The Barbaresco Wine

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Much like the king of wines, Barolo, Barbaresco is an Italian red wine that is made using the Nebbiolo grape variety. For many, this indicates certain similarities with its more illustrious cousin. However, Barbaresco has a personality and allure all of its own that has helped it to become one of the most respected wines in the Italian industry. Produced in Piedmont to the east of Alba, usually within the confines of the Barbaresco communes Neive and Treiso, though there are numerous other areas where it is made, Barbaresco was the recipient of DOC status in the 1960s and became one of the first DOCG wines in 1980. The History Much of the confusion that arises between Barolo and Barbaresco comes from the fact that they are both made using the same grape and there wasn’t much to define the two wines from each other before both received more official classification. In Barbaresco’s, that classification came in 1894, which is when the Cantina Sociale di Barbaresco was esta Continue Reading

Explaining the OCM Wine Measure

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Throughout the history of the Italian wine industry, numerous steps have been taken to promote the quality of the wines produced, particularly during periods of expansion into new territories, such as the current exploration of the Asian market. Traditionally, these steps have been undertaken by individual producers or by collectives of winemakers that share similar goals in regards to the promotion of wines and the continued success of their industries as a whole and, on a more local level, their own wines. However, in more recent times, the wine industry has a whole has received support from larger organizations, with the aim of enhancing its reach and increasing the viability of wine as a contributor to the European economy, perhaps even more so than it already is. The European Union has been leading this charge through the common market organization, which aims to make the promotion of wines from all over Europe easier. Additionally, it has resulted in the creation of other o Continue Reading

Cold Maceration and Wine

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Over the years, innovators in the Italian wine industry have come up with a wide variety of new techniques that are intended to improve the quality of the wines offered to consumers. At times, such techniques have caused issues among producers and enthusiasts alike, as can be seen during the Barolo Wars period and during the introduction of the Super Tuscans. However, this innovation has also been a key driving force for the wine industry and has led to the creation of some truly spectacular wines. Today, we are going to place out focus on a technique that some in the industry would deem controversial. It is called cold maceration and we are going to take a look at what it is and the reputed benefits it brings to the winemaking process. What is It? Cold maceration is essentially a different way of extracting the various compounds from the flesh, skin, pulp, and seeds of the grape into the wine must. Typically conducted at temperatures between four and 15 degrees Celsius betwee Continue Reading

Johnny Depp and Italian Wine

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Given the reputation of the amazing wines to emerge from Italy, it should come as no surprise that there are many celebrities out there who enjoy an odd bottle or three from some of the greatest producers that the country has to offer. Hollywood stars like Leonardo DiCaprio have long espoused their love of wine, but there are few who invest in wine to quite the same level as megastar Johnny Depp. The star of films including Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and Edward Scissorhands, recent reports have told us that Mr. Depp currently spends an average of $30,000 per month on wine, favouring those from the Bordeaux region of France and with a particular taste for red wines. Of course, while such expensive tastes mean that Depp gets his hand on some of the more choice vintages from those regions, we do wonder if maybe he would consider expanding his purchases a little and exploring the world of Italian wine to the same extent that he has demonstrated his passion for French. With that i Continue Reading

Abbona Barolo 2012

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As one of the most prestigious wines in the history of the Italian wine industry, it should come as no surprise than many producers have tried their hands at making Barolo. After all, a wine that carried the moniker of the Wine of Kings is almost always going to maintain its popularity based on reputation alone. However, that does not mean that a lack of quality can ever be accepted. That’s why it truly takes something special for a company to not only make Barolo, but to do so consistently and to a high enough standard that it can be truly recognized as one of the best of the best. Happily for today’s featured producer, over a century of hard work has truly paid off and resulted in the development of a reputation for creating some truly fine examples of a wine for which there are many amazing vintages. To celebrate that achievement, we will first look at the road that Marziano Abbona walked to get to where it is today, before looking at a Barolo that we truly feel will kn Continue Reading

Curious About The King of Wines?

