By country :: Italy
Last spring, I was lucky enough to make a trip to the regions of Umbria and the Abbruzzi, and I became very aware of the reasons why we Frenