Fortified Wine, Dessert Wine, Port Wine

Italy's Molise Wine Region: Where Di Majo Norante Shines

Perhaps the most obscure wine making region in all of Italy is the region of Molise. Molise is surrounded by Abruzzo, Lazio, Campania, and Apulia. Until 1963, the region of Molise was part of the same political region as Abruzzo ( Montepulciano d’Abruzzo was discussed in a previous article). In fact, the food and traditions here are closely associated with Abruzzo. Yet, its closeness to both Apulia and Campania lend it a bit of a southern influence. The wines of Molise achieved their own independence in the 1980’s with the creation of two DOCs: Biferno (named after the largest river in Molise) and Pentro di Isernia. These hillside areas receive wonderful sunshine and are sandwiched between the Apennines Mountains and the Adriatic Sea. Biferno wines can be red, white or rosé. The whites are predominantly made from the Trebbiano grape along with the Bombino in smaller proportions. The reds are a blend of mostly Montepulciano with some of the Aglianico grape. Wines from Pentro di Isernia can also be red, white or rosé. The whites are the same Trebbiano-Bombino grape blend, while the reds (and rosé’s) are usually a blend of Montepulciano and Sangiovese. More recently, in 1968 a DOC also called Molise was created. This DOC encompasses the region and allows for white, red, rosé and even sparkling wines.

Anatomy of a Well-Rounded Dessert Wine Menu

A perfectly-balanced dessert wine menu does not just happen: much thoughtfulness and love goes into it before its vibrant siren song emerges at your table, beckoning you to sample a naughty sip. I had the good fortune to sit down with Andrew Bresnik, Wine Director of Bricco della Regina Anna and learn how a well-rounded dessert wine menu is born and how you can work your way through it. Bricco is a delightful neighborhood wine bar and bistro tucked

Charming Ice Wines: Cold Never Tasted So Good

December, what do we do with you? So full of merriment, yet so manic. Emotions bubble to the surface like corks, dredging up memories of past joys, pains, laughter and tears just in time for you to tie a nice bow around them all and start anew in January. And what better tumultuous time of year to give yourself a kick in the pants and try something new, like ice wine? Contrary to what you might think, ice wine is not a Cabernet Sauvignon-flavored popsicle (although, that’s a great idea….)

Wine and Cheese Pas de Deux

Last month, we touched on some basics around dessert wines and their terminology. This month – as dinner party season fast approaches with the holidays – let’s wow your guests with some basics around dessert wine and cheese pairings. I recently spoke to a well-traveled epicurean friend of mine, Carrie Voorhis , who used to manage a cheese and wine shop in Indianapolis, Indiana. Every day she’d help folks like us find the perfect compliments to wines from all over the world.

Decadent Dessert Wines: The Language of Labels

As we roll into fall and winter, thoughts of roaring fires, cashmere sweaters, and elegant dinner parties are filling my head. And with this in mind, “Red on Reds” is taking a slight detour into the sumptuous world of dessert wines: What are they, what do they pair well with, and how sweet is sweet?

Dessert Wines "California Style" - A Discussion with Andrew Quady

Much is written about the celebrated wines and terroir of Napa Valley and Sonoma County. Travel southeast from California’s “wine country” through the Central Valley and you will find a unique gem of a winery nestled in Madera County. Quady Winery has spent the past 30 years refining the art of dessert wines. IntoWine.com caught up with co-founder Andrew Quady (his wife Laurel is the other brain behind it) to talk about Quady’s California style dessert wines.

Chocolate: A Dessert Wine’s Best Friend

“I’ll try the Madeira” I said to the sommelier. After retrieving a new bottle from the back of the wine bar, she poured a glass of the deep red wine and set it down. As I made a motion to begin my first sip, I heard: “wait a second; I have something for you to try.” A small dish was placed in front of me, filled with brownish-black disks. “Its chocolate,” she said in a matter-of-fact tone. “Oh, of course,” I responded, not totally understanding the pair of wine and plain pieces of chocolate. Then, as I tasted the bitterness of the chocolate combined with the smooth sweetness of the Madeira, I began to appreciate the origin of the slight smirk flashed by the sommelier. What a perfect match.

An Introduction to the Most Quotable Wines on Earth

“You know the old caution: Champagne after sherry makes tummy grow wary.” -Niles Crane I’ve always wondered what Niles and Frasier Crane were talking about. They walked around espousing obscure French literary references, in Italian suits, while holding those tiny wine glasses . And from those glasses they sipped this caramel-colored, somewhat translucent beverage that provoked the haughtiest of behavioral patterns. I knew it had to be something special.

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