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Glimpse the Fabulous Italian Wine Tapestry via 2 Uncomplicated, Accessible Options.

A pair of everyday Italian wines are just the tip of the iceberg that is the wide-ranging and diverse Italian wine scene.

Probably few other populations enjoy wine from as many different countries as we do in Britain.

That sometimes blinds me (and perhaps you) to the diversity that is available within several of the major wine producing countries.

France can range from the aromatic whites of Alsace to the opulence of the Northern Rhone.

Likewise, Spain goes from a crisp albariño in Rias Baixas to the cherry-based maturity of tempranillo.

It was, however, selecting two Italian options for this post that made me reflect on that particular country’s wine scene.

Winemaking there dates back centuries and has developed with three particular aspects marching in step throughout – food, wine and land (terroir).

Each region has its own distinctive conditions (and food) which, between them, drive which of the vast array of vines are grown and the style of wines made from their grapes.  

In a mere snapshot at what is available even at modest price points, here are results of that process from Piedmont and from Abruzzo.

In the usual way, hyperlinks and pictures are used where possible to help you locate the bottle in question.

Starting with a white

2022 DINO Trebbiano Pinot Grigio (£5 – instead of £6 until 18 September for clubcard holders – at Tesco and 11% abv):

Here is a fresh but undemanding white from Abruzzo that, with its low abv, escapes the biggest price hikes the new alcohol duty imposes.

Its other attractions (beyond that gentle price label) include lively tangerine and red apple flavours.

Supporting components are zesty lime acidity and counterbalancing savoury influences – presumably from the trebbiano.

Staying with a light touch but switching to red.

2021 Marchesini Italian Red (£6.85 – instead of £7.85 until 6 September – at the Co-op and 13%): 

Talk of red wines from Italy’s Piedmont region usually involves substantial wines like Barolo and Barbaresco.

However, we should never forget that the area also has a range of attractive, approachable but much lighter red wines – and this is a good example.

Lingering and with an enticing perfume, it features medium bodied but intense cherry, bramble and raspberry flavours.

These have been skilfully partnered with nutty and vanilla touches built into a clove centred viscosity.

See you again on Thursday when we catch up with a pair of tasty Friday Night Treats choices before a temporary change in posting dates during September.

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6 Responses

  1. Hello Brian. Italy to me just seems to keep on giving when it comes to working my way through the wine card! Sure, it’s all subjective and we all gravitate towards preferences but interesting a lot of people I’ve chatted with say to me they specifically can’t get on with Chianti/Sangiovese. That’s OK, I’ve never been a fan of South African Pinotage!

    But the variations of pure Tuscan Chianti and the grape derivations including the mighty Brunello and Morelino di Scansano, I can’t get enough of when I can afford them.

    And affording some of these wines is the trick if we do like them, keeping away from the strict Denominazione stuff for plain old ”vino rosso”, from Montalcino, that might be Brunello without its portfolio anyway. (Aldi had one several years ago for £3.99 and it was a stunner!. Sainsbury’s do have some similar stuff that’s all around the £10 mark now).

    So these Piamonte wines are similar yeah, I’ll have a go at anything, including one of the cheapest and less regarded than the likes of Barolo, that is Barbera D’Asti.

    But this Marchesini Rosso looks very interesting in a similar vein, similar pedigree. A lot of these lighter reds reminds me of Pinot Noir. But I am struggling a bit with the Co op website when trying to discover if it will be part of their buy-3-bottles and get £5 off, with their loyalty card. I’m shopping tomorrow so will go and give some local branches a try.

    Cheers as ever …

  2. I hope the shopping expedition works out OK as that red was a (very pleasant) surprise to me. Italian producers do seem to be working hard to alter the consumer perceptions you mention. Many of the results are stunningly good for the price.

  3. I got a bottle Brian, but that £5 off buy 3 is finished so £6.75.

    It’s tremendous wine, great for the money and yes distinctive in a very Italian way. And it is DOC not just something unidentifiable or obscure. Will continue to have it through the forthcoming vintages.

  4. Thanks for the heads-up on this very moreish Marchesini Italian red. I included a bottle in the line up for a recent consumer cheese and wine tasting event and it went down a storm. Bags of bright fruit and a winner with cheese – nothing not to like about it really! I bought another bottle for myself. Happy days.

  5. Thanks Janet. As you say, the wine seriously out-performs expectations and its selection is another feather in the cap of the Co-op wine buyers.

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