• I have an on going battle with a lot of wine geek friends of mine.

    I love Italian wine and talk about it often whereas they love everything else.

    Italian wine grows on you if you let it. Kind of like a jasmine vine if someone introduces it to you and tells you how amazing the perfume it gives off is.

    In no time at all you will have Italian wine in your cellar pushing out all the classics, and before you know it the conversations with your friends will all turn to the Schiava you found or how all the hip Cabernet Sauvignon drinkers have found Aglianico (“ah-LYAH-nee-koe”) to be the new thing.

    I’m exaggerating of course, but with over 350 “authorized” wine varietals grown, Italy has more variety than any other wine growing country in the world (France has 72). Their styles can be generalized, but there is something for everyone.

    Light, bright acidity with a touch of effervescence, low alcohol and a hint of sweetness in… Moscato d’Asti or Asti Spumanti.

    Fresh big fruit, with plum and dark cherry, medium acidity, medium acid, low tannin, and typically very little age for that drink now while you’re waiting for the food to be ready… Dolcetto.

    A little dustier, a bit more age, mellower fruit, bordering on bright red cherry with a touch more tannin and a bunch more acidity, that will pair with your first course… Barbera

    Strong acidity, lighter body, a bit more minerality and a lengthy finish that for a white borders on ridiculous… Arneis

    A lightly sweet, mildly effervescent red wine, with almost no tannin, a propensity for quaffability and aromas of strawberries, and can be drunk any hour of the day… Brachetto

    Crisp, clean, delicate, mild and always approachable… Pinot Grigio

    Dusty, aromas of dried rose petal, dried cranberry, medium body, light in color, but with prevalent tannins and structure that enables aging for years and years… Nebbiolo

    The list goes on forever, but people generally only see a hint of what there is.

    Give Italy a try.  I know you’ll find something that makes you exceedingly happy.


    – Jonathan Hood