The Chiaretto Wine

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We’ve all heard of pink Champagne. Many consider the wine to be among the most romantic in the world, though that seems to be based around the colouring more so than anything else. But have you head of pink Rosé? That’s what we’re going to look at today. Or, more accurately, we’re going to take a look at the Chiaretto wine, which takes so much pride in its pinkness that the wine’s website even has the word “pink” in the URL. With that in mind, this week’s article will trace the interesting history of this wine, as well as taking a closer look at what it has to offer people who haven’t had the chance to try it yet. The History The story starts in 1896. By this point in time, the Italian wine industry had grown to be among the largest in the world and many of the varieties that we drink today had been invented. Of course, many of today’s producers weren’t around back then. But the backbone of the industry was in place and Italy was ready for the majo Continue Reading

Vitis Vinifera – Italy Ranks First in the Use of this Special Grape

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If you’re an Italian wine lover, you already know that the grape plays a hugely important role in the quality of the wine. It’s not just the variety of the grape either. The care that the producer puts into its production and harvesting also has an effect. So too does the climate. The point we’re getting at is that grape selection plays an enormous role when it comes to wine production. That’s why there’s so much variety in the Italian wine industry. Every producer wants to find that perfect combination of grapes that will lead to the next big thing in the industry. This experimentation also means that many grapes get identified as mainstays that find their way into all sorts of wines. Chardonnay is used for much more than the wines of the same name, as is the Pinot Noir grape. But those aren’t the grapes we’re going to focus on today. Instead, we’re going to look at a grape that Italy ranks number one in the world for when it comes to sheer use. Best of all Continue Reading

The Vatican Tops the List of Heaviest Wine Drinking Nations

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If there’s one place that Catholics hold up above all others, it’s the Vatican. The home of the Pope, the Vatican is a stunning place that has more than a little bit of uniqueness about it. For example, did you know that the Vatican is not a city? Many people make the mistake of thinking that it’s a part of Italy. But the truth is that the Vatican is essentially an independent nation. It achieved independence from Italy in the 1920s, with the Holy See holding jurisdiction over its affairs. Moreover, this unique situation also means that the Vatican is the smallest “country” in the world. With a population of about 1,000 people and a size that’s smaller than many of the vineyards that Italian wine producers use, it’s a corner of the world unlike any other that you will ever find. But this isn’t all that sets the Vatican apart from the rest of the world. Despite its small stature, the country consumes more wine than any other. How can this be? And what does th Continue Reading

The Wine Bottle And Its Effects on the Quality of the Wine

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Technological advancements always have a huge effect on the wine industry. Over the centuries, we’ve seen a myriad of advancements affect the way that we make wine. When it comes to agriculture, better irrigation and more modern tools allow us to control and harvest crops much more efficiently. The Italian wine industry would never have come close to reaching its current size if we were still using the tools of yesteryear in this regard. With increased chemistry knowledge came a whole range of man-made substances. These can help producers to stave off pests and perhaps stimulate the growth of their crops. But those who aspire to the organic side of production tend to point out that such chemicals can damage the land and affect the taste of the grape. That brings us to an important point about another important innovation. Namely, plastic. Now, we’ve been producing plastic products for decades, but it’s only in recent times that we’ve seen some producers forgoing the tradi Continue Reading

Wine and Salami – The Perfect Pairings

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There are few things better than being able to match a great food up with the perfect wine. That’s why we’ve dedicated so many of our recent articles to some of the best wine and food pairings that we can think of. Of course, such pairings are partially a matter of personal preference. You may have a penchant for flavour mixes that other people don’t understand. Or, somebody else may enjoy a pairing that you think ruins the entire culinary experience. But if we take away this personal aspect for a moment, there’s also no denying that some Italian wines work better with some foods than others. That’s what these articles aim to deliver. With a few examples, we hope to help you make wine and food pairings that won’t disappoint. So, that brings us around to the topic of today’s article – salami. A dried and cured meat, salami is actually much more versatile than you may originally have thought. There are several different varieties that you’ll be able to find Continue Reading

