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Divine Vintage: Following the Wine Trail from Genesis to the Modern Age

Divine Vintage: Following the Wine Trail from Genesis to the Modern Age | 'Winebanter' | Scoop.it

Winner of the Gourmand Wine Books prize for 'Best Drinks Writing Book' in the UK
A fascinating journey through ancient wine country that reveals the drinking habits of early Christians, from Abraham to Jesus.
Wine connoisseur Joel Butler teamed up with biblical historian Randall Heskett for a remarkable adventure that travels the biblical wine trail in order to understand what kinds of wines people were drinking 2,000 to 3,500 years ago. Along the way, they discover the origins of wine, unpack the myth of Shiraz, and learn the secrets of how wine infiltrated the biblical world. This fascinating narrative is full of astounding facts that any wine lover can take to their next tasting, including the myths of the Phoenician, Greek, Roman, and Jewish wine gods, the emergence of kosher wine, as well as the use of wine in sacrifices and other rites. It will also take a close a look at contemporary modern wines made with ancient techniques, and guide the reader to experience the wines Noah (the first wine maker!) Abraham, Moses and Jesus drank.

 


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Selezione Vini da Pesce: Fishing for Wines for Fish

Selezione Vini da Pesce: Fishing for Wines for Fish | 'Winebanter' | Scoop.it

Second edition of ‘Selezione Vini da Pesce’, the International Competition of Wines for Fish will be held on May 15—17 in Ancona, the Capital city of the Italian Region Marche, where over 500 white, rosé as well as sparkling wines are expected to vie for the ‘Calice Dorico’ top award and the gold, silver and bronze medals in each category, writes Subhash Arora who has been invited as one of the international judges

I met an Italian lady a couple of days ago, who wanted to know where in Italy I was headed for judging the wine competition next week. When I told her it was ‘Selezione Vini da Pesce’ her eyes beamed as she said, ‘Oh, then I am sure you are going to Marche. What beautiful beaches on the Adriatic Coast! The fish is delicious. And what a heavenly combination they make with Verdicchio wines!’

She was partially right. What she was thinking of was “Selezione Di Pesce” wine competition, the only one approved in Italy by the Italian Ministry for Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policies that makes the important link between wine and fish. This was and still is held in Ancona for domestic wines that go well with fish. It was designed to promote the fishing industry of Marche whereas I have been invited to ‘Selezione Vini da Pesce, the international wine competition that was started last year to expand the horizon of the original competition.

 

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What is Grape Phylloxera?

What is Grape Phylloxera? | 'Winebanter' | Scoop.it

A scourge erupted in Europe that nearly destroyed every single wine grape in the world. In the late 1800′s, wineries all over Europe ripped up and burned their family’s ancient vineyards in a desperate attempt to stop the spread of disease. By the 1900′s Phylloxera had taken a beyond-imaginable toll: over 70% of the vines in France were dead –the livelihoods of thousands of families were ruined.
There was an international wine deficit. In one scenario, three small precious plots of Pinot Noir owned by Bollinger in Champagne magically resisted Phylloxera. The resulting 3000 bottles of wine called “Vieille Vignes Françaises” (French Old Vines) became the most sought-after bottles of Champagne. Devastated by the wrath, the Minister of Agriculture and Commerce in France offered 20,000 Francs –$1 million today– to anyone who could find a cure.
So what was the cause of the grape phylloxera destruction and how come there is still no cure?
What is Grape Phylloxera?
Phylloxera is a microscopic louse or aphid, that lives on and eats roots of grapes. It can infest a vineyard from the soles of vineyard worker’s boots or naturally spreading from vineyard-to-vineyard by proximity.
Where did Phylloxera come from? short answer: The United States.
The genus Phylloxera is characterized by having three-jointed antennae, the third or terminal much the longest, and by carrying its wings overlapping flat on the back instead of roof-fashion. It belongs to the whole-winged bugs (Homoptera), and osculates between two great families of that sub-order, the plant-lice (Aphididae) on the one hand and the bark-lice {Coccidae) on the other. In the one-jointed tarsus of the larva or newly-hatched louse, and in being always oviparous, it shows its affinities with the latter family; but in the two-jointed tarsus of the more mature individuals, and in all other characters, it is essentially aphididan.
(CHAS. V. RILEY, M. A., Ph. D. “The Grape Phylloxera” Popular Science, May 1874)
European Wine Grapes with American Roots
Today rootstock is still used for much of the wine world and phylloxera is still a danger.
There have been several cases where vineyards have remained untouched by grape phylloxera. While many of these locations are a mystery, a high proportion of the phylloxera-resistant vineyards have sandy soils in areas with high winds.


