It’s not often that we profile a grape variety in the pages of the Xtrawine blog. Usually, we tend to focus on the Italian wines that come from the grape, rather than the grape itself.
We’re going to try something a little different with this article. Not only are we going to look at some interesting facts about one of the most important regions in the Italian wine industry, but we’re also going to look at one of the grapes that has come out of it.
Let’s tackle the grape first. This week, we’re going to be looking at Corvina.
The Corvina Grape
The Corvina grape carries a number of different names. Some refer to it as the Corvina Veronese, while others call it the Cruina.
Regardless of the name you choose, it’s a grape that comes from the Veneto region of Italy and it accounts for about 18,500 acres of the grapes grow in the region. Interestingly, there are also 47 acres of land in Argentina that are deemed worthy of carrying the grape.
Generally speaking, Continue Reading→
You’ve probably heard the name of Etna before.
For most of us, it conjures up images of one of the world’s most famous and active volcanoes. It erupts on an almost annual basis, which lends a huge amount of different qualities to the soil that surrounds it.
Of course, that also clues you into the main topic we’re going to cover in this article. You see, Etna is almost as famous for the wines that come from the region as it is for the volcano itself. In fact, Etna may be one of the more historically significant regions in the entire Italian wine industry.
In these article, we’re going to look at the Etna wine region and its history. We’ll also explain why such a huge amount of variety can come from such a small region. Finally we’ll close things out with a couple of fun facts about the volcano itself, should anybody be thinking about visiting Etna to see either the volcano or one of the many producers that operate in the region.
The General History
Should you Continue Reading→
We have written at length about the wonderful Barolo wine in many previous blog posts on Xtrawine. We’ve delved into the rich history of this most famous of Italian wines and explained its cultural significance, both in Italy and to the wine industry in general. We’ve even written some about some of the interesting facts relating to the wine that you may have never come across before.
Simply put, there’s a lot to say about this prestigious wine because of how long it has existed and because it’s held in such high regard in Italian culture.
This week, we’re going to take a more general look at the wine. The aim is to examine what it is, where it comes from, what producers have to do to ensure they create a Barolo DOCG wine, and some of the best ways to drink it.
What is Barolo?
Barolo is an Italian red wine that calls the famous region of Piedmont its home. This region is infamous among wine connoisseurs because of the sheer amount of great types of wine that have Continue Reading→
It’s been a while since we’ve taken a look at one of the many amazing companies that contribute to the popularity and reach of the Italian wine industry. However, our recent exploration of the history of Pinot Nero has led us to think about some of the great companies that have built their reputations on the cultivation of this remarkable grape. Pinot Nero can and does produce some absolutely spectacular wines, but it takes the talents of an exceptional winemaker to truly get the most out of it.
That led us right to the door of the Giorgi wine company. For over 30 years, the company has been at the forefront of Pinot Nero production in Italy. This week, we’re going to take a look at the company’s history before delving into one of the wines that it’s built its reputation on.
While they may have been a top name in Italian Pinot Nero production for three decades, Giorgi’s history in the wine industry actually dates back much further than that. The family Continue Reading→
There are so many issues that can affect the quality of the Italian wine that you drink. The most obvious ones relate to the producer, their land, and the effort that they put into producing their wine. A bad vintage is a bad vintage, no matter how much of a spin you try to put on it.
But there are plenty of external factors that also affect the quality of the wine. For example, failing to store the wine in the correct conditions causes problems. Refrigerating an Italian red wine generally puts it on the fast track to spoiling, while ageing a white for too long can lead to it going sour.
Even the way you open and pour a glass of wine can have an effect on its quality. Simply put, there are so many things that can go wrong that many people forget about a simple thing that can also have a huge effect:
Your wine glass.
No, we’re not talking about selecting the right type of glass for certain types of wine. That’s (more…) Continue Reading→
You may think that you haven’t heard much about the Pinot Nero grape. But you’d be wrong. In fact, Pinot Nero is one of the most popular grapes in the world and it is used extensively in the French and Italian wine industries.
However, you may know it under a slightly different name. You see, Pinot Nero is also more commonly referred to as Pinot Noir.
The name means Pine Black in French. This is a reference to the interesting conical shape of the grape clusters. Basically, they look like a pine cone that’s completely full of grapey goodness. Moreover, it’s also considered one of the most difficult grape varieties to grow.
In this article, we’re going to take a closer look at the grape and why it has managed to achieve the popularity that it has, despite how difficult it is to grow.
The Very Early History
A lot of people will have heard of Pinot Nero or Pinot Noir thanks to the Paul Giamatti vehicle Sideways. In the film, he waxes lyrical about the qualities of Continue Reading→
We all love a nice bottle of bubbly. Champagne is recognised as one of the best wines I the world, with only the Italian sparkling white wine Prosecco providing serious competition to it in terms of which is the best sparkling white.
But did you know that there are a lot of mistakes that people make when it comes to Champagne? From the way they pour it to the way they think about it, there are a lot of fairly common blunders that you need to avoid.
Mistake #1 – Assuming All Sparkling White Wines are Champagnes
Even in today’s world, when Prosecco is the more popular of the two, many people still automatically think Champagne when they think of sparkling white wines.
This is understandable, to an extent. Champagne was the first sparkling white and it attained a high level of prestige and popularity long before any other varieties did. It’s also associated with celebrations and general success.
But the simple fact is that Champagne is just one in a long list of great Continue Reading→
Those looking for a sweeter wine than they’d normally drink often lean towards fortified wines. These wines tend to have a high alcohol content than their regular red and white equivalents, in addition to containing more sugars that lend them their unique tastes.
Many people call fortified wines either sweet or dessert wines. However, it’s important to make the distinction that while all fortified wines are dessert wines, not all dessert wines are fortified wines. Producers use all sorts of different techniques to add sugars into their wines, with fortification just being one of them.
In this article, we’re going to take a closer look at what goes into making a great Italian fortified wine, before examining some of the wines that we think would make great additions to your collection.
The Basic History
It all came about from a desire to preserve wine. You see, well before the days when we had corked wine bottles, refrigeration, and other technologies that allow us to Continue Reading→
We all love a deep and complex Italian red wine to help us relax after a hard day at work. And we all love the refreshing jolt that a great Italian white wine can give us when we’re feeling hot, stressed out, and unready to take on the rest of the day.
But sometimes, the occasion calls for something a little sweeter than the regular types of wine that you normally drink. Sometimes, you want something that will stimulate your sweet tooth and introduce you to a host of new flavours that you don’t get from other types of wine.
That’s when an Italian sweet wine should be your wine of choice for the evening. These wines typically have sharper and sweeter flavours than their red and white brethren, which makes them ideal choices for combining with sweet desserts. In this article, we’re going to take a look at some of the techniques that producers use to make their wines sweeter. Then, we’ll take a look at a few sweet wines that we recommend everybody gives a try if they fancy Continue Reading→
When people think of the Italian wine industry, they tend to think about the many red and white varieties that make up such an important part of its history.
And it’s true. Red and white wines are a huge part of the industry. But that doesn’t mean that the proper respect shouldn’t be afforded to Italian Rosé wines. In fact, these types of wine often act as a perfect introduction into the world of Italian wines because they provide a nice middle ground between the refreshing taste of a white and the complexity of a red.
So, with this article we aim to take a look at the history of Rosé. It may not have been around as long as the more traditional types of wine, but it’s an interesting drink to discover all the same.
What is a Rosé Wine?
There are likely a few of you that have never tried a Rosé wine. Many more of you will have drunk one, but you don’t really know what makes it so different from other types of wine.
Rosé, like many wines, finds its origins in Continue Reading→