Ciao, il vino dei miei sogni! (Hello, wine of my dreams!)


If you couldn’t tell by the title, then yes I am talking about Italian wines! What is so wonderful about Italian wines? Well for one thing, Amazing Grapes knows how amazing they are so we are offering  10% off a bottle this whole week (2/18-2/23) on our wide variety!


While our deal is definitely worthy, it would be helpful to have some background history on Italian wines to get you in the wine-buying mood. So lets begin.


Even though vines have been cultivated from the wild vitis vinifera grape, it wasn’t until the Greek colonization that wine-making flourished. Viticulture was introduced into Sicily and southern Italy by the Mycenaean Greeks and was well established when the extensive Greek colonization transpired around 800 B.C. It was during the Roman defeat of the Carthaginians (who were known as the masters of wine-making) in the 2nd century B.C. that Italian wine production began to further flourish.


Large-scale, slave-run plantations sprang up in many coastal areas and spread to such an extent that  in A.D. 92, Emperor Domitian was forced to destroy a great number of vineyards in order to free up fertile land for food production. Socially, during this time it was customary to mix wine with a good proportion of water which may otherwise have been unpalatable, making wine drinking a fundamental part of Italian life. Although viticulture was prohibited outside of Italy under Roman law, history has shown that those laws soon eased up and this is when vineyards began to flourish in the rest of Europe, especially Gaul (present day France) and Hispania.


This then created the cultivation of new vines, like biturica (ancestor of the Cabernets). These vineyards became hugely successful, to the point that Italy ultimately became an import center for provincial wines. Today, depending on the vintage, modern Italy is the world’s largest or second largest wine producer.


Interesting, right? I thought so! Well now that I’ve made you more comfortable with the knowledge of Italian wine, I had the staff at Amazing Grapes hand-select some of our most popular wines for me to discuss so you may get an idea of what you would like to pick up when you come in and see us.


I’d like to start off with our Giol Pinot Grigio. This lovely 2011 vintage wine shows straw yellow with lemon highlights. Its delicate nose is redolent of golden apples, unripe fruit and lime blossom. On the palate it is crisp, balanced and well-orchestrated, with a pleasant tang. This would be excellent with fish and vegetables, soups and lean fish dishes.


Next is our 2010 Blanc De Morgex Et De la Salle. This vintage is green-gold in color, crisply dry on the palate and has a surprising tenacity. Then it combines with an aroma of mountain herbs that contain notes of fresh fruit. Despite its elegance and subtlety, it has a persistence that will prove not only satisfying but worthy of cellaring. It is very tasty as an aperitif, or paired with trout or pizza.


The Produttori del Barbaresco 2007 “Ovello” Riserva is a dry, elegant, full-bodied red wine, rich in tannin and has a very complex nose. At maturity when it has developed for a few years, it reveals aromas of dry flowers, violets, white truffles, anise and more. In its youth it is closed in the mouth with nice, fruity aromas and a spicy, tannic finish. This traditionally pairs with roast chicken, braised or roasted beef, grilled chops and wild mushrooms.


Lastly, we have the Fontodi 2008 Vigna Del Sorbo Riserva Chianti Classico. It will reveal a dark opaque ruby color to match its earthy bouquet with aromas of black cherry, plum, dried mushroom, tobacco, leather, oak spices and peaty notes. On the mouth-feel, it will deliver a medium-full bodied, firm structure with grippy tannins and flavors dominated by oak characteristics. This finish is long and intense with very concentrated flavors of cherries and cedarwood. This heavenly wine can be paired with pasta, steak or lamb.


These are just to name a few of the many we have on our shelves, so you should stop by this week and stock up on these fine wines. Hurry though, this promotion only lasts Monday through Saturday!


That’s all for now, so until then leave with a fun quote of the day: “Wine…the intellectual part of the meal” ~ Alexandre Dumas (1873)