Italy is perhaps the most confusing country for wine lovers to understand. Producing more wine than any other country, from over 300 indigenous grape varieties (plus some international varieties too) and over 300 regional labels – DOC or DOCG. Italian wine is like the country; beautiful, enchanting, frustrating and difficult for outsiders to truly appreciate.
Because there is so much to enjoy, we have decided to take a leisurely five weeks to explore some well-known and not so well-known wines and regions from Italy. We start in the heartland of the centre of Italy and then journey to the South and Islands before ending in Piedmont. For once we are not visiting Veneto, which makes more wine than any other Italian region. We will save that for another time.
Join us on this exploration of Italian wines and discover some real hidden gems. Keep some olives, salami and Parmesan handy, Italian wine loves food!
Wednesday 3rd February – Marche & Tuscany
The central heartland of Italy, Marche on the East coast and Tuscany on the West. Our first wine is a delightful white Verdicchio with beautiful apricot and fennel notes on the nose. Our second is Italy’s most famous wine – Chianti from the Rufina sub region, displaying Sangiovese’s cherry and spice notes layered across its acidic and tannic palate, yummy with salami or parmesan.
Wednesday 10th February – Sicily & Sardinia
The islands of Sicily and Sardinia are often over-looked when talking of Italian wines. Sicily in particular produces excellent red wines and are great value for money. We have here its “signature” grape variety – Nero d’Avola, displaying plum and cherry plus some smoke from 14 months in oak – not too shabby at all! Sardinian wines are hard to come by here in the UK but we’ve got a little gem for you in the form of a Cannonau, the local name for Grenache with delightful red fruits and soft tannins.
Wednesday 17th February – Campania & Basilicata
Campania is the area around Naples and includes the beautiful Amalfi Coast. Our white wine is from the local Fiano grape, which displays much more weight and body and rather less acidity than most Italian white wines with lovely stone fruit on the nose. Basilicata is the far South (between the “heel and toe”) and is the poorest region of Italy. It doesn’t make that much wine, but what it does make is well worth seeking out, especially the superb Aglianico grape from its home region – Aglianico del Vulture. Described as “the Barolo of the South”, this example is oak-aged, with aromas of ripe black fruit, cassis and smoky notes. The pallet is concentrated, with a good depth of flavour, and chunky yet supple tannins.
Wednesday 24th February – Emilia Romagna & Puglia
Our first wine may surprise, or even shock you – Lambrusco. If your only experience with a wine called Lambrusco is supermarket plonk you’re in for a very pleasant surprise. This a sparkling red wine made with a fermentation in bottle (like Champagne) and has subtle raspberry and strawberry aromas. Our second wine is from Puglia (the “heel” of Italy) and is made from the local Negroamaro grape. Negro means black in Italian and the wine lives up to that description, being a very deep colour. The “Appassimento” technique means that the grapes are air-dried before fermentation (like Amarone) producing a powerful, full-bodied wine.
Wednesday 3rd March – Piedmont
Piedmont in NW Italy, with its principal city of Turin is famous for its premium red wines made from Nebbiolo. Other less well-known grapes, such as Dolcetto also produce interesting wines. Dolcetto means “sweet one”, but this grape variety belies its description being high in tannin and capable of some ageing. Nebbiolo is the famous grape associated with Barolo and Barbaresco. In Piedmont it produces many other fine wines at rather more affordable price levels such as this lovely Langhe DOC, with dried red fruits, floral notes, and hints of sweet spice. The palate has savoury complexity with finely-grained tannins.
£70 for all five sessions. The cost is per household, so this could be for 2 people (or more) as long as you are sharing the same screen.
Note: this does not include the cost of the wines (see below).
The wines are available to purchase separately from Momentum Wines at the discounted price of £139 including delivery (please allow 7 days for delivery).
Click here to purchase the accompanying wines...
This event is online only.