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Wines of Northwest Italy
Barolo and Barbaresco were sweet wines until the mid to late nineteenth century. Today, they are all dry, massive reds.
French Wine - Wines of Alsace
The grapes of Alsace are Riesling, Sylvaner, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir, Muscat, and Chasselas.
Pairing Food and Wine
When thinking about wine and food pairing, remember to match the strongest flavor in the dish to the wine. This dominant flavor may well be the sauce. A traditional pesto penne works very well with the herb and nut flavors of a Spanish Verdejo for instance.
Wines of Northeast Italy
Roberto Anselmi, a small but leading producer in Veneto, switched from calling his wine Soave DOC to Veneto IGT in 2000 because he felt the laws governing the Soave DOC production encouraged thin, poor quality wines. His white wine, Capital Foscarino, is stellar. Made from low yielding Garganega and Trebbiano grapes, the 2004 vintage starts with a nose of ripe red cherries and red licorice—you would be forgiven for thinking this wine was red if tasted blind—then takes the palate by storm with fresh lemon, mineral, and ripe apple. It's a long, rigorous version of this classic grape blend. Fabulous.
Buying Great Wine
Big brands have their merits. In the best cases, they deliver consistency and good value for the money—crowd-pleasers if you will. They are also easy to find because they're often stocked at major stores and they're generally quite easy to like even if most won't make you ponder their nuances and wax lyrically. Some are better than others though. As always, look to reliable producers for the best bottles.
Wines of Northwest Italy
Think of Barbera as the quintessential Italian mother—generous, reliable, and almost indispensable to family meals. Barbera is relied on by the people of Northwest Italy to go with their traditional fare of antipasto, risotto, meat, cheese, pasta, and pesto. It is probably the best value red wine you can buy from Italy.
Wines of Tuscany
Organic producers in Tuscany include Buondonno, Poggio Trevvalle, Casina di Cornia, Tenuta di Valgiano, and Massa Vecchia.
Trade Secrets - Storing Wine
Storing wine away from major vibrations is a good idea as not to disturb the wine's intricate chemical alchemy while aging. If good wine has been subjected to vibrations, let it rest a few weeks before serving.
New Zealand Wine
Cloudy Bay is the most popular Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough. It was the first to be seriously exported in the mid '80s and quickly garnered rave reviews by critics. It now enjoys cult status and is a cracking version of this grape. It's also now owned by the luxury goods conglomerate LVMH.
French Wine - Wines of Burgundy
Wines labeled Saint Véran, Pouilly- Loché, Pouilly-Vinzelles, or Pouilly- Fuissé are some of the best wines of the Mâconnais region. These wines are always white and made from Chardonnay grapes.
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