Because this isn’t Joe’s first rodeo (read: he’s triumphed with these types of deadlines with even more on his plate.)
Upon receiving this request, Joe pulled together this Italian assortment. These wines run the length of a country, with several Italian varietals, including notes about their traditional origins and the significance of these origins…
Maso Canali Pinot Grigio – 16.99
This wine is made in Trentino—the birthplace of Italian Pinot Grigio—in an elegant, crisp style, with citrus aromas and floral notes. It is 100% Pinot Grigio varietal, at once delicate and rich, refreshing and complex, understated and grand. A palate of ripe nectarine is matched by a plush mouthfeel, culminating in a crisp, dry finish.
In lamens: This is a soft wine that is grown in the cool hillsides of Trentino. Because of the region’s climate, despite the ‘softness’ of the wine, Maso Canali is a true Italian Pinot Grigio: light, aromatic and not dry like light white wines from other areas of the world. 16.99
Sella Mosca Cannonau di Sardignia – 14.99
Do you see that orange island in the regional map above? That’s the island from which this grape garnered most of it’s popularity. Other than Sardignia’s attracting tourists with scenic hillsides covered in vineyards, the Cannonau grape is this island’s other claim to fame.
From the island of Sardinia, this wine is 100% Cannonau. Bright ruby color, with purple hues, the aromas project ripe red berry, including strawberry and raspberry jam. In the mouth, coffee, spices and herbs, including an aroma of violets, plummy fruit flavours and aristocratic oak overtone. Full, round, fruit forward, consumer friendly taste profile. Oak aged for two years in large Slavonian casks with several additional months in the bottle. Medium-bodied for food-friendly matchings.
At 13.5%, the alcohol content on this bottle is a little higher than average. Reviews were incredibly positive across the board, what with the trueness to the varietal, the grape’s excellent aging ability (drink between 2015-2018- the longer you wait, the “warmer” the wine’s profile becomes. And to find a great red wine that you can hold onto for a year or two at 14.99, I think I rest my case. Side note: This wine became super popular a couple years back (thank you Dr. Oz,) for it’s therapeutic/heart healthy properties.)
Marina Svetic Montepulciano d’Abruzzo – 22.99
With almost 5500 reviews, and an average of 4.1 out of 5 starts, this wine will not disappoint those searching for varietally correct Montepulciano. A medium body wine with typically earthy, but not palate consuming tannins.
This wine is 100% and represents the faithful expression of one of the historical vines of Abruzzo. Produced since 1997, this wine provides a blend of Montepulciano grapes from eight municipalities of three different provinces, with altitudes ranging from 200 to 400 meters above sea level. This Montepulciano expresses the fundamental characteristics of the variety, with fruity and floral in perfect balance, followed by a long finish with notes of cocoa beans.
Terre del Barolo Riserva from Piemonte – 29.99
If you need a show stopper (and we all need a show stopper when we are partying,) here’s the designer dress equivalent in an Italian red.
Barolos are sort of a known quantity when it comes to excellence. If you would like to dazzle, decant this wine for at least a half an hour, as this wine has only steadily increased in price and popularity with time. It averages about $66 online average, and Cranberry Liquors suggests serving this wine towards the end of an evening (so as not to outshine its companions…)
Garnet red, with a distinctive, complex nose opening with rose and tobacco, on the mouth this silky, full-bodied wine reserves uncommon sensations of balance and elegance. Made 100% from Nebbiolo grapes, it is matured for 4 years in small French oak barrels, followed by a further 18 months of aging in the bottle. Decanting is recommended at least 30 minutes before serving.
Graffetta Nero d’Avola – 11.99
One of the most popular wines we sell daily at Cranberry Liquors, this is an “all purpose tool” sort of wine. This grape (the Nero d’Avola) champs high with an excellent price point, an exotic and truly Italian bottle, it’s as normal as an unusual choice can be. Like most imported wine, this bottle’s price tag reflects its origins. Ironically enough, imported wines tend to be cheaper to purchase here, domestically.
Sicily is one of the world’s most ideal grape growing regions, as it benefits from all the beauty and heat of a Mediterranean climate, and has mineral rich volcanic soils perfect for viticulture. One of the key varietals grown in Sicily is the Nero d’Avola, an indigenous grape which has become a highly important fruit for the Italian wine culture. In recent years, it has had plenty of success in various New World countries, as it thrives in hot and arid conditions and produces big, juicy, fruit-forward wines with plenty of pepper and spice notes.
While you let your Barola decant, indulge your guests with the runner up the top pick in this selection. The tasting notes provide pairing instructions, but perhaps more importantly, the tasting notes hint at a refined palatte’s enjoyment of the 100% Barbera grape’s latitude.
This wine is 100% Barbera. In Piedmont the locals usually enjoy their Barbera with the first course, but this Accornero Campomoro Barbera pairs well with a wide variety of Italian foods, particularly cheeses. The right meats and anti pasto will bring out the earthy herb and leather notes in the wine. We can’t think of a better ending to this story, winelovers.
NEXT TIME – How to taste wine without getting completely hammered/wasted/$hitfac3d.