Asolo: Prosecco with a sense of place (Pt.1)

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Asolo, Cathedral Bell Tower

Asolo: Prosecco with a sense of place (Pt.1) On a clear day in Venice, take a moment and look inland to north-north-west. On the horizon, shimmering in a lagoon haze, are a range of hills forming the first outliers of the alps, some 60 km distant across the pancake-flat land of the pianura. Here lies the town of Asolo; perched on …

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2019 AWEsome Wines – Free Download

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AWEsome Wines 2019

2019 AWEsome Wines – Free Download Hot off the Press! The latest 2019 edition of 100 AWEsome Wines from the Association of Wine Educators (AWE) is out now. It’s brand new, now in its 5th year, and it’s free! What’s the catch? There isn’t one. We’re wine educators, so it’s what we do. AWE members are professionals that taste and teach wine …

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Conte Vistarino – Italian Pinot Pioneers

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Conte Vistarino Pinot Nero

Conte Vistarino – Italian Pinot Pioneers When you think of Pinot Noir, the chances are that you won’t be thinking about Italy. Of course, Italy has its own great native red grape varieties, while the spiritual home of Pinot Noir is in Burgundy. However, in Lombardy, Conte Vistarino has long been a Pinot Pioneer. Pinot Nero In Italy, Pinot Noir is …

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Cocktail: the no-alcohol cocktail with a secret sauce

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Balsamic Cocktail

Cocktail: The no-alcohol cocktail with a secret sauce Welcome to Dry January. An increasingly popular post-festive exercise for many, but I’m sure you’ll forgive me for not joining in. I’m a strong supporter of Responsible Drinking. However, I don’t want to endure a month of abstinence to try and compensate for over-indulgence. Instead, I prefer to stay dry on weekdays permanently, …

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Tabarrini Adarmando, Bianco dell’Umbria IGT. WOTY 2018

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Tabarrini, Montefalco, Umbria

Tabarrini Adarmando.  Bianco dell’ Umbria IGT.  WOTY 2018 WOTY? It stands for Wine of the Year of course! In 2018 I encountered many outstanding wines, seemingly in every colour and style. Each brought great pleasure, and the best often taught me something new. However, in selecting from all these, there can only ever be one WOTY 2018. This year it’s an …

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Spoletino. I say Spoletino; you say Trebbiano

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Harvesting Trebbiano Spoletino, growing up trees at Tabarrini

Spoletino.  I say Spoletino; you say Trebbiano I say Spoletino; you say Trebbiano. Let’s call the whole thing off.* In Umbria, there resides a brilliant yet still obscure white grape variety, called Trebbiano Spoletino. It grows around the hilltop towns of Montefalco and neighbouring Spoleto, near Perugia. What’s in a name? Yes, the name Trebbiano does it no favours. Trebbiano …

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Christmas 2018 – six favourite wines

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Christmas 2018

Christmas wines 2018 – six favourites What are my six Wines for Christmas 2018? ‘Tis the season.  If you’d like more recommendations, then please look at my lists from 2017 and 2016 too. As for my selection criteria for Christmas 2018, they have to be versatile; excellent with food or at a party. I’ve tried to mix the selection up …

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Limoncello? How to make it yourself

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Limoncello

Limoncello? How to make it yourself Shout out if you don’t like Limoncello. *silence* I thought so. Limoncello Limoncello is an Italian lemon digestif, these days produced in Italy wherever lemons grow. Its origins are probably from around the Amalfi Coast of Campania, south of Napoli. There, the large oval and sweet Sorrento lemon called Femminello Santa Teresa has a …

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Sagrantino, Montefalco wineries and wines

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Montefalco Sagrantino

Sagrantino, Montefalco wineries and wines Part 1 of this article told the story of dry Montefalco Sagrantino DOCG in Umbria and its rise to become an iconic Italian red wine. This Part 2 has a dozen wineries, most with wines available in the UK.  You can click on the map embedded below to view these wineries and find out more. …

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Montefalco Sagrantino. Tannins, time, and transformation.

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Consorzio Tutela Vini Montefalco - Sagrantino

Montefalco Sagrantino. Tannins, time, and transformation. Sagrantino is a fascinating Italian native red grape variety. It’s capable of making outstanding red wines in its homeland around Montefalco in Umbria. This grape has a long history. Despite this, it has only recently acquired success, due to the extraordinary rise of the dry Montefalco Sagrantino DOCG. It was just in 1979 that this …

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