Sting and Trudie Styler Launch Their Wine Tasting Tour

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An internationally-renowned singer and bassist, Sting achieved fame as part of The Police before going on to enjoy a glittering solo career that has forever placed him in the pantheon of the world’s greatest rock and pop stars. Today, the singer continued to tour on occasion, but he has also turned his attention to other areas of life that he has just as much passion for as he does his music. During mid-March, Sting, alongside Trudie Styler, announced the launch of a special wine tasting tour that will see them travel throughout Europe and offer wine enthusiasts the opportunity to try a host of new wines in a welcoming and friendly atmosphere. Named the Il Palagio Tasting Tour, the event was announced during ProWein, which is one of the world’s leading wine and spirits trade fairs. Held in Dusseldorf, Germany, ProWein was held between March 19th and March 21st, offering those within the industry the opportunity to connect with old friends, make new connections, and learn more Continue Reading

The Most Famous Italian Liqueurs

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While the main focus here at Xtrawine is placed on the many amazing Italian wines that are made available by producers across the country, we feel that some recognition should be given to the many other beverage producers that take a slightly different route. In addition to being renowned for the quality of its wines, Italy is also well-regarded for the quality of the many liqueurs that emanate from the country. Here we are going to take a look at some of the most popular so you have a few more choices at your disposal should you choose to explore any beverages outside of wine. Perhaps one of the most famous Italian liqueurs, particularly in Great Britain where the Disarrano brand has gained widespread popularity, Amaretto is a sweet liqueur that goes exceptionally well with rich foods and desserts. Made using almonds or almond essence, it carries an amber hue and has numerous uses. Many enjoy it as a standalone drink on the rocks following a nice meal, however, it is also com Continue Reading

Albino Rocca Barbaresco Montersino

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While Piedmont is perhaps best known for Barolo, there is one more wine from the region that is made using the famous Nebbiolo grape. Barbaresco may not be as famous as its cousin, but it has become one of the most revered red wines to emerge from Italy, thanks largely to its accessibility and quality. Of course, without great producers no wine can reach a high level of popularity. As such, this week we will be taking a look at the history of one of Italy’s greatest Barbaresco producers, before examining a recent vintage of the wine that we think everybody needs to try. With that in mind, let’s take a look at Albino Rocca The History As a wine, Barbaresco didn’t start to hit is peak until the mid-1960s. Sure, it has existed according to official documentation since the late 1800s, but a combination of inadequate production levels and the onset of World War I both meant that the wine wasn’t capable of attaining the level of popularity that it was capable of before th Continue Reading

“Cantine Aperte” and the Reasons to Visit

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Given the illustrious nature of the Italian wine industry, it should come as no surprise to anybody that there are plenty of celebrations that crop up around the work of the amazing producers that have carried the industry on their shoulders for so many centuries. Many of these celebrations involve the tasting of wine and pairing of it with foods, particularly local delicacies. However, of all of the things done to celebrate the industry, perhaps none are quite as important as Cantine Aperte, which offers consumers the opportunity to explore the wines they love in a lot more detail. What Is Cantine Aperte? Literally translated to Open Cellars, Cantine Aperte has evolved to become Italy’s most important wine tourism event. Established in 1993 and taking place during the last Sunday of May every year, the event sees the member wineries of the Movimento Turismo del Vino, which is a non-profit association that is dedicated to the continued promotion of the Italian wine industry, Continue Reading

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

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