Author: Terry Connor

The Wines of Italy: Part 3

Franco and I are on our way to Piedmont (sometimes seen as “Piemonte.”) The dinner that he cooked the other night was nothing less than sensational.  I can only hope that he has more friends to cook for as we progress on our journey.

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Still Idling in Italy

 Today is going to be a good day and tonight even better. Franco and I are leaving Friuli and driving to Verona. The drive will be leisurely, thru beautiful Italian countryside. Tonight Franco is cooking for friends and I am invited because I was told that I am choosing, and also paying for, the wine. He is preparing a white fish course and lasagna with spicy meat sauce. Bardolino will go well with the fish, and Valpolicella will match well with the pasta. I chose these two wines for various reasons. They are light in body and alcohol, and we are going to be switching off between a white and a red wine. Secondly, I chose two well-known styles of wine that are popular in both Italy and the United States. It is accurate to say that most US retailers carry Bardolino and Valpolicella. Each wine enjoys the DOC status.

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The Adventure Continues… In Italy

It is so difficult to leave Provence. The place really captures anyone who spends time there. The temptation is ever-present to turn a visit into a permanent stay. I reluctantly tore myself away and started preparations for my next assignment. One of those preparations was to hire a driver. I wired my editor and asked if there was any extra money available in the office coffee fund. She came back to me in the affirmative, and so I hired Franco. Franco is a sommelier from a hotel in Monte Carlo. His wine knowledge is first rate; his gambling talents are nil, and so he welcomed the opportunity to get away for a while and go to Italy as my driver. Quite frankly, I figured I could use his expertise. I had promised a friend that our first stop in Italy would be the area where Prosecco is made. This wine area is called Friuli-Venezia Giulia. It is located in the Northeast of Italy near Venice, and Franco knows it well.

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The Wines of Provence

Well, there I was. Stuck in Ribera del Duero and no way to get to Provence. I was in danger of missing my deadline. It suddenly occurred to me that maybe I could buy a car. As luck would have it, I found a real beauty in one of the villages for only 50 bucks (actually euros). Just wait until you see it. This car was placed in service when Dwight Eisenhower was President; but it works and the vineyard worker that I bought it from said it is still under warranty.

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Bacchus Country

Bacchus Country     We travel just a short way from where we were two weeks ago to an area called Ribera del Duero. Close to Rioja, but separated from Rioja by some flat terrain and the Duero River, Ribera del Duero is a Spanish DENOMINACION de ORIGEN (DO) located in the autonomous community of Castile y Leon. The most famous vineyards in the area surround Penafiel and Roa de Duero to the west where the regional regulatory council or the REGULADOR (remember him from two weeks ago?) for the denominacion is based. Ribera del Duero is also home to the world-famous and highly-prized Vega Sicilia and Tinto Pesquera wines. These wines introduce us to wines made from 100% Tempranillo Grapes.

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Three Reds of Rioja

  Spain has long been the leader in Europe in regards to “acreage planted under vine,” however, quantity did not always mean quality. Until the mid 1980’s Spanish wine was mediocre at best. Mediocrity was the name of the game until progress came along in the form of investment and technology. Here again, as mentioned before, wise investors realized the marvelous potential that existed in Spanish wine and so a great deal of money went into modernizing wineries, formulating sophisticated marketing plans, and far reaching distribution.

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The Call of Port

Just a few hours drive south from where we were last issue, we cross the Douro River (remember this river as we will see it again) and we arrive in Oporto, a city on the west coast of Portugal. Port Wine is named after Oporto and to this day the city remains central to Port Wine.

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Drink Globally: Galicia, Spain

The World in your Wineglass… It has often been said that music is the universal language of love. If that is the case, then can we not arrive at a similar conclusion about wine? After all, wine is the international expression of love – the international accompaniment to food and sharing.  With this thought of going international in mind, we would like to take our readers on a journey around the world (one winery each month) and highlight some familiar wines and maybe some new varietals as well.

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may, 2023

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