In all of nature there really are few sites that can match the eruption of a volcano in terms of the pure majesty of sheer power of the occasion. There are many active volcanoes dotting the Earth’s landscape and these awe-inspiring natural creations have literally been responsible for the destruction of nations and the creation of new lands over the course of millennia.
While all of that is spectacular in its own right, did you know that soil enriched by the many minerals released in a volcanic eruption is actually desired in the agricultural sector? Nowhere is this more true than in the wine industry, where volcanic soil is seen as being able to infuse wines with something a little bit different, ensuring they stand out from the crowd in the process.
The most famous volcano in Italy is Mt. Etna, which stands on the island of Sicily and has numerous recorded eruptions. Each of these eruptions, though potentially damaging to life, also reinvigorate the soil surrounding the mount Continue Reading→
As any true fan of Italian wine will be able to tell you, the best time to drink a glass of the finest wine is when you are enjoying it alongside a great meal. There is just something so special about the combination of great wines and the foods that complement them best that gets the taste buds tingling and opens you up to a whole new world of culinary delights.
Of course, for those who are new to wine, or people who already have their set favourite combinations and haven’t explored much further past them, it can be difficult to determine which wine and food pairings really work well together.
To help with that, your friends at Xtrawine are not only going to provide you with a recipe for a great saffron risotto, but we are also going to recommend just a couple of wines that we believe go really well with the dish. Enjoy and let us know how the meal turned out!
Before you get started you’re going to need to find the right ingredients. Here’s a quick list of Continue Reading→
You may have already noted that we have been placing a little bit of a focus on the Nebbiolo grape in recent weeks, in addition to the two wines, Barolo and Barbaresco, that it is used to create. Of course, this is because both wines stand in the pantheon of the greatest red wines ever produced in Italy. However, it also raises the question of which wine and producer we are going to feature each week.
As always, we have decided that quality of product should trump all, so we are going to be examining a winery that not only creates a rather fabulous Barbaresco that we believe everybody should sample, but also has a history that is rather interesting in its own right.
This thinking has led us to Cascina Bruciata, so let’s look at the story behind this remarkable company before delving into one of the best wines that it has produced in recent memory.
The key trait that has defined the Cascina Bruciata throughout its history is the passion that it brings to wine p Continue Reading→
As we all know, the very best Italian wines can be enjoyed on their own. However, there is still nothing that is quite like finding the absolutely perfect wine and food pairing. A food that complements the taste, structure, and body of your wine will help you further unlock the drink’s potential, while also giving you an even greater appreciation for the foods that you eat every day.
Of course, every wine region has its own specific food combinations, many of which have been honed over decades and offer the most comprehensive taste of what the land and people of the region have to offer.
Today, we will be looking at a very specific food that is traditionally enjoyed in the Barolo region. We are, of course, talking about the Alba truffle. This spectacular white truffle is a beautiful seasonal dish that is best enjoyed with a bottle of the king of wines, but there are plenty of things you may not know about the Alba truffle, or truffles in general. We are going to look to look at Continue Reading→
While we took a look at Barbaresco wine fairly recently, our examination into this extremely famous Italian red wine was by no means exhaustive. We took a really in-depth look into the history of the wine, particularly looking at one of the producers who not only made a name for themselves by producing it, but also raised the stock of the wine to the point where it has become one of the most famous produced in Italy, but there is still plenty of information out there for fans of Barbaresco to dig their teeth into.
With this article, we aim to cover what we may have missed about a month ago, in addition to helping those who might have missed out previous piece get back up to speed. We will again be looking at the history of Barbaresco, only this time around we will be paying much more attention to the vineyards and various communes that are renowned for production of this amazing Italian red wine.
So, let’s start with a more basic run through the history of Barbaresco.
The Hi Continue Reading→
We’ve taken a little bit of time to look at the Nebbiolo grape in a little bit of detail this week, so it only stands to reason that we should shine a spotlight in a producer of wines that use this quintessentially Italian grape in their production.
Of course, because Nebbiolo is used in the production of both Barolo and Barbaresco, which have become two of Italy’s most popular and highest-quality wines, making a selection as to which producer to highlight was always going to present a little bit of a problem. Do we examine one of the more well-known wine producers or should we take a look at a smaller producer that is capable of producing quality but has perhaps not quite received the level of recognition it deserves for its work?
After a little thought, we have decided to go with the latter option. After all, in many cases the smallest producers are often able to bring something a little different to their wines, thus setting them apart from larger companies.
With that i Continue Reading→
None of the great wines that we know and love today would ever have attained the popularity they currently enjoy were it not for the quality of the grapes that go into their production and the hard work of the wine producers who farm the grapes and ensure they meet the correct standards and enjoy ideal growing conditions.
It is because of this that you will often find true wine enthusiasts talk as much about the grapes used in the production of their favourite wines as they do about the wine itself. Many grapes have achieved infamy because of this and there are numerous wines out there that using nothing but one grape, thus providing the drinker with the purest possible experience.
With that in mind, we have decided to look at one of Italy’s most famous grapes in depth. The name Nebbiolo may not ring a bell in terms of wine names, however, anybody who has ever enjoyed a good Barolo has this grape to thank. As such, we think that Nebbiolo is perhaps the true grape of kings, in m Continue Reading→
As you start to explore your passion for wine you will come across a whole range of accessories that can make the drinking experience much more enjoyable. Of course, everybody knows the basics. You don’t need to know about the benefits that a corkscrew has to offer after all. However, what about the accessories that are designed to ensure your wine maintains its quality and consistency for as long as possible.
That’s where decanters come in. This nifty little tools can go a long way to preserving a bottle of wine that would otherwise lose its potency in fairly short order. Even so, a lot of people don’t really know what they are used for or how to use them properly when they have them.
To remedy that situation, your friends at Xtrawine have come up with the definitive guide to decanting so you know exactly what situations yours was made for.
The Purpose of Decanting
Before we get into the how’s, let’s take a look at the why’s when it comes to decanting. After al Continue Reading→
Throughout the course of each year there are numerous celebrations held throughout Italy in tribute to the country’s wine industry and the amazing people who make the entire thing possible. Some of these are held at the local level, while others are full cultural phenomena that everybody who enjoys wine should make the effort to visit at some point during their lives.
Others are a little more focused on the business aspect of the Italian wine industry, bringing those in the trade together so they can share ideas, discuss the state of the industry, and plan their next moves over the coming year.
Of these latter events, none are as famous as Vinitaly, which is held every single year and offers those in the trade the opportunity to mingle with enthusiasts to create an event that revolves completely around the wine industry.
By the time you are reading this article, the 2017 Vinitaly event will have come and gone, which means preparations will already be underway for the 2018 ev Continue Reading→
As you begin to familiarize yourself with Italian wine it is likely that you are going to run across a few terms that you will not fully understand at first. After all, the wine industry can be a complex beast at times and there are occasional barriers in the way of novices who are trying to find their way around everything while exploring everything that it has to offer.
However, that is why your friends at Xtrawine are here. Via our blog, we have tried to shine as much of a spotlight as we can on the industry, both to the benefit of the amazing producers who create the wines we sell on our website and for those of you who want to learn as much as you can about the culture and quality that goes into the creation of every bottle of wine that we sell.
As such, we have decided to take a little bit more of an in-depth look into a word that you may run across quite a lot in the Italian wine industry, especially if you shop around to locate wines that may be at the higher end of the p Continue Reading→