Some Interesting Facts About the Barbaresco Wine

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If you’re a long-time follower of the Xtrawine blog, you’ll have likely seen that we’ve spoken about the Barbaresco wine at length on various occasions. Often unfairly seen as an also-ran in comparison to its more famous cousin, Barolo, it’s a truly stunning Italian red wine that we wholeheartedly recommend you try. We’ve looked at the history of the wine in detail before, as well as examining a few great examples from some of the best producers in Italy. Today, we’re going to take a slightly different approach as we take a look at a few interesting facts about the wine that you may or may not know. Fact #1 – It’s Made Using the Nebbiolo Grape Okay, so this is one that most of you probably already knew. The Nebbiolo grape is the main component of Barbaresco. It’s also the reason why there are so many comparisons between Barolo and Barbaresco. Both wines come from the Piedmont region and both make heavy use of this grape variety. It’s believed to have bee Continue Reading

The Oldest Italian Bars, Taverns, and Cafes That You Have to Visit

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In a country that has such a rich and diverse culture as Italy, it should come as no surprise that there are plenty of wonderful old bars, taverns, and cafes that you can visit during your trip. You may have to go a little bit off the beaten path to find them, but they’re always worth the effort. Such places often serve local delicacies alongside Italian wines that you may struggle to find anywhere else. This makes them great places to go. All you need now is a little bit of guidance. Here we’re going to look at a host of interesting old taverns and cafes that you should try to visit. But first, here’s an interesting glimpse into history. The Ancient Roman Taverns The pub, bar, tavern, or whatever you want to call it is by no means a new thing. Such establishments have existed for thousands of years to provide people with places to congregate and enjoy a few alcoholic beverages with their friends. What you may not realise is just how old the tavern tradition is. Su Continue Reading

Everything You Need to Know About the Sangiovese Superiore Wine

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As soon as you see the designation “Superiore” you know one thing. This is a wine that’s going to offer a lot of quality. Such is the case with the Sangiovese Superiore wine. It’s perhaps one of the best examples of Italian red wine that the country has to offer and it’s a type of wine that we suggest that all of you try. In this article, we’re going to take a look at several things, including what the Superiore designation and what this particular type of wine has to offer you. A Brief History of Sangiovese It’s fair to say that Sangiovese is one of the most famous varieties of red wine grape in all of Italy. The grape gets its name from the Latin Sanguis Jovis, which literally translates to “The Blood of Jupiter”. With a distinction as lofty as that, it should come as no surprise that it’s one of the most widely grown grape types in the country, particularly in the central regions. It’s also used in a huge amount of wines that you’re likel Continue Reading

Grape Harvest Figures Rebound the World Over

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There are a lot of challenges facing Italian wine producers at the moment. Constantly increasing demand has put them under a bigger burden than ever before. Of course, this demand is by no means a bad thing. It’s due to the increasing popularity of Italian wine that the industry has been able to grow as remarkably as it has over the last few years. However, the problem it does raise is that manufacturers are having to deal with a whole host of problems that could prevent them from meeting this demand. A changing planet means changes to the way that producers work. They now have to account for different weather conditions and climate change as well as the increased demand. The Challenges Facing the Industry The challenges that face the Italian wine industry right now come from multiple fronts. You could argue that climate change is the biggest challenge of all. Over the last couple of decades, there’s been a definite shift in the sort of weather that Italian winemaker Continue Reading

September is the Most Important Month for the Italian Wine Industry

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We are rapidly approaching the end of another year. 2018 has been an interesting one for the Italian wine industry. Demand in a number of emerging territories has continued to grow. China and India have both emerged as burgeoning markets that hold a lot of potential for the future. Producers have also seen demand rising elsewhere. Plus they have had to contend with some difficult weather conditions at times in order to keep their crops at a high enough level. Early frosts and unexpected heatwaves have provided several challenges that producers needed to rise to. However, we’ve finally reached September. And as anybody who follows the Italian wine industry will tell you, September is perhaps the most important month of the year. After all, it’s during this month that the harvest begins. To mark the occasion, many regions in Italy hold special festivals and have a number of traditions. Here, we’re going to take a look at a few of these so that those who may be thinking abo Continue Reading

