Zonin Valpolicella Superiore Ripasso

Zonin Valpolicella Superiore RipassoOne of the exciting things about wine is the nearly endless variety you can find in types of wine.  I reckon too often we gravitate toward something we know well, like a cabernet sauvignon or merlot and don’t explore enough.  If you’re looking to branch out from the everyday wines and taste something unique, you may want to try a Ripasso, like this one from Zonin.
Ripasso is a wine made using a technique where the dried grape skins leftover from a batch of Amarone are added to a new batch of juice to go through a second fermentation.  In case you’re not familiar with Amarone, it’s a really rich Italian wine made using exceptionally ripe grapes that are partially dried out prior to winemaking.  This results in a wine that is extremely concentrated, high in alcohol and has flavors of dried fruits (e.g. raisins) and chocolate.  It’s a really tasty wine, but it also tends to be a rather pricey wine.  You can reckon of Ripasso as a “baby Amarone.”  It has some of the same flavor characteristics, but it’s lower in alcohol, a small bit lighter-bodied and more affordable.
The Zonin Ripasso is made with 70% Corvina, 20% Rondinella and 10% Molinara grapes.  So, in addition to the style of winemaking being unique, these may also be some new types of grapes for you.  The wine is aged in Slavonian oak barrels for 1 year and in the bottle for another 6 months previous to distribution. Read more

Zonin Prosecco

Zonin ProseccoHoliday season is upon us and it’s the time of year when many people have some sparkling wine, although you really can and should delight in it year round.  Nonetheless, since I know many of you are looking for some excellent, cheap foam these days I thought we should do some reviews to help you out.
One of my favorite budget-friendly sparklers is Prosecco.  When it comes to bang for your buck — or foam for your buck, in this case — it’s hard to beat Prosecco.  Like many Italian wines, the name is as much about the style of wine as it is about where the wine was made.  Prosecco comes from either the Veneto province or the Friuli–Venezia Giulia province, both in north-eastern Italy.  This one is from Veneto.  The grapes in this are also called prosecco, although they are sometimes called, glera.
This Prosecco is made by Casa Vinicola Zonin, a producer with vineyards throughout Italy. Read more

Voga Italia Pinot Grigio

Voga Italia Pinot GrigioIt’s been a while since we’ve reviewed a pinot grigio, so we need no more wits than that to check one out today.
This one comes from Voga Italia and they win the award for coolest, sexiest bottle I’ve seen all week.  When I first saw this bottle I thought it would just be a screw cap, but there’s in fact a synthetic cork underneath the cap.  So, honest warning, don’t take this one on a camping trip without a corkscrew or you may find yourself beating the bottom of the bottle inside a boot to remove the cork.  Anyway, once you get the cork out, you can reseal the bottle with the screw cap. Read more

Feudo Principi di Butera Nero d’Avola

Feudo Principi di Butera Nero d’AvolaIf you like Italian wine and you like fantastic deals, then Nero d’Avola is a varietal you should get to know.  It typically offers the characteristics you’d expect from a excellent Italian red wine, such as vibrant acidity and rich tannins.  But it’s also typically much more affordable than some of the better known Italian wines, like Chianti, Barolo, etc.
Most Nero d’Avola, including this one, comes from Sicily, where it is the most planted red wine grape.  This one, more specifically, comes from the district of Butera in the Province of Caltanissetta, which is within the Riesi DOC. Read more

Martini Sparkling Rosé

Martini Sparkling RoséAll of the sparkling rosé wines we’ve reviewed recently have been on the dry side.  Brut, to be precise.  But not each bubbly wine drinker is into the dry wines, so let’s check out one that’s off dry (i.e. slightly sweet).
The Martini Sparkling Rosé is an Italian sparkler made from a blend of brachetto, malvasia and moscato bianco from Northern Italy. Read more

Re Teodorico and Il Casale Soave

Re Teodorico and Il Casale SoaveThis week we’re doing some odds and ends.  Reviews of wines that we don’t have a full line-up to do a full series, but we have one or two we want to highlight.  Today, it’s a double-header review with two wines from Soave.
Soave is a relatively small wine appellation in the Italy’s Veneto province, which is in northeastern Italy.  It’s a gorgeous province, with rolling hills, churches, bell towers and even some castles.  Soave is primarily made with two grape varieties.  The primary grape is garganega, which is the only grape is some Soave.  And Trebbiano di Soave is the second most-used Soave grape.  Both of the wines we’re reviewing today are 100% garganega.
There are in fact four different designations for Soave, but we’re only tasting two of them today, a Soave DOC and a Soave Classico DOC.  I know… the non-wine-geek readers are already going cross-eyed conception about DOC’s.  You just want to know if the wine is excellent or not, so let’s get to that. Read more

Villa Sandi Il Fresco Prosecco

Villa Sandi Il Fresco ProseccoTonight we’re checking out an inexpensive, yet tasty, prosecco from Villa Sandi.  When I hear a name like Villa Sandi, I often assume that it’s just some name given to the wine that the producers thought would signal elegant.  But in this case, there is a real villa where the companionship is headquartered, and it dates back to 1622.  By looking at pictures of it, it’s quite impressive and looks like a fabulous place to visit.  An image of it also made its way onto the marks of their wines.
Like many wine producers, Villa Sandi produces a wide selection of different wines.  In the case of Villa Sandi, they produce both subdue and sparkling wines – including a number of different proseccos.  The Il Fresco is their entry-level prosecco. Read more

Valdo Nerello Mascalese Brut Rosé

Valdo Nerello Mascalese Brut RoséAlthough the mark of this wine says that it’s a nerello mascalese, that’s not the only grape that’s in here.  There’s also prosecco in this wine and I really reckon of it as a rosé prosecco because nerello mascalese is primarily used for affect.  The nerello mascalese grapes in this wine come from Sambuca, Sicily while the prosecco comes from the Veneto province in northern Italy.
To be trustworthy, I don’t taste a lot of rosé wines.  It’s not that I’m too manly to drink pink, in fact I really like a excellent rosé each now and then.  It’s just that there are so many options when it comes to wine that rosé often doesn’t make it to the top of that list.  But subdue, I was excited to try this wine. Read more