How to Celebrate Spring Italian Style

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Spring is finally here. It may not really feel like it right now though. Depending on where you are in the world, you may have had to put up with loads of rain, wind, and even some snow. So, it’s already been a strange spring in terms of the weather we’ve had. But don’t let that dampen your spirits…literally. Things can only get better from here and spring is still the same magical time of tear that it always is. It just may be taking a little while longer to get to you this time around. Italians love the spring. You can see this should you ever decide to visit the country. It seems like the spring has a completely revitalising effect on the Italian people. The sun starts shining and everybody feels energised. You’ll start seeing restaurants breaking out their fresh, al fresco spring menus and everybody seems to have a spring in their step (pun only partially intended). Of course, there’s another wonderful thing about the spring. We’re talking – of course Continue Reading

A Shrimp Risotto Recipe and the Wines That Work Well With It

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As we all know, there are few things better than combining a great glass of Italian wine with the right type of food. But there are just so many culinary combinations for you to try out. Of course, this means that there’s plenty of room for experimentation. There aren’t many greater joys than discovering a wine and food combination that really works. Especially when you weren’t expecting it. Unfortunately, this experimentation can also lead to some culinary disasters. Combining a great dish with a great wine doesn’t always have great results. If the pairing doesn’t work well, you could end up ruining the meal. A powerful dish may completely overwhelm your wine. But a deep and complex wine can have the same effect on a lighter dish. Some of you may need a little help to get things right. That’s where we come in. Over the years, Xtrawine has delivered a number of recipes for tasty dishes, alongside a few wines that work really well with them. We’re going to do it here Continue Reading

A Longer Life – Can Drinking Wine Every Day Help?

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Many of us enjoy a glass or two of Italian red wine during the evening. But we often don’t put much thought into the positive, or negative effects, that the wine may be having on your health. It’s something that everybody should think about. Thankfully, there’s evidence to suggest that a glass or two of wine on a regular basis actually has a beneficial effect on your health. A study conducted in the United States points to some of the most important evidence. It found that people who drink a glass or two of wine every night tend to enjoy a slightly higher life expectancy than both teetotallers and those who drink to excess on a regular basis. That’s probably more than enough for most of you to start enjoying that after work glass of wine a little more already. But we decided to dig a little bit deeper into the information available. After all, the same study made mention of the protective effects of wine. So, what are those effects and how do they help you to lead a lo Continue Reading

Wine and Sex – Is it True that Wine is an Aphrodisiac?

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Let’s talk about sex. Okay, it may be a slightly odd topic for an Italian wine website to cover. But think about it for a moment. There has always been a link between alcohol and sex. Whether it’s led to a good night or a mistake that you’ll regret in the morning, most people have an alcohol-laden story of sexcapade from some point in their life. But why is that? Why does that link between wine and sex even exist in the first place? Is wine a natural aphrodisiac? It may well be. This article looks at the link between wine and sex and why you may want to consider a glass or two of the good stuff before getting down to the other good stuff. Lowering Inhibitions We’ve all had nights where we’ve perhaps consumed a little too much alcohol and done something that we might not have done otherwise. Anybody who’s found themselves dancing on a table despite not being an attention seeker, or somebody who’s belted a song out at karaoke despite not being able to sing, c Continue Reading

Emidio Pepe Montepulciano d’Abruzzo

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In recent weeks, we have focused the bulk of our articles on more general examinations of some of the wines to come out of Italy. In fact, you’ll have noticed that we wrote about the Montepulciano d’Abruzzo only a matter of days ago. Dig a little further back and you’ll see we’ve written more general overviews of a variety of other wines over the last few weeks. Today, we think we’re going to dig back into specifics with another review of a great vintage that we think everybody should try. And, seeing as we’ve written about the wine already this week, we figured that we may as well examine a wonderful Montepulciano d’Abruzzo. That, of course, raised the question of which producer should we choose. It wasn’t an easy one. Montepulciano is one of the most widely produced Italian wines, which mean there are many producers who craft excellent examples of it. But, after much though and consideration, we’ve settled on a producer and a wine that we think you’ll all Continue Reading

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