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For a wine to not only be granted, but also maintain the moniker of the King of Wines, it really needs to be something special. After all, you wouldn’t expect a cheap bottle of wine that you can pick up off the supermarket shelves for a pittance to be the same wine that is considered the choice of the absolute elite of society. No, that wine must be something that offers exceptional quality and has a pedigree to match its lofty reputation. That’s where Barolo comes in. While many Italian red wines have excellent pedigrees of their own, few can claim to have a history that is as extensive as Barolo, which not only traces its roots back to the 11th century, but has become so revered that producers have engaged in figurative wars to determine the best ways to produce the wine. So here we have decided to take a look back at the origins of Barolo, including where it comes from and the grape used to produce it, to give the uninitiated a little sample of what they are missing if the Continue Reading

A Recipe For Braised Beef with Barolo

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Often referred to as the “King” of wines, Barolo is one of the most prestigious and established Italian red wines in the world. A favourite both domestically and internationally, Barolo has enjoyed such a longstanding reputation for excellence thanks, in part, to its rich history and intrinsic links with Italian culture. However, the hard work of wine producers throughout Italy has also played an enormous part in the continued acclaim the wine receives. Now, as any wine enthusiast knows, there are few feelings better than complementing a great bottle of wine with a dish that is cooked to perfection. Barolo fans have a lot of choice in regards to food pairings, as there are many red meats, in particularly, that blend extremely well with the unique flavours that Barolo has to offer. However, one of the most popular, by far is braised beef, which combines the richness of the meat with the elegant flavouring offered by Barolo. Here we have decided to create a recipe that will Continue Reading

Biondi Santi Brunello di Montalcino

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In our examinations of some of the best wines on the Xtrawine site, we have taken a look at some of the most famous producers in the country, alongside smaller companies who we feel deserve a little bit of extra recognition for the work they have contributed and the quality of the wines they producer. However, in all of that time we have not taken a look at one of the foremost producers the country has even played host to. Every so often, a wine producer comes along that truly breaks the mould and creates something that truly stands out in an industry that is filled with talented producers and amazing wines. This week’s spotlight shines on a company that did just that and, in doing so, established the wine that would go onto become the first to receive the much sought after DOCG label, in addition to establishing a reputation as one of the best and most exclusive wines in the country. So, without any further ado, let’s take a little look at the story behind Biondi Santi. Continue Reading

Brunello di Montalcino – The Perfect Wine

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For decades, Brunello di Montalcino has stood as one of the absolute best Italian red wines, standing ably alongside its Tuscan companion, Chianti, and offering drinkers the opportunity to experience the best that the entire region has to offer. Pairing with a wide range of foods, most famously the white truffles produced in the same region, there are many vintages of Brunello di Montalcino that have received high praise from a number of different sources. However, achieving perfection is something that very few wines manage to achieve. Producers work long and hard to achieve the level of quality that consumers demand from the Italian wine industry, and all are working towards achieving perfection, even if that goal seems out of reach. However, according to the Enthusiast Magazine, perfection has been achieved by a Brunello di Montalcino. The Reserve 2010 vintage, created by Biondi, now stands in rarefied air as being one of the absolute best wines created in the history of th Continue Reading

Brunello di Montalcino and its Best Food Pairings

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In a country that is known for producing quality red wines, it takes something truly special to stand out from the crowd as one of the absolute best. However, that’s the position that Brunello di Montalcino has been in for a number of decades, particularly since the 1980s when it became the first wine to be awarded the prestigious Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (DOCG) classification, marking it out as a truly exceptional wine that is to be savoured by all who have the opportunity to try it. Since those days it has evolved to become one of the most exclusive and expensive wines offered by the Italian wine industry and it finds its roots all the way back in the 14th century, when a wine simply named Brunello was being produced. Of course, if you manage to get your hands on a bottle you will want to make the most out of the tasting experience. We have spoken previously about the ways you should drink your wine so you get the full experience of the many flavours t Continue Reading

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