Vermentino Wine: The Underrated Gem

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Given the sheer volume of wine that the Italian wine industry produces, it should perhaps come as no surprise that there are a few that have a habit of slipping under the radar. While they almost certainly match the quality of their more famous cousins, these wines just don’t seem to attain the same levels of popularity, for whatever reason. We’ve done our best at Xtrawine to shine a little bit of a spotlight on some of these lesser-known Italian wines. If you’ve followed our blog for a while, we hope that we’ve provided some valuable information that has helped you to expand your palette and perhaps try some wines that you’d never heard of before. With this article, we hope to do the very same thing. Here we will be taking a look at the Vermentino wine, which is an Italian white wine that we believe is underappreciated. The Wine Let’s cover some of the basics first. Vermentino is a grape that is used in the production of a number of different wines, though it i Continue Reading

Wine and Ice – Should You Do It?

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If you speak to anybody who has a deep love for Italian wine, you’ll soon discover that they have a lot of opinions on how best to drink and serve the wine. Everything from the way that bottle is stored through to the type of glass that you pour it into has an effect on the wine. Then, there are the more contentious issues. Some will tell you that the best wines can only come from a glass bottle. Others will tell you that using anything other than a cork to seal the bottle is sacrilege. So, you can imagine the sort of outrage that comes out of some sectors of the wine industry when anybody suggests adding ice to a glass of wine. Despite this, it has become a fairly common practice, especially in countries outside of Italy. Here, we’re going to take a look at this phenomenon and whether or not it’s (more…) Continue Reading

Everything That You Need to Know About the Aglianico del Vulture Wine

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While the name may make it sound as though the Aglianico del Vulture wine is attempting to draw from a pretty strange animalistic source, nothing could be further from the truth. This isn’t a wine that attempts to replicate the essence of a bird that feeds on scraps, whatever that may look like. Instead, the “vulture” moniker actually comes from the region that the wine is made in. Do you want to know more about this strangely names Italian wine? We’re going to take a closer look at what it has to offer in this article, in addition to taking a look at the region that it calls home. The Wine and the Region So, what do you need to know about this oddly-named Italian wine? Let’s start with the basics. It’s a red wine, though it obviously isn’t one of the more well-known varieties out there. In fact, we’re willing to bet that the name Aglianico del Vulture is not the first one anybody’s lips when they’re talking about red wines that have come out of Italy. Continue Reading

Some Interesting Facts About Merlot Wine

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At one point, Merlot wine was the most popular type of wine in the entire world. In fact, you could credit the wine with being a large part of the reason why so many people in the USA now drink wine. It was truly the first to make a big impact in the United States a few decades ago. The wine’s popularity may have subsided a little in the years since this remarkable boom period. Even so, it’s still among the most popular types of wine in the world and it enjoys a reputation that most other types of wine would kill to have. In this article, we’re going to take a look at some interesting facts about Merlot that you may or may not know. Fact #1 – It’s France’s Most Popular Grape There is no other grape in all of France that takes up quite so much space in terms of pure acreage as Merlot. The grape, which originates from the Bordeaux region, is grown widely throughout the country. And there’s good reason for this as well. In addition to being used for its own wine, Continue Reading

Giorgi Gran Cuvee Storica 1870

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As many of you already know, the stories behind major Italian wine companies are often as interesting, if not more interesting, than the wines that they produce. In some cases, such as with the Antinori family, the wine company is just part of a wider family circle that has influenced regional politics over the centuries. In others, the story isn’t quite so elaborate. Many wine companies come to life out of one person’s desire to create something wonderful. Out of that desire, a wine is born. And in many cases, the family of that originator continue to work on the wine and build on its legacy. Such is the case with the company that we are going to take a look at in this article. It’s been a while since we have profiled an Italian wine producer in the pages of the Xtrawine blog. However, we feel that the Giorgi family deserves the treatment, not least because the company has produced one of the best Italian wines to find its way onto the pages of the Xtrawine website in q Continue Reading

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