Reasons Why Winter is Our Readers’ Favourite Season

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We asked and you answered. Winter is your favourite season. The coldest time of the year is also the best time of the year for many of the Italian wine lovers who visit Xtrawine, which got us to thinking. What is it about winter that makes it so great? We’ve wracked out brains and come up with a few reasons why we all love winter so much. Italian Wine by the Fire Let us set the scene for you here. You’ve just finished work and you have to brave a long commute back home in the winter weather. It’s freezing cold, it might be raining, and you’re going to end up feeling frozen to the bone by the time you set foot in your house. It doesn’t sound like the most pleasant experience, does it? But then there’s what comes afterwards. You get out of you wet clothes and into something warm and comfortable. You light the fire and curl up in front of it with a gorgeous glass of Italian red wine. After all of the stress and coldness that came before, there is nothing q Continue Reading

The Biggest Italian Easter Traditions

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Easter is an important holiday in the Italian calendar. It marks an occasion where all of the country’s Christians come together to celebrate and give thanks for the sacrifice that Jesus Christ made for them. It’s a time for reflection and celebration, with Easter also marking the beginning of Spring and the new life that comes with it. Of course, there’s another reason why Italians love Easter. It offers them the chance to get together with loved ones to enjoy some fine food and Italian wines. There are plenty of great traditions that Italians use to mark this special occasion. In this article, we’re going to look at a few that we believe those outside the country may want to enjoy as well. The Easter Egg Let’s start off with a tradition that we’re sure many of you already enjoy. Easter eggs are a mainstay of the period in many countries. Children, in particular, enjoy these hollow chocolate confectionaries. However, plenty of adult are known to enjoy a bit of Continue Reading

The Best Italian Wines to Drink This Easter

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Christmas has come and gone. We’re over a month into the New Year. Naturally, you’re looking for the next big occasion to enjoy a great bottle of Italian wine. Easter is the next big event on the calendar, and it’s one of the most important times of the year. Christians celebrate Easter because it marks the period of Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection, which are both pivotal moments that established Christ as the Christian saviour. Those who are perhaps less religious love Easter too. After all, it’s the perfect occasion to enjoy plenty of chocolate. Plus, it’s another time for you to bring your family and friends together so that you can all enjoy a great meal. Traditionally, many enjoy ham as the meat of choice for their Easter meals. But there’s also plenty of other Easter choices. Lamb is preferred by many, whereas others may enjoy a roast beef dinner. Alongside all of the chocolate that you’re going to be eating, that makes a lot of sweet foods. You Continue Reading

The Xtrawine Italian Wine Almanac – The Best Wines for Every Month of 2018

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Here at Xtrawine, we believe that there’s an Italian wine for all seasons. In fact, we believe that there’s a great wine to suit every single month of the year. Some wines, such as complex reds, work better as winter drinks. They warm you up and give you something to think about while you’re curled up next to the fire. Others keep things light and airy, which is perfect for those hot summer days when a red wine is just too much. Here, we’re going to offer you an Italian wine recommendation for every month of 2018. January – Barolo The King of Wines takes pride of place during the first month of the year and it’s a perfect selection. You’ve just finished up the combined Christmas and New Year celebrations, and now you’re into a time of contemplation. You have an entire year ahead of you to plan out. Barolo is one of those wines that really makes you think. It’s complex and interesting. Plus, (more…) Continue Reading

Val d’Orcia – The Cradle of Great Italian Wines

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If you look through the annals of great Italian wines, you’ll find that many regions are revered for the quality of their product. Tuscany, Veneto, and so many others have a reputation in both the national and international wine communities as being the producers of many stunning wines. At their heart, great Italian wines are true representations of the land that made them. A good wine is as much of a reflection of that land as it is the skill of the producer. When you think of it in those terms, it should come as no surprise that many people love the land as much as they love the producer. It also means that a region would have to be particularly special if it is to earn the nickname of “The Cradle of Great Italian Wines”. The region we’re going to look at in this post is so revered that it is now a UNESCO heritage site. We’re talking, of course, about Val d'Orcia. The Region We mentioned Tuscany before, and with good reason. Though the Val d’Orcia is a wine Continue Reading