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Le Caniette Rosso Bello

Michelangelo gave the name 'Rosso Bello' or Beautiful Red to a brilliant red color that this full bodied wine is named after. This wine was produced in the land of Ascanio Condivi, named after the apprentice, friend and biographer of Michelangelo. You will find this wine intense and persistent recalling red fruits, cherries, rose petals & violets.


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The First Wine I Ever Hated: Lacrima di Morro d’Alba

The First Wine I Ever Hated: Lacrima di Morro d’Alba | 'Winebanter' | Scoop.it
I remember the first wine I actively DESPISED. This wine made me heartily want to puke. I could not get it away from me; the sticky-spicy scent of a closet littered with potpourri satchels hung in my nostrils, pervading my sinuses, clinging like your great aunt’s perfume after a lingering hug—strong and alarmingly persistent.
The wine was a red Lacrima di Morro d’Alba. [...]
Perhaps in 2005, my virgin palate was shallow, ignorant, and uncouth! Perhaps my uneducated tongue was simply too immature to recognize Lacrima di Morro d’Alba’s charm.
…Fast forward to right now: I open the 2009 Luigi Giusti Lacrima di Morro d’Alba. I swirl. I sniff. That piquant scent absolutely leaps out of the glass. It clings tenaciously to my nostrils and my tongue, just like auntie’s perfume, just like I remembered it. As the dear Sam, who sold me this bottle at Biondivino, said: “It’s a polarizing wine. You either love it or you hate it.”
I give it a chance to open up [...]
In Wine Grapes, Jancis explains, “the name Lacrima (English ‘teardrop’) was probably given to this variety because when the berries are fully ripe, they exude small drops of juice.”
To my taste, the grapes may as well have exuded thousands of tiny potpourri satchels, because the wine smells as if someone steeped these satchels in the fermenting juice: there’s dried roses, lilies, violets, lavender, juniper, what I think myrtle berries must smell like, plus cinnamon sticks and allspice—the whole shebang in there.
A wine this strong could get scary without a kick of acid to lift it up and carry it along, but once you get past the freaky-potent aromatics, the wine lights up with a great streak of acidity. The tannins are mellow but not absent, giving it a soft texture, cruising along in stride with black pepper, Red Hots, and star anise. The whole thing finishes with a slathering of blackberry jam bringing up the rear. As I sip, I have a sudden craving for lamb chops sprinkled with sea salt, rosemary, maybe a little balsamic reduction. Or, moussaka… or, hey… Maybe Linguine Mare Chiaro, bella.

2009 Luigi Giusti Lacrima di Morro d’Alba (Marche, Italy)
The Grape: Lacrima di Morro d’Alba
The Region: Marche, Italy
Retail price: $22
The Importer: Vinity Wine Company
Via Mariano Pallottini
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Mariano Pallottini's curator insight, December 11, 2012 8:07 AM

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Luigi Silvestri's curator insight, December 22, 2012 7:18 AM

Lacrima can only be found in Marche Region.

http://www.accantogroup.com/accantowine

luigi.silvestri@accantogroup.com

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Rosso Conero: The (better?) Montepulciano from further north

Rosso Conero: The (better?) Montepulciano from further north | 'Winebanter' | Scoop.it

[...] Well, in the Marche region just to the north of Abruzzo, the Montepulciano vine also covers lots of square hectares of earth, but because none of its appellations’ names include the word “Montepulciano”, growing regions like Rosso Conero which is typically made from 100% Montepulciano [...] The word “Conero” in this wine’s name refers to the appellation’s proximity to Marche’s coastal city of Ancona.[...]

Villa Malacari Rosso Conero 2008
Saturated blackish purple color. Big and expressive nose of wood-smokey black cherry and dried cranberry fruit wonderfully supported by clear notes of melted dark chocolate, black licorice, damp earth, dried herbs, gingerbread, motor oil, and lilac powder. In the mouth the wine is full-bodied with a chewy texture, smooth tannins, and a great balance overall that effortlessly reveals sweet and sour black raspberry and currant fruit and notes of espresso coffee and new leather. Long, rustically elegant finish.


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True Grape: So easy to fall in love (with wine) in Verona, Italy

True Grape: So easy to fall in love (with wine) in Verona, Italy | 'Winebanter' | Scoop.it

It’s appropriate that the country producing both the greatest quantity and greatest variety of wine in the world should also host the globe’s largest wine show.

Over 4,200 wineries and 140,000 wine lovers gathered last week in the literary home of Romeo and Juliet, which seems fitting as the event is frequently billed as “another love story in Verona.”

What follow are some Italian grape varietals that you may not have heard of, but your palate is sure to be rewarded by making the effort to seek out these wines.

