Donnachiara: Vines Tended Like Window Boxes #ItalianFWT

Donnachiara is a winery in the Montefalciane region of Italy just south of Roma that’s been getting a lot of attention on Twitter — generating quite a bit of enthusiasm which made me curious about tasting the wines myself!

So when a few weeks ago, Donnachiara’s owner Ilaria Petitto hosted a wine lunch in NYC, and since I and some of my fellow Italian Food Wine Travel folks couldn’t exactly attend because we live in other parts of the country, we got the next best thing — wines sent to us for a twitter chat that afternoon. Unfortunately, for me, the wines arrived a few days after the twitter chat…

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A Love Affair with Lugana: An Invitation for #ItalianFWT

 

This October, you’re invited to join the Italian Food Wine Travel group to discover LUGANA, a white wine made from the Turbiana grape and grown in the Lake Garda region of northern Italy about two hours from Milan, one hour from Verona, and 90 minutes from Venice on the coast.

The largest lake in Italy was formed by glaciers coming down from the nearby Dolomites at the end of the last Ice Age. When the glacier receded, it left a large moraine which dammed and retained the melt water. Before agriculture, a dense, marshy forest called “Selva Lucana” covered the land.

According to the Consortia Tutelar Lugana, the soils are “stratified clays of morainic origin while sedimentary in nature are Calcareous and rich in mineral salts, with more sand in the hillier part of the D.O.C. Difficult to work, the soil compacts easily, becomes hard during drought, and soft and muddy when it rains. “However,” they point out, “it is these very chemical and physical features that make it the source of Lugana’s organoleptic qualities, because they give the wine clean, powerful scents that combine hints of almonds and citrus fruits, as well as acidity, tanginess and a well-balanced structure.”

Turbiana is related to Trebbiano di Soave which grows nearby but on volcanic soils.

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The Key to Italian Rose? Chiaretto!

Chiaretto? What’s that? Sue and I figured we’d just pass up this month’s Italian Food Wine Travel Chiaretto prompt — it’s summer, we’re busy, we’re traveling, we’ve got big projects going at home, and what is Chiaretto anyway?

But we got an offer we couldn’t refuse: samples! So we looked at our calendars, and committed to it — still with NO IDEA what we were in for but figuring it was something red.

That’s because even though Sue’s family is from Italy, we don’t speak a whole lot of Italian. Continue reading

Christmas in California Tuscan Style #ItalianFWT

Tuscany.

Let the name roll romantically off your tongue.

Tusssss… can…neeee.

It’s seductive, yes?

Like a kiss?

While I have never been to Tuscany, it is a region of Italy that captures the imagination: sunsets, rolling hills with views of the ocean, vineyards, and bottles of Chianti wine in those quaint straw bottles. But Tuscany offers much more to the world of wine than Chianti! Continue reading

5 Chianti plus a Vermentino paired with Puttanesca #ItalianFWT

After a long week of record breaking heat, high winds, and even a fire that threatened the homes of friends in nearby Casitas Springs, a group of us gathered after work on a warm Friday evening under the waxing full moon for an Italian dinner and a World Series baseball game.

“When we do wine pairing at your house, Sue, it is always so much more of a party,” I pointed out with a laugh  as we began on our evening’s adventure.

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Who’s into Sparkling Wines of Italy?

On the first Saturday of each month, a handful of wine writers from around the world participate in #ItalianFWT — or Italian Food Wine Travel. That means the host comes up with a theme to prompt us to taste, learn, and write, then we all do so and share the results.

It’s quite fun and so Sue and I offered to host with the theme of “Sparkling Wines of Italy.” We sent out the invitation here on this blog as well as on social media, and here’s who will be joining us this Saturday by posting about sparkling wines of Italy including travel opportunities in the regions where you’ll find sparkling wine, and Italian food to pair with sparkling wine from Italy. You will also learn about different kinds of sparkling wine from Italy as you can tell from these post titles:

David Crowley of Cooking Chat  finds for us examples of “Italian Sparkling Wine Beyond Prosecco”

Lauren Walsh the Swirling Dervish will teach “Why You Should Learn to Love Lambrusco”

“Pink Bubbles, Paté, and Pecorino” is the topic from Camilla Mann of  Culinary Adventures with Camilla

Mike Madaio of   Undiscovered Italy   offers up “One Great Bottle: Fiamberti Oltrepò Pavese 2012”

Jennifer Martin of Vino Travels says “There is Prosecco and then there is Valdobbiadene Prosecco”

Italian Producers Beef Up Sparkling Offering is the offering from Susannah Gold of avvinare.

Rosina Wilson of Drink Wine With Dinner may be joining us for the first time too with a post about Metodo Classico Spumante Brut, Lugana DOC.

Here at Wine Predator we have “Three Trento Sparklers with Seafood Risotto for #ItalianFWT”

Please join us for the twitter chat about Italian Sparkling wine on Saturday May 6 from 8-9am PST and check out our blogs!

 

 

Sparkling Wines from Italy: Invitation to join #ItalianFWT Sat. May 6

Guilio Ferrari is a very special cuvee from Ferrari Trento made from grapes grown in the far north of Italy in the Alps

As we near spring and summer time celebrations, my mind turns toward BUBBLES!

And while most people associate bubbles with Champagne, there’s so much more! Sparkling wine is made all around the world, in different styles from Prosecco in Italy to Cava from Spain, as well as sparkling wine made in the traditional way of Champagne France. Continue reading