The Rules for Investing in Italian Wine Brand Stocks

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The stock market is a dangerous place for the unwary. If you make one bad choice, you could end up losing thousands in a matter of minutes. High-level investors take on even more risk. A bad move could result in them losing millions in the same amount of time. However, that’s not to say that investing in stocks isn’t worth the risk. After all, you stand to make a lot of money if you make the right choices. So, that brings us to this article’s question – what do you need to know if you’re investing in Italian wine stocks? We’re going to look at a few basic rules for investing that you should apply to your Italian wine stock market efforts. Always Do Your Research Rule number one for any investment is that you have to do your research. This trips a lot of people up. They see something that looks like a good opportunity and they convince themselves that they have to go for it right now. After all, if you don’t then other people will. They’ll make a pro Continue Reading

The Top Wines to Drink With Roast Lamb

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Now that Christmas has come and gone, we can all start looking forward to the holidays that the rest of the year has to offer. Easter is next on the calendar. While many associate the holiday with chocolate, thanks in no small part to Easter eggs, there’s a specific type of meat that also goes down a storm during Easter. We’re talking, of course, about roast lamb. Lamb is a staple of the Easter feast in many countries and it’s one of the world’s most popular meats. Even if you don’t eat it during Easter, it’s likely that you’ll have a few roast lamb dinners at various points during the year. So that got us to thinking – which wines work best with roast lamb? We’ve racked our brains and come with a selection of Italian wines, plus a few from other territories, that we think everybody should have on the table whenever they’re eating roast lamb. Rioja We’ll start with a Spanish wine to kick things off. A good Rioja has enough complexity to meld well Continue Reading

Italian Red Wine Hot Chocolate (With Some Italian Red Wine Marshmallows)

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As the winter nights get colder, there are few things more enjoyable than curling up by the fire with a nice mug of hot chocolate. The only thing we could compare it to is sipping a great glass of Italian red wine. But back to the chocolate. There’s just something so smoothing about hot chocolate that helps to relax you after a busy day. We think it’s that lovely warm feeling that spreads throughout your body after the very first sip. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that chocolate tastes amazing. Throw some marshmallows into the mix and you have all of the ingredients for a wonderful, relaxing night. But what if you could mix hot chocolate, marshmallows, and Italian red wine together into one amazing package? It doesn’t seem possible at first. They’re all things that you enjoy as separate entities. Marshmallows don’t typically go with red wine, and you’re unlikely to drink red wine while also drinking hot chocolate. But it works. Oh, it works so well. Red win Continue Reading

Fontanafredda Alta Langa Gatinera Brut Nature

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Over the last few months, we’ve been looking at wine companies that have surprisingly complex origins, given their fairly new nature. Our look at Cantine Polavanera in mid-January is a good example. Though the winery has existed for less than twenty years, it has a history stretching back much further than that thanks to the people who run it and the lineage of the region it’s based in. However, this week we’re going to take a different approach. Instead of shining a spotlight on a new company, we’ve decided to look at one that already has an established name. After all, it’s these long-tenured producers that have had such a massive role in the continued development of the Italian wine industry. So, who is going to be the focus of our little history lesson today? None other than Fontanafredda. Some of you may already have a knowing smile on your face, as you know exactly what level of quality this company brings to the table. For the rest of you, we’re going to Continue Reading

Marination, Meat, Fish, and Italian Wine

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So, you’ve come back home and you want to make something nice and quick to eat. The grill usually provides the answer. Throwing some meat or fish onto the grill allows you to get your cooking done quickly, plus it means your draining unhealthy fats away from the meat to boot. That makes it a great choice for the health conscious. But there’s a catch. Grilling doesn’t always do the best job of locking the flavour into your meats. In fact, many people prefer frying because it allows them to cook juicier meats that, while less healthy, taste amazing. All is not lost. There’s a way for you to enjoy the benefits of grilling without losing any of that all-important flavour. We’re talking, of course, about marinating your meat and fish before cooking. We’re sure many of you already do this with oil or something similar. But did you know that you can create an Italian red wine marinade for use in cooking too? Before we get to that, let’s look at what marinating is and Continue Reading

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