The Italian wine industry has always been known for its innovation. With so many producers bringing an array of different ideas to the table, you could argue that there has never been a better time to be a fan of Italian wine.
Innovations aren’t only limited to the industry itself though. While changes in production techniques are always important, there is a certain niche of innovators who actually look beyond the wine itself and try to figure out what they can do with the leftovers of the production process and even how the wines themselves could be used to drive innovation forward in other industries.
It is the former that brings us to the subject of this article. Wine and leather. Traditionally, the two industries have been fairly separate from each other. While quality plays a role in both, leathers are made using the hides of animals. That hardly makes them appropriate for the wine industry, which uses grapes and other plant products.
However, that’s where you may be Continue Reading→
Some winemakers have almost a sixth sense when it comes to sniffing out the potential in a grape. The absolute best of these visionaries are capable of not only building on the reputations of wines that may have fallen on harder times, but also reinventing some classic wines to bring them to entirely new generations by lending a brand new spin on them.
Throughout the latter part of the 20th century, the Italian wine industry saw a slew of such visionaries come to the fore. Equipped both with respect for the traditions that the industry holds dear and an array of ideas for what they could do to make things a little better, these people often started their own companies so that they would have more freedom to try new things and bring something completely unique to the world of Italian wine.
That’s where we stand with today’s company. From humble beginnings they have built themselves up to become one of the most respected names in the Italian wine industry, and it all comes from Continue Reading→
There are a few rules to keep in mind when choosing which wines to pair with your food. One of the most pervasive and rigidly stuck to rules is that you should never combine red wine and fish. The lack of richness in the fish, coupled with the full body and complexity of a red wine, leads to a mish-mash of flavours that simply do not go all that well together. In fact, by combining one with the other you potentially ruin both.
Or at least, that’s what everybody says. It’s become such a common myth that you should never pair red wine with fish that most people have never even tried it for themselves. After all, why do that when you can enjoy the fish with a nice white wine before having the red with something a little richer?
Well, we’re here to ask the question of “Why not?” Why shouldn’t you pair your red wine with fish? After all, as with any food, making the right choices can actually create a rather spectacular dish.
The Old Ways
In truth, the stigma surroun Continue Reading→
If there is one thing that Italy is known for beyond its wines it is its food. Almost every region in the country can lay claim to a delicacy or two and Italian food has become hugely prominent, enjoying worldwide acclaim thanks to its many qualities.
But what if you explore beyond the obvious. We all know and love pizza, pasta, and all of the rest, but what about when you dig a little deeper and start exploring some lesser-known delicacies that still have the ability to astound anybody who tastes them.
That’s what we are going to do today with Piadina Romagnola. Never heard of the term? That’s not hugely surprising as this form of flatbread isn’t as well known outside of Italy as other foods. That doesn’t mean it is any less brilliant though, so let’s now take a look at what makes Piadina Romagnola so great and why we think you should start incorporating it into your diet.
So what is Piadina Romagnola? The most basic description is that it is a flat b Continue Reading→
There is perhaps no other type of wine that carries the reputation of Champagne. Despite the enormous inroads made by the like of Prosecco in recent years, which has resulted in the Italian sparkling white wine becoming even more popular than its French counterpart, Champagne still maintains a level of prestige that places it in the upper echelons of the wine industry, making it a must for celebrations and those who just want to treat themselves to some of the best the industry has to offer.
Of course, with such high demand and such a stellar reputation, it should come as no surprise that only the best Champagne producers are able to really make a name for themselves. After all, the region as a whole does not look kindly on those who would attempt to make quick money from the famous name and those who commit themselves to making Champagne do so with the knowledge that they must achieve exceptionally high standards and essentially devote their lives to the wine if they are to find su Continue Reading→
Anybody who has any prolonged exposure to the wine industry has heard of the term “wine cellar” and likely knows that such cellars have played a pretty crucial role in the industry for centuries. Some of you reading this may even have your own wine cellars, where you store your favourite wines in an effort to age them to perfection ready for consumption at a dinner party or just to enjoy for your own pleasure at some point in the future.
But what about those of us who just buy bottles of wine with the sole intention of drinking them, without placing any real thought into how we store them and why so many people choose to go the cellar route. Why are cellars so important and what sorts of benefits do they offer they make them more suitable for storage than a simple kitchen cupboard of refrigerator?
Those are questions that we hope to answer here as we take an in-depth look at the benefits that wine cellars bring and why you should consider storing your wine in one.
Preventi Continue Reading→
One of the age old questions in the wine industry is just how important are caps when it comes to determining the quality of a bottle of wine? Some people will forever argue the virtues of the traditional cork, with a few often going so far as to believe that no wine can attain a high level of quality if it uses a screw cap. Others go in the opposite direction, noting that a screw cap not only prevents wine from being contaminated by a cork, but also allows for easier storage of the wine should you not consume it in one night. Yet others don’t really mind either way, preferring to judge the wine on its own merits once they have completed a taste test.
So what is the truth about all of this? Does the cap that a wine bottle uses actually have an effect on the quality of the wine? How important are there to the wine industry?
Before we can start answering those questions, let’s first take a slightly closer look at each type of cap to see what each has to offer on its own merits. Continue Reading→
Over the years, Xtrawine has used our weekly spotlight article to shine a light on some of the best wine producers in Italy. Some of these, such as the Antinori family, are household names that deservedly have the quality of their wines shouted from the rooftops. Others are smaller producers, many of which bring new innovations to the wine industry or have otherwise achieved the exceptional feat of creating absolutely superb wines with much smaller teams of people than their larger peers.
Today’s company very much fits in the latter category, being both a small company and a producer that is trying to enhance the reputation of a wine region that is fairly unknown, particularly to those outside of Italy. This small producer certainly has some big ideas, which have led to the creation of some wonderful wines, but before we get to that we should examine the company first.
So, without any further ado, here is the story of Antoniolo.
Hailing from the little-known Continue Reading→
An extremely popular wine during the late 20th century, Lambrusco experienced something of a fall from grace during the early 21st century. Don’t get us wrong, the wine still sold in high quantities, however, this wonderful sparkling red appeared to be falling out of favour, particular in comparison to the likes of Prosecco and several other varieties of Italian wine.
However, if recent information is to be taken into account, it appears that this trend is starting to reverse for Lambrusco. In recent years, the wine has established itself once again as a keen favourite in its domestic market, with many supermarkets and retailers naming it as a top seller among all wine-related products. The effects have been felt abroad too, with several restaurants in the United Kingdom noting that the wine is actually outselling Prosecco in some instances.
So why has Lambrusco surged in popularity recently? The simple answer to that question is that it is a superb wine, despite what market da Continue Reading→
There are few more recognized Italian dishes than spaghetti Bolognese. Popular all over the world, it is this dish, perhaps more than any other that highlights everything that Italian cuisine has to offer. The wonderful pasta is combined with a beautiful sauce, alongside optional meatballs and cheese, to create a culinary delight that will flood your senses with stunning tastes and leave you wanting more even when you are sat feeling as though you have been stuffed to the gills.
Of course, as with all great Italian dishes, a good spaghetti Bolognese is made even better when you combine it with a quality wine. With that in mind, we are going to create a nice little recipe for you right here, and follow that up with a couple of recommendations for the types of wine that work best with the dish.
What You Need
Before you can get started with the cooking, here’s what you need to have ready to create both the sauce and a nice serving of spaghetti.
A single tablespoon of olive Continue Reading→