• Arizona Wine Revisited
    by Mike Veseth on 28 Marzo 2023 at 09:01

    It has been 15 years since our last visit to Arizona to check out the wine scene (our report appeared in an early Wine Economist column), so it didn’t take much to persuade us to go back to see how things have changed. Our first trip was based out of Tuscon, near the main vineyard

  • Manias, Panics, Crashes, and Wine
    by Mike Veseth on 21 Marzo 2023 at 09:01

    One of the highlights of our visit to the Catena winery near Mendoza a few years ago was the opportunity to spend a few minutes in Nicolas Catena’s private study. Catena was an economics professor before he returned to the family wine business to guide it through the turbulent wine markets of the time and

  • Regno Unito – importazioni di vino 2022
    by bacca on 28 Marzo 2023 at 19:00

    È obiettivamente difficile giudicare I dati di quest’anno prodotti da UN Comtrade sul mercato inglese (che trovate in formato scaricabile nella sezione Solonumeri). O meglio, è difficile confrontarli con il 2021, nel senso che si sono verificate delle oscillazioni molto importanti delle importazioni provenienti da Belgio e Olanda (ma anche Danimarca), notoriamente paesi che non

  • USA – importazioni di vino – aggiornamento 2022
    by bacca on 26 Marzo 2023 at 19:00

    La forte svalutazione dell’euro nei confronti del dollaro ha reso il mercato americano particolarmente appetibile. Le importazioni di vino sono cresciute del 4% in dollari americani a 7.7 miliardi di dollari, quindi mantenendo la traiettoria degli ultimi anni. Con il cambio a 1.05 rispetto a 1.18 dello scorso anno, la traduzione in euro genera un

  • The Four Pillars of Italian Wine
    by noreply@blogger.com (Alfonso Cevola) on 26 Marzo 2023 at 20:04

