COUNTRY OF THE MONTH: ITALY
It's time for another instalment of 'Country of the Month'...we use the term 'month' loosely as we've been rotating countries bi-monthly-ish.
You all LOVED the 'French Wine' pack and tasting last time around and the 'Italian Whites' before that. This time, given Jay and Aly have just returned from Italy, we thought it was only fitting to look back at Italy to focus on 'ITALIAN REDS'.
We are aware that we've been banging on about Italy for weeks now...there was the trip, the Italian-themed Blind Wine Time session and now Country of the Month. BUT you won't see us apologising, there's a reason Italian wines are ranked as the world's finest.
To help tell this story, we've pulled together a diverse 6-pack which takes you on a journey from Valpolicella in the North, down to Mount Etna in the South and everywhere in between.
The history of red wine in Italy is deeply intertwined with the country's rich winemaking heritage, which dates back thousands of years. Italy has a long-standing tradition of producing some outstanding wines (especially reds), with its diverse climate, geography, and grape varieties contributing to the exceptional quality and distinctiveness of its wines.
Prior to 1861, Italy consisted of 20 seperate states, each with its own approach to winemaking as well as varied cultures, cuisines and dialect. Today’s twenty wine regions line up with the political borders that grew out of the city-states of the past. Thus each region approaches things a little differently, adhering to their own traditions and producing different styles of wine.
Italy is home to A LOT of grape varieties! There is roughly 2,000 native grape varieties in the country, with just under 400 of them used to produce commercial wines. That's more than France, Spain and Greece combined!!
Based on Jay and Aly's travels, we've hand selected stand-out grape varieties including Nerello Mascalese, Cannonau, Nebbiolo, Montepulciano, Sangiovese and Corvina.
Jay had the privilege to visit some of the regions known for these grapes, exploring the rolling hills of Tuscany, drinking and eating his way through many-a Sangiovese and Bistecca. He then flew down to Sicily and stayed on Mount Etna (we won't mention the fact that it erupted two days later...). Followed by a journey up to the North, crossing the River Po which separates Northern Italy from Central, where he found himself in the heart of Piedmonte...his new 'spirit animal'.
We hope you enjoy these Italian reds just as much as we do, transporting yourself to the wine regions with each sip! Check out the map below which locates the vineyards of each of the wines in the 6-pack.
The Country of the Month 6-pack includes:
- Donnafugata 'Dea Vulcano' Etna Rosso (wild strawberry, sage, black pepper)
- Antonella Corda Cannonau di Sardegna (red fruits, oak, spice)
- Albino Rocca Langhe Nebbiolo Rosso di Rocca (red currant, rose petal, depth)
- Cantina Tollo Aldiano Montepulciano d'Abruzzo (black fruits, oak, prune)
- Collosorbo Rosso di Montalcino Sangiovese (black cherry, strawberry, wild herbs)
- Farina Valpolicella Ripasso Classico (cherry, earthy, tobacco)