Varietals: A-B

Sixty White Wines Recommendations for Autumn

Autumn is here and for most of us, that means shifting from the lighter summer rosés, whites and BBQ Reds into something that matches with heartier food or sitting by the fire on a chilly fall evening.  At every party though there is someone who says they only drink white wine.  Sometimes he or she means sweet, but often dry wines work too.  Just like red wines, however, there are white wines that work great for the autumn season too.  


Volpi Barbera d'Asti "Vobis Tua" 2005 - IntoWineTV Episode 113

"Piedmont Reds" Host Lisa Kolenda and wine experts Bartholomew Broadbent, Cezar Kusik, and Edward Ruiz taste and discuss the 2005 Volpi Barbera d'Asti Vobis Tua.

Arneis: Italian White Wine is Piemonte's White Barolo

When one thinks of dry wines from Italy’s Piemonte, they are usually red wines.  There is a white wine though that should be on everyone’s radar. I am speaking about Arneis.  It is the perfect white for transitioning from summer to autumn.  Arneis is both the name of a wine and the grape from which it is made.  The name means “little rascal” in Piemontese dialect, so named because it can be difficult to grow.  Historically that difficulty was because the better situated vineyards were planted with the “more important” red nebbiolo grape leaving the “lesser” sites for Arneis.

Barolo Wine Recommendations: Best Barolos for the Money asked our panel of wine experts their recommendation for one Barolo wine worth seeking out (but which won't break the bank):

Old Barolos are my favorite dry reds in the world. The Nebbiolo grape--grown in this particular region with its special soils, climate, elevations and exposures, and made in the traditional style, with long aging in large neutral oak vessels--produces a wine that ages into something ethereal, haunting and very, very special. They also require at least 15-20 years of bottle age before the tannins sufficiently soften and the tertiary flavors really begin to develop so that all of the beauty locked up in these big, complex wines can start to be glimpsed.

The Rare Wine Co. is the best source of older Barolo in the U.S., at very fair prices, and they use my scores for the Barolos I’ve tasted that they have in inventory at any given time. Expect to pay north of $200, and generally in the $300-450 range, for a sufficiently aged beauty that will give you a real taste of what old Barolo has to offer. If money was no object, I’d personally pick up a few more bottles of one of my two all-time favorites, the 1958 Giacomo Borgogno or 1964 Giacomo Conterno.

If you’re a younger collector who has the time to acquire newer vintages on release and store them the requisite 15-20 years until they are worthy of being opened, my recommendations are to go with the great traditional producers that have the strongest track records: Bartolo Mascarello, Bruno Giacosa, Giuseppe Rinaldi, Giacomo Borgogno, Giacomo Conterno or Oddero. - Richard Jennings, Featured Contributor and the Founder

France's Cahors Wine Region: Bordeaux’s Country Cousin

In a way, Bordeaux is like the old British Empire. Although its dominance of the wine world has receded with the emergence of young wine regions like South Africa, South America, and Australia, the tentacles of Bordeaux’s influence are still seen in the character of wine all around the globe. 

Find Bargains on Cahors Wines

Consider South America, a continent as distant from France geographically as it is culturally.  The principle grapes used to produce South American red wine are not only mostly French, but often Bordelais in origin.

Taurasi: A Campania Red Wine Worth Acquiring

In the region of Campania (see related article on Lacryma Christi) there is red wine that is worth knowing about and which merits acquisition. This wine, named Taurasi, is made from the Aglianico grape, the same grape discussed in the article on Aglianico del Vulture from Basilicata.  Indeed, the Aglianico grape is utilized over much of southern Italy.  For reasons which will be explained below, the Aglainicos from Campania are some of the best made anywhere.

Piedmont's Barbera Wines: History, Regions, and Top Producers

The fourth most widely planted grape in Italy is Barbera.  In the Piemonte, it is the most widely planted grape and accounts for over 50% of the annual DOC red wine production and 35% of the vineyard area.  Thought to be native to the Piemonte, Barbera has been grown there for centuries.  It is most likely the grape written about by Paul the Deacon in his description of the Battle of Refrancore in 663 when the Longobard troops of Grimaldo defeated the Franks after getting them drunk on wine.  He confirmed that the Longobards filled amphorae with wine and scattered them around the surrounding fields.  The Franks found these jugs and drank voraciously from them making them unfit for battle. 

Refreshing White Wine Recommendations for those Hot Summer Nights

The dog days of summer are once again upon us. Whether your remedy to beat the heat is a cool pool, a shade tree, or a blasting air conditioner, it always helps to have a relaxing beverage to help ease the pain. asked our panel of wine experts to recommend refreshing white wines for those hot summer nights:    

"On a hot summer evening, I look for a chilled white wine.  I also find that if the wine has a bit of sweetness, it offsets the heat a bit.  My go-to wines on these evenings tend to be Rieslings.  Rieslings are one of the most versatile wines for matching with food.  They are especially great with light summer fare such as a salad or fish or fruit.  They also make easy sipping on their own.

Washington Barbera: Lost Mountain Winery Delivers a Food Pairing Success

What comes to mind when you think of Italian wine? Barolo, Sangiovese, Asti Spumante, or the popular rule-breaking Super Tuscans? I normally do. But a few weeks ago, I was re-introduced to Barbera in, of all places a winery on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State – hundreds of miles away from grape growing territory.

I was researching Mt. Townsend Creamery, an artisanal cheese making company in Port Townsend. Their three cheeses have become hugely successful in a short time

Aglianico del Vulture: The Basilicata Region Produces One of the Great Undiscovered Wines of Italy

All the way down at the southern end of Italy, in the arch of the boot, is the region of Basilicata. It is sparsely populated with sturdy peoples of very old traditions. The people who reside there often call their region by the ancient Roman name of Lucanta. The wine making and drinking traditions there predate Rome. One of the oldest and best wines made there is from the Aglianico grape. It is called Aglianico del Vulture. In fact, it is one of the great-undiscovered wines of Italy. This is most likely due to the isolated position of Basilicata and lack of tourism.

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