Lacrima di Morro d'Alba

The name means teardrop and the grape is found in the central east coast region of Le Marche. Typical aromas of roses with wild strawberries and a beautiful juicy vinous character. Used to produce still red wines, sweet wines and unique and delicious sparkling.

Pecorino

Mostly found in Le Marche and Abruzzo regions resulting in white wines with fresh and delicate aromas, full on the palate with mineral notes, some fresh herbs and citrus.


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Elisabetta Tosi's curator insight, June 5, 2013 5:36 AM

Verona is a very special experience in the Italian world of wine: in a few kilometers, you can have all the wines - red, white, rosé, sparkling, still, sweet - from both native and international grapes you can wish to drink...

All.

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Wine of the Day: Lucchetti Lacrima Di Morro d’Alba 2011

Wine of the Day: Lucchetti Lacrima Di Morro d’Alba 2011 | 'Winebanter' | Scoop.it

Lucchetti Lacrima Di Morro d’Alba 2011
Marches, Italy
$17.95, 88 points, Vintages 310094

Lacrima de Morro d’Alba is from Marche on the Adriatic (not related to the town/region of Alba in Piedmont. This is a very fruity, soft, rounded and pleasant young red with purple-ruby colour and generous aromas of candied plums, red licorice twizzler and some leesy character. It’s medium weight, soft and well balanced with the barest dusting of tannin. The length is good. Chill lightly. 


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Clearing Up Confusion with Montepulciano

Clearing Up Confusion with Montepulciano | 'Winebanter' | Scoop.it

Despite the name, the grape called Montepulciano has nothing to do with the town of the same name in Toscana, nor does it have any relationship with the wine Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, which comes from Toscana. Rather, Montepulciano, the grape, is cultivated throughout Central Italy, from Le Marche to Apulia and most specifically in Abruzzo. Montepulciano is a varietal that makes a tremendously pleasing wine characterized by low acidity, manageable tannins, and a combination of the roundness of Merlot with the pepper and black fruit of Syrah. Known best for its DOC appellation Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, this varietal is said to have originated in Abruzzo, but it also appears in several other DOC wines throughout central Italy.
Montepulciano d’Abruzzo DOC, created in 1968, covers more or less the entire eastern half of its titular province. Despite the similarity in name, Montepulciano d’Abruzzo ought not be confused with Toscana’s Vino Nobile de Montepulciano, named for its nearest town, Montepulciano. Indigenous to Abruzzo, Montepulciano grows happily throughout the rugged terrain of central Italy, and the varietal forms the central component of this DOC and that of Le Marche’s Rosso Cònero, as well as serving as a recommended varietal for many others.
This grape possesses an extremely easy-going nature, thriving particularly well around the foothills of the Apennines near the town of Teramo, the site of its DOCG appellation, Montepulciano d’Abruzzo Colline Teramane. Although it suffers the reputation of being a little brother to some of the region’s better known wines, the medium-bodied, ruby-red, Montepulciano d’Abruzzo provides a very pleasant wine for a very good value. Lightly tannic but bouncy with acidity, this wine with a palate of berries and violets also has an intriguing spiciness that complements the region’s predilection for foods laced with hot peppers. The slightly sweet tannins of Montepulciano d’Abruzzo keep it lively in the bottle, but unchanged as it ages. Recent interest in playing with techniques in cultivation and vinification, however, may help make the genial Montepulciano d’Abruzzo become a more complex and burly wine in the future.
Montepulciano d’Abruzzo comes in four types. Vinified like a white with a short maceration on the skins, Cerasuolo is its rosé style, named for its bright cherry-red color. An unusually jaunty rosé, Cerasuolo can stand up to spicy foods; its DOC regulations allow for 85% Montepulciano and up to 15% of other local varietals, often Sangiovese. Montepulciano d’Abruzzo Rosso has the same grape allowances as the Cerasuolo, though it is vinified as a red with a longer maceration; this DOC also comes in a riserva form that requires 24 months of ageing. Montepulciano d’Abruzzo’s Casauria and Terre dei Vestini DOC types both require 100% Montepulciano, and both have riserva forms that require 24 months of ageing.
The best thing about Montepulciano d’Abbruzzo wines–other than their general deliciousness–is that they tend to be super affordable, offering a fresh, easy way to serve quality Italian wines any night of the week.


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Appassionata's curator insight, February 7, 2013 6:45 AM

Intersting article about the Montepulciano grape we are growing.....

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How to Hold a Glass of Wine

How to Hold a Glass of Wine | 'Winebanter' | Scoop.it
Wine etiquette says to hold a wine glass by its stem -- and there are reasons behind the rule. But how many people actually do?
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