    Italian wine is a diverse sea of flavors, colors, buoyancies, styles and price points. There are thousands of grapes, and as many or more wines to go along with it. But what drives the business? What grows the market share? And what keeps the lights on? It falls to four wines, all with relatively humble beginnings. The four wines encompass four different types of wines – white, red , sparkling and sweet. And although they may not be on the tip of the tongues of today’s tony sommeliers, they provide needed cover for the more esoteric and trendy wines currently being touted by the in-crowd and influencer-wannabes.Too often we chase the trends and forget what brought us here. Caution advisory: These are not considered cool wines by the high toned up-and-comers. Those dashers consider them boring, dull, run of the mill, yawn, give-me-a-break, get-away-from-me type of wines. They are misinformed. Let’s start with a dry white: Pinot Grigio. I know, I know, when was the last time anyone had a bottle of that wine? Apparently, a lot of people have, as it still commands a large portion of sales revenue from Italy. So much in fact, that other countries, California notably, have horned in on the action and at this point have surpassed Italy for dominance in the sale of Pinot Grigio in America. Apparently, that thirst is insatiable, as the two, even going at it, neck to neck, are showing growth and success. But let’s talk about the wine – Pinot Grigio. What made it so initially attractive was a couple of things. It wasn’t overbearing and buttery like so many Chardonnay wines flooding the market. It had a lithe spirit, some fresh fruit, a tingle of acidity and a cleansing palate feel. And it went well with food. Oh, and it was lower in alcohol than Chardonnay (generally) so another glass would be forthcoming after the first glass. Which made it a darling in the restaurant by-the-glass programs, as proprietors could sell more wine, maybe even at lunch. It was also easy to pronounce. I first noticed Pinot Grigio’s entrance on the stage of the popular world when it was referenced in a Seinfeld episode. After that, it just sailed to the top. But what makes it, even now, so ascendant, is that it is fresh, easygoing and accessible to a wide range of tastes and people. It goes well with a number of foods, from American to Italian, Thai, Indian, you name it. It can dance to many tunes. And it is affordable. Pinot Grigio was the little miracle that kept Italian wine in the minds of people, when it came to wine. Maybe not as much now, with more diverse selections and styles.  But even now it maintains a dominant position in sales. Which means, it is helping the Italian wine economy grow. It was really a perfect moment for Italy when Pinot Grigio came along and stole America’s vinous heart. The second wine in the pillar is Chianti. Where to start? How about a simple carafe of the house Chianti. If you’re in Tuscany, chances are you can access Chianti this way. In other parts of the world, you’ll have to buy a bottle, from the funky fiasco to a deep-punted bottle. From basic Chianti to the more elaborate expression, be they from the Classico zone or Rufina, or a few other districts, with possible riserva and other extended acknowledgment markers. But let’s not get carried away. Basic Chianti is best when fresh. There, the deliciousness of Sangiovese shows why this wine captured the heart of diners across the globe, a singular eno-revolution of red wine appeal. Dry, yes. Healthy fruit, yes again. Not too heavy. Flexible with different kinds of food, from pizza to pasta, lasagna to richer red sauced foods, like eggplant parm. All staples of the Italian-American cookbook, which brought America (and possibly the world?) into the Italian food (and wine) camp. But in Tuscany, how about a steak, grilled and thick, juicy and mouthwateringly delicious? Chianti was there too. Sidle up to a table at Sostanza in Florence and order their bistecca Fiorentina with a Chianti, will you? Oh sure, you can go with Brunello or a Super Tuscan, or Vino Nobile. But Chianti is the archetype. Start there and press on. There are Chianti wines capable of sublime beauty. And there are the workhorses that keep the trains running. Both have their place. There are even the “new-gen” versions that are popular with the influencer set. Sure, why not? In the end, it’s Sangiovese’s show. And we’re the willing audience, enjoying every bite and slurp, every step of the way. Number three is Prosecco, the much-maligned sparkling love child of the Veneto. Maligned, you say? Or rather, I say? Well, to an extent, yes. Because of the popularity of Prosecco, there are a lot of bad examples of Prosecco. And they are often the best sellers. But before we throw the baby out with the bath water, let’s dig into why Prosecco made it’s mark as one of the mainstays of Italian wine culture. Have you ever been to Prosecco-land? An hour from Venice, and a world apart. The area in around the the epicenter of Prosecco-land, Valdobbiadene, is one of the most beautiful places in the wine world. I could live there, easily. And apparently the grapes that make up Prosecco think so too. What gives Prosecco, in its basic form, such an attractiveness, is that it is delicate and not harsh. Lightly dry, usually, although the zero-dosage contingent is also having their moment. And why not? We, the consumer, win on both accounts. But back to the essence of Prosecco. It isn’t demanding of the imbiber. It doesn’t get in the way of living, of dining, of the conversation, of lovemaking, of everything. It is a background for our lives. And a beautiful one at that. It’s fresh, it’s delicate, it’s affordable, it’s accessible. One of the few wines that when one goes into other regions in Italy and comes upon a wine list (which is often a basic regional list) you will find Prosecco there as well. Sicily, Rome, Milan, all distances from Valdobbiadene. Prosecco has found a way to arrive everywhere on the Italian peninsula. A conquering wine, but one that never subjugates the place, the event or the people whom it has ever so subtly vanquished with pleasure. And lastly, the fourth pillar – Moscato D’Asti. “But I don’t like sweet wines!” How many times have we heard that, on the floor of a retail wine shop or a restaurant? And then the client orders an over-ripe (late-harvest) Chardonnay or a Margarita? Sure, no like sweet. Uh huh. None of us can change anyone’s behavior or their preconceptions. But for those who have an open mind, Moscato has its place. During a holiday, like Christmas or Easter, the festive seasonal cakes that come out pair so beautifully with this fizzy little sweetheart of a wine. Low in alcohol (and calories, but the key here is moderation – good luck on that). A slight spritziness, a liveliness not unlike Prosecco, albeit in a different guise. Less fizz, more fruit, in its inimitable way. Look, if you don’t have a sweet tooth, Moscato is a hard sale. But that’s not very many of us. Even so, wine, like so many things in our social-media dominated world, trend towards popularity when they are considered to be “in.” Moscato might not be “in” with the hipsters and the rock-star wannabes. So what? It’s very much in with the Italian culture. So, if the hipsters and the rock-star wannabes choose to selectively appropriate Italian culture and Moscato doesn’t make the cut, who gives a doggone about their preferences? You be the judge. But don’t let popular culture dictate what you should and shouldn’t like. Apparently, there are millions of folks who love Moscato, so much that the rest of the winemaking world has rushed to plant and make Moscato in as many iterations as they can. So, someone likes the stuff. I love Moscato D’Asti. It’s a perfect product of my Italian culture and I embrace it whole heartedly. End of sermon. Yeah, most of these wines can be found in alternate wine culture as well as the mainstream one. For sure you can find an orange Pinot Grigio. As well, one can easily find a “natural” Chianti. Also, you want a Prosecco that is senza zolfo, col fondo, brut zero and metodo ancestrale for the Burning Man set? No problem. Moscato D’Asti for the crunchy Birkenstock sect? Sure, that’s also come-at-able. No one’s going to be left out, when it comes to Italian wines. But first, try the basic ones. Get an idea of what the baseline means, before you head off to Findhorn in search of your personal unicorn wines.      © written and photographed by Alfonso Cevola limited rights reserved On the Wine Trail in Italy wine blog +  Italian wine blog + Italy W

