From Franciacorta in the north in Lombardy and Friuli in the northeast to Toscana in central west and Sicily in the southwest, Italy is full of wines to discover. With over 2000 indigenous grapes grown in the 20 regions, the range of wines and expressions makes getting to know and understand Italian wine an interesting challenge as I discovered last year during the VinItaly Wine Ambassador Course.
Think it’s time to tune up your Italian wine game in 2020?
Happy New Year!
During this time of reflection, I have a few wines worth remembering — and recommending along with a few blog posts you might want to revisit.
Here on Wine Predator in 2019 we researched, tasted, and wrote about hundreds of wines in 123 posts with 176,090 words averaging 1432 per post.
That’s like writing three novels.
So when it comes time to sort through all of these posts to choose some favorites to submit to year end contests like this one and for year end wrap-ups here on Wine Predator, I asked for some help from some of my loyal readers and friends.
I also asked Sue– but I wanted something different from her — not the best, but ten posts that were the most memorable. Not necessarily her favorite wines or meals but the ones that made the best, the strongest memories for her.
“When first asked to do this task,” says Sue, “I did not realize just how many posts we put out this year. How do you take 116 and pick out 10 of your favorite children. Some are so rich with our experiences. So many experiences, so many memories, such an abundance of fantastic wine and food. I was then told to focus on exceptional wines. Did that make it any easier? I find that my favorites evoked such great times rich with foods that paired beautifully with the wines we served them with.
The most memorable wines come with the most memorable experiences.
“The wine and the food shine together making it a memorable event,” she continues. “I was able to narrow it down to 30 right away. Bringing it down to the 10 most memorable took some time, but here it is:
For the first contest that I am entering, in the category of Wine Reporting, I chose
For the category of Wine Travel I chose
For the category of Wine Pairing, there are SO MANY TO CHOOSE FROM — like probably 100! I considered a few including Rasteau which is a solid post but ended up debating these two which Sue also really liked:
Which do you think I chose?
Wish me luck! The winner of this contest gets a trip to Bordeaux!
in December 2019, just in time for holiday celebrations and Sparkling Wine Day on New Year’s Eve, Clos des Amis released their Chambang traditional method sparkling wine made from Ventura County Chardonnay.
That’s how Clos de Amis winemaker Bruce Freeman describes the 2019 harvest in Ventura County. Continue reading
The Winemakers Wife features scenes from Champagne France, past and present
Living in coastal California 75 years after World War II and 100 years after World War I makes it hard to imagine what it was like to live in Europe under the threat of invasion and occupation. Knowing that 6 million Jews were methodically taken from their homes to work in the concentration camps and exterminated is horrible and heartbreaking.
Closer to home, along our coast, round concrete structures remain as sentinels at the shore testifying to our fears of invasion by the Japanese. Worse, Continue reading
In “Howl” Allen Ginsberg says:
Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy!
Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy!
The world is holy! The soul is holy! The skin is holy!
The nose is holy! The tongue
This is a name several people mentioned to us when we said we were looking for organic and biodynamic winemakers in the Loire while we were there as members of the US Wine Tasting Team before the World Wine Championships in nearby Chateau de Chambord. In particular, we were looking for someone to visit in Vouvray. Continue reading
Both Southern California and South Africa are defined in large part by their exquisite and expansive coastlines — and by having warm weather for the holidays! Throughout the world, Northern European holiday traditions get mixed up with local — and sometimes warm weather cuisines too. Continue reading