss-up between Tuscany & Piemonte. Though, I probably drink more chianti than the northern styles...Alas, I love a good Barolo...but at its pricing?...I'll save those for special occasions.

Richard
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Bill Buitenhuys

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Re: Netscape Forum Poll: Favorite Italian region

by Bill Buitenhuys » Mon Oct 16, 2006 3:36 pm

Without question, Piedmont has provided some of my most profound wine moments via baroli. But then consider all the yummy "less noble" wines like dolcetto, barbera, ruche, asti, and nebbiolo table wine and indigenous blends and I can be quite happy.
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Re: Netscape Forum Poll: Favorite Italian region

by MtBakerDave » Mon Oct 16, 2006 3:41 pm

For me it's a toss-up between Piemonte and Tuscany as well. The "B" wines are so wonderful, but so expensive! I drink a lot more Tuscan, therefore my vote. I wish I had a couple choices, because there are also those Slovenian wines, and nearly Slovenians that I'm developing such a taste for - the Movia Pinot Nero, and the Meroi whites - oh dear! How can I choose?

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James Roscoe

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Re: Netscape Forum Poll: Favorite Italian region

by James Roscoe » Mon Oct 16, 2006 4:49 pm

Who needs a favorite? They all have something to recommend them. Pressecco and Amarone from the Veneto, Chianti and Brunello from Tuscany, Barolo and Barbera from Piemonte, the list could go on. It's like trying to pick your favorite child or your favorite wife (okay, the last one is easy).
Cheers!
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Niki (Dayton OH)

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Re: Netscape Forum Poll: Favorite Italian region

by Niki (Dayton OH) » Mon Oct 16, 2006 8:34 pm

Not to mention Arneis, when one is in the mood for a refreshing white....
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Bill Hooper

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Re: Netscape Forum Poll: Favorite Italian region

by Bill Hooper » Mon Oct 16, 2006 9:35 pm

I'm with the rest of you in that I can't choose just one. However, for me it's between Piedmonte and Northeast. There were a few votes for Puglia -I'm not here to argue about anyones very personal "favorite" Italian wine region, but saying you like Puglia better than Piedmonte or Tuscany is like saying you like the Languedoc better than Burgundy or Bordeaux. And maybe some people do like Puglia better, but I'm curious as to why. BTW -I love the wines of the Languedoc -please no hate mail :D


-Bill
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Re: Netscape Forum Poll: Favorite Italian region

by James Roscoe » Mon Oct 16, 2006 9:42 pm

Bill Hooper wrote:I'm with the rest of you in that I can't choose just one. However, for me it's between Piedmonte and Northeast. There were a few votes for Puglia -I'm not here to argue about anyones very personal "favorite" Italian wine region, but saying you like Puglia better than Piedmonte or Tuscany is like saying you like the Languedoc better than Burgundy or Bordeaux. And maybe some people do like Puglia better, but I'm curious as to why. BTW -I love the wines of the Languedoc -please no hate mail :D


-Bill


The wines of Puglia are great, and you don't pay an arm and a leg for them. Are they as good as the top three Italian regions? Probably not, but the qpr could certainly make an argument for their being the "best".
.....we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth. A. Lincoln
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Re: Netscape Forum Poll: Favorite Italian region

by Bill Hooper » Mon Oct 16, 2006 10:18 pm

[quote="James Roscoe]Are they as good as the top three Italian regions? Probably not, but the qpr could certainly make an argument for their being the "best".[/quote]


A good point James. Italy is as a whole is a bargain hunters dream (have you tried some of the cheaper wines from Dievole, Niedermayer or Pierpaolo Pecorari?), but I generally believe that in the case of "Best", you get what you pay for.



Prost!
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Re: Netscape Forum Poll: Favorite Italian region

by James Roscoe » Mon Oct 16, 2006 10:24 pm

We are, of course, nit-picking here Bill, and I really agree with you in the first place, but I think it depends on what you perceive as "best". If you take into account qpr, then I think Puglia could make an argument. I think it loses, but I think reasonable people could disagree. If by "best" you simply mean which are the greatest wines, then Puglia is out of the running and you really only have three choices and a bunch of also-rans. The crux of the issue is defining the word "best". It means different things to different people. Heck, I'll bet the OED and Mr. Webster even have a bunch of definitions for the word.
.....we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth. A. Lincoln
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Dave Erickson

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Re: Netscape Forum Poll: Favorite Italian region

by Dave Erickson » Tue Oct 17, 2006 11:30 am

I guess for sheer quality then Piemonte is tops, but for sheer fun--at least for me--it's Sicily. I love all those crazy Sicilian varietals. How can you not love a grape named Zibibbo? :D
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Re: Netscape Forum Poll: Favorite Italian region

by Otto » Tue Oct 17, 2006 1:06 pm

For the having delivered some of the greatest wines I've drunk: Piemonte.

But I have to say that Alto-Adige is very lovable also.
I don't drink wine because of religious reasons ... only for other reasons.
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Re: Netscape Forum Poll: Favorite Italian region

by Ian Sutton » Tue Oct 24, 2006 5:42 pm

Piemonte for me as well. Mainly Nebbiolo, but barbera, dolcetto, moscato, etc. also have been pretty good on our trips there and at home.

Veneto has been most disappointing so far
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Re: Netscape Forum Poll: Favorite Italian region

by Bob Parsons Alberta » Fri Oct 27, 2006 2:22 am

Ian Sutton wrote:Piemonte for me as well. Mainly Nebbiolo, but barbera, dolcetto, moscato, etc. also have been pretty good on our trips there and at home.

Veneto has been most disappointing so far


Ian, had a chance to taste some wines from Sicily and S Italy tonite c/o Neil Empson.

Shardana `01.
Santa AnastasiaMontenera `00.
Litra `01 (100% cab).
Il Feuduccio "Fonte Venna" `02 (Montepulciano).
A Brunello, the Poggio Antico "Altero" `01.
Il
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Paul B.

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Re: Netscape Forum Poll: Favorite Italian region

by Paul B. » Fri Oct 27, 2006 11:25 pm

I know that this in no way does justice to the question - the answer omits far too much - but I will say that in general, I prefer northern Italian reds over those from the south. I greatly enjoy the edgy acidity and tannic structure, and prefer these to the "warmth" of the southern reds.

Besides that generalization, I can't identify any clear-cut favourites as such.
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Bob Ross

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Re: Netscape Forum Poll: Favorite Italian region

by Bob Ross » Fri Oct 27, 2006 11:45 pm

Paul, I thought you might enjoy a portion of a presentation I saw given by Hugh Johnson on the history of wine in Italy. One thought that has remained with me ever since:

It’s an extraordinary fact that there is a typical Italian taste from wines from all the diverse parts of Italy. “I can’t explain it, but I am sure it is real.”

I've haven't forgotten this comment, and it really does seem true.

Regards, Bob

Extract from lecture:

Hugh Johnson – “A Bottled History of the Wines of IT.” [$20]. Program: “Many people are aware that the Romans were great lovers of wine and planted many of what are today Europe’s greatest vineyards. How did Italy’s wine culture progress from this storied period to produce the world class wines of today? Renowned wine expert Hugh Johnson will recount Italy’s indispensable role in the history of wine, and how their great wines came to be. Johnson will guide you through a tasting of some of Italy’s best known wines, and will provide his unique insights into their development over the centuries. This is a great opportunity to experience once of the legends of wine as he presents the history behind the wines you enjoy today.”

Johnson said that the history of wine in Italy was “bumpy”, and really only about 20 years old in the minds of most people. Before then, there were no public relations initiatives, and to most people Italian wine meant Chianti in cute straw encased bottles (originally created to protect the fragile glass). In fact, the history of wine in Italy is thousands of years old; this is a short history with six wines as the “slides” that illustrate that history. Much of what Johnson said can be found in his Story of Wine, but the presentation was very interesting and may serve as the basis for an interesting tasting of your own.

General comments:

The soul of Italy is red wine; “The first duty of wine is to be red.”

Italian wines are made to go with food, as most wines should be. Scoring is ridiculous with these wines; “Show winners are not good company.”

For analytical purposes, Johnson suggested dividing fruit aromas and tastes between soft and stone fruits.

Johnson discussed the difference between color and hue; hue is light if you can read text on white paper through the wine, deep if you cannot.

Italian wines are astringent, rather than tannic; “tannic” is a better word to describe French wines.

Balance describes the tension between fruit on the one hand and tannin or astringency on the other.

It’s an extraordinary fact that there is a typical Italian taste from wines from all the diverse parts of IT. “I can’t explain it, but I am sure it is real.”

Structure is a very useful word, like a house with cellar, walls, attic. How a wine is held together. “It’s an event in your mouth, not just a drink passing through.”

Each capital city has a vineyard. Bordeaux for London. Burgundy for Paris, etc. Only great cities have the large middle class necessary to support a flourishing wine trade. Napa grew in large measure because San Francisco was nearby, and medical, banking and legal professionals liked wine and supported it.

Bottles used to be very expensive. Wine was bottled only when sold; until then, it had to be kept in barrels until point of sale. When bottles became available, winemakers could decide when to bottle, and the quality of wine improved dramatically.

Johnson described with great verve his rating system, which can be found in his annual pocket encyclopedias: “One sniff, two sniff … two bottles. I’ll have a case, no two cases. Damn it, we’ll have the vineyard!”

Great length is the most important factor in distinguishing better wines. The longer the taste last, the more pleasure you will find. If the lasts for over a minute without changing flavor, the better it appears: I’ll have a case, no two cases. Damn it, we’ll have the vineyard.”

****

Regards, Bob
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Re: Netscape Forum Poll: Favorite Italian region

by Isaac » Sat Oct 28, 2006 12:36 pm

Wine was bottled only when sold; until then, it had to be kept in barrels until point of sale. When bottles became available, winemakers could decide when to bottle, and the quality of wine improved dramatically.

This reminds me of when we lived in Sardinia. My wife, on her shopping trip each day, would drop off our bottle(s) at the enoteca, the wine shop, tell them which wine(s) she wanted, then pick up the full bottle(s) on her way home, so she didn't have to carry them with her in between. The choices were il regulare and il migliore for reds, and white. As I recall, we usually had some of each on hand.

What a wonderful part of our lives that was!

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