  • The Words We Use for the Truths We Seek
    by noreply@blogger.com (Alfonso Cevola) on 19 Marzo 2023 at 18:39

    Lately I’ve been pondering the words we choose, when writing and talking about wine. Notably, I have seen a burgeoning use of words like curated, gifted, humbled, blessed, privileged, literally and journey. And let’s not forget “my bad.” Along with that, we’re seeing more first-person representations. In other words, there’s a lot more of me and a lot less of thee. I was in a local wine store and the young pourer was talking about Super Tuscans. This person noted that the wines they were pouring, Sangiovese based, were similar to Sassicaia. True, in that they were in and around Bolgheri. But Sangiovese in Sassicaia? I waited for the area to clear and mentioned to the pourer, in private, that I didn’t think there was ever any Sangiovese in Sassicaia. Cabernet Sauvignon, yes. But no Sangiovese. The body language I read was telling me that they didn’t want to believe me, so I suggested we look it up. “I could be wrong,” I said. I knew I wasn’t. But, baby steps. Sure enough, no Sangiovese. Ever. “But there is Cabernet Franc in it. It’s not just Cabernet Sauvignon.” he replied. I guessed that was a gotcha, intended to return me to my invisible slot. “OK, very good.” I answered, and then slithered away. Afterwards, it felt idiotic engaging in a discussion with someone who didn’t really know that I probably knew a little more than the average Joe about Italian wine. It felt like I might have sneaked up on him. But when is it the right time to correct someone? Is there ever a good time? Yes, there is – when the person to be corrected has an open heart and an open mind and is engaged in furthering their understanding and knowledge of things on their journey in wine and the greater world. I’ve truly forgotten more than I probably know right now. The ancient brain literally scuttles data and curates it into little piles to send it out as flotsam and jetsam into the present, where facts and figures just really don’t matter as much as they used to. So, why did I press, ever so gently, the young neophyte on that point? Because I knew? Because they were wrong? Because I wanted to assert my primacy and humble them? How about, because if you are selling to the public, you should have your facts straight and correct. Just for shits and giggles, if for no other reason. Because you’re involved in a profession and it pays to act professionally. And to get your facts straight. It’s a blessing to have such freedom to be wrong and be able to correct oneself when gifted with the truth. There we have it – the word – truth. Because one should tell the truth. Ha! In today’s world? Really? The truth? Boy, what a privileged dreamer I be. And it isn’t just the truth, but it’s the passing of knowledge from one generation to another. Since the internet age, that has seemingly become less important, along with books and facts. Anyone can google anything and get to the truth. Or can they? We already know there are many versions of events on the internet that are far from the truth. And in actuality, Italian wine information has always been rife with misinformation. How many times do I hear someone talking about the clones of Nebbiolo, when what they really mean are the biotypes (a nod here to Ian D’Agata, for shedding light on that small tidbit of truth). This same person who was pouring the Super Tuscans also had some frizzante/orange/yellow/pet nat wines they were pouring – currently the darlings of the upcoming generations in their journey to curate their humble knowledge of the diversity of Italian wine. And sure, OK, let’s do that. Why not? Except the name they used in identifying the grape was nonexistent. I mean with 1000+ grapes already in the pantheon of Italian wine lore, do we really need another one? Look, this isn’t a new thing. It’s been going on for ages. If I had a lira for every time I heard something about Italian wine that was incorrect, I could retire. Oh wait, I’m already on that (last) leg of my journey. My bad. So, it seems we still have miles to go before we sleep. Italian wine has come a long way, and there is some wonderful momentum with Italian wine, even with three years of a world wide pandemic under our belt. Hey, Prowein is up and running this moment and Vinitaly is a few weeks off. The mill of God grinds away. But the proceeding generations cannot let all the work that has been done be undone. We got here by the work and toil of thousands and thousands of men and women who poured their hearts into their work in the wine trade, and the Italian wine trade specifically, for purposes of this blog and this post. People died to get us here. And we stand on their shoulders in order to see as far as we can. This is just an appeal for greater persistence in finding truth and accuracy and standing behind it. OK, so I’ve used all those cliché words a time or two in this post, just for the hell of it. But let’s drill down now and look at those words and see why I think they can be so annoying. Curated – if you run a museum or a parish, curate away. The rest of us just needs to step the eff back and stop using such a pretentious word. Screen, cull and select away. But for the love of God, enough already. Gifted – Two other words work perfectly well – gave and given. Why complicate life with a pompous exaggeration?  Use the words that work, quit making up shit. Humbled – If you have to say you are humbled (about a promotion, a recognition or some landmark in your life) then you probably are not being as humble as you might be claiming to be. Knock it off. Walk the walk, don’t talk the talk. Be humble. Blessed – Again, if you have to draw attention to yourself for being singled out by God for Almighty Grace, maybe you aren’t being as graceful about it as you can be. Just be grateful and leave it at that. Privileged – We know, most of us in the western hemisphere are already uber-privileged out our ass. No need to rub it in to the rest of the folks aspiring to get past the velvet rope. Keep it simple. Give some of it away. You got lucky, that’s really the gist of it. We all did. Literally – Simply, plainly, actually. You’re not Joan Didion or part of the literati. Go simple. It’s simpler. Journey – Yeah, we know. We’re all on one. Have a nice trip, now get back on the road and stop talking about it. We get it. You’re special. Just like everyone else. My bad - Of course, after this screed, I might be excused for indulging myself and offering up to you all a personally curated “my bad.” But that would literally look so uber-privileged. So, I will not, and ask everyone in my world to please stop using these two words together. Unless you are someone I love, just say “sorry” and leave it at that. (If you are someone I love, you can forgo it, for as Erich Segal said, “Love means never having to say you're sorry.”   © written and photographed by Alfonso Cevola limited rights reserved On the Wine Trail in Italy wine blog +  Italian wine blog + Italy W

  • Vinitaly 2023
    by Elisabetta Tosi on 28 Marzo 2023 at 06:09

    It’s Vinitaly time, again. I veterani della fiera hanno già l’agenda fitta di appuntamenti, ma anche per chi veterano non è, è sempre bene avere qualche indicazione che permetta di risparmiare tempo, imparare qualcosa di nuovo, fare esperienze e incontrare persone interessanti.

  • Sip, Savor, Live!
    by Elisabetta Tosi on 23 Marzo 2023 at 10:31

    When I attend some wine tasting, nine times out 10, I see people who take notes with pen & paper in the old manner. Nothing wrong, although it appears a bit weird to me in a tech era like this (I use my iPad, to say, but it’s just because I’m lazy and want to work on a file when I have to write an article about the wines).

  • Poil de Lievre 2017 – Domaine Bobinet
    by Francesco Petroli on 21 Aprile 2020 at 10:15

    Poil de Lievre 2017 - Domaine Bobinet, un vino quotidiano, in equilibrio tra luminosità calde e luci fredde, generoso nei sapori e ritmato dalla tensione acido/sapida. The post Poil de Lievre 2017 – Domaine Bobinet appeared first on Into the Wine.

  • My Lovely Quarantine #2
    by Claudio Celio on 17 Aprile 2020 at 07:34

    Domaine Belluard - Domaine Des Cavarodes - Francois Ganevat - Lassaigne - Praesidium - Skerlj - Vodopivec The post My Lovely Quarantine #2 appeared first on Into the Wine.

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  • What an ex-lover and commercial wine had in common
    by Alice Feiring on 15 Gennaio 2022 at 17:54

      I recently pulled out my old book and started to read at random and thought I’d share some of it. Many of you reading might not know that my first book was published in 2008 before we really ever talked about natural wine, when the wine world was still new and not talked about but very much feared. Here’s my unedited reading of the beginning of Chapter 2.  It goes on to visit U.C. Davis where I wasn’t exactly welcomed, got into a few nasty tussles about native yeast and irrigation. So, this incident was in 2006, Big Joe was the late and certainly great, Joe Dressner. And thus, and thus.. it goes.     what i learned at UC Davis   and below, continues to the point that I am about to meet Roger Boulton.

  • On Pét-Nat, Soup Dumplings, and Chemo (At Least I Can’t Taste the Mouse)
    by On Design on 16 Novembre 2021 at 14:46