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Italian Wine Primer?

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Sam Platt

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Italian Wine Primer?

by Sam Platt » Mon Apr 10, 2006 3:07 pm

Thanks to multiple visits to an Italian wine bar, with a very passionate Italian owner, during my recent spring break vacation I have taken a greater interest in Italian wines. Unfortunately, gaining a true understanding of the naming conventions and the appellations seems to be more difficult than I had anticipated. Can anyone suggest a good intermediate level primer on Italian wine?

Thank You,
Sam

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Robin Garr

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Re: Italian Wine Primer?

by Robin Garr » Mon Apr 10, 2006 3:29 pm

Sam, my Italian-wine bible for years was Burton Anderson's Vino, but I think the best current book is probably Vino Italiano, the Regional Wines of Italy, by Joseph Bastianich and David Lynch, who are involved with Mario Batali at Babbo. Readable book, with a good province-by-province breakdown of wine and food.
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Re: Italian Wine Primer?

by Bill Buitenhuys » Mon Apr 10, 2006 3:52 pm

Sam,
This is the first website I go to when I have a question about Italian appellations.

ItalianMade
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Re: Italian Wine Primer?

by Sam Platt » Tue Apr 11, 2006 11:59 am

Thanks for the tips guys. My local book store doesn't have "Vino Italiano: regional Wine of Italy", but I did find it on-line. The "ItalianMade" website, suggested by Bill, has lots of very good information. I spent some (too much) time there last night.

I thought that after developing a solid understanding of Burgundy all other regions would be simple by comparison. Apparently I was mistaken. :cry:

Thanks Again,
Sam

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Florida Jim

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Re: Italian Wine Primer?

by Florida Jim » Tue Apr 11, 2006 12:08 pm

Sam,
I have a fair number of books on Italian wines and regions and think Vino Italiano is my most useful and user friendly text. By all means, pick up a copy.
I don't think Italy is all that hard to get a handle on, once you start dividing it up into regions.
But the proprietary names in Tuscany can drive you right up a wall - they seem to be whimsical, at best. Fortunately, I have little use for Tuscan wines so I am saved that memory exercise.
Best, Jim
Jim Cowan
Cowan Cellars
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Re: Italian Wine Primer?

by wrcstl » Tue Apr 11, 2006 2:23 pm

Bill Buitenhuys wrote:Sam,
This is the first website I go to when I have a question about Italian appellations.

ItalianMade


Bill,
I am a big Italian fan, particularly CC and whites from the NE. This is the best web site I have seen and along with wine has some great recipes.
Walt
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Niki (Dayton OH)

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Re: Italian Wine Primer?

by Niki (Dayton OH) » Tue Apr 11, 2006 8:31 pm

Another vote here for Vino Italiano. I read it like a novel the first time through, and continue to reference it frequently. The Lidia Bastianich recipes that I've tried from the book have all been a hit with our local wine club.
Cheers,

Niki
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Re: Italian Wine Primer?

by Oliver McCrum » Wed Apr 12, 2006 2:53 pm

If you want an unromantic, factual guide to the wines of Italy, a great option is Burton Anderson's Pocket Guide to the Wines of Italy, (Mitchell Beasley, pub.). I don't know if the most recent edition is in the US yet (the great thing about this book is that it's revised every two years). I don't always agree with his views of producers but the appellation details are very good.

It should be possible to order the new ed. from amazon.co.uk if you're interested.

Otherwise I quite agree about italianmade.com, excellent.
Oliver
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JC (NC)

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Re: Italian Wine Primer?

by JC (NC) » Thu Apr 13, 2006 1:33 pm

I attended a seminar put on by Banfi during one of the past Triangle Wine Experience weekends. They gave us a number of handouts explaining the classification of Italian wines and a glossary of terms. They might be willing to send out such materials as a promotional device if you ask.
Sharon McCarthy led the seminar.

Banfi Vintners, the nation's leading wine importer, has promoted two key executives: Sharron McCarthy to Vice President, Wine Education, and Gary Clayton to Vice President, Marketing.


Ms. McCarthy, a 24-year Banfi veteran, has led the firm's wine education department since its formal consolidation in 1998. She and her team conduct wine education seminars for consumer, trade and educational groups, presenting the major wine regions of the world, the history of wine and the laws governing its production, the proper service of wine and its role in a healthy diet. Ms. McCarthy leads educational tours exploring the wine and food of Italy and Chile, and lectures annually to students at leading universities in the US and abroad. She serves on the board of directors for the Society of Wine Educators, and is associated with the American Institute of Wine & Food, American Wine Society, Sommelier Society of America, New York Women's Culinary Alliance, Dames d'Escoffier and Donne del Vino, among others.
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Sam Platt

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Re: Italian Wine Primer?

by Sam Platt » Thu Apr 13, 2006 4:01 pm

Thanks JC. I e-mailed Banfi Vintners and requested the info. We'll see what response I get.

Sam
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JC (NC)

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Re: Italian Wine Primer?

by JC (NC) » Thu Apr 13, 2006 6:03 pm

Let me know if they respond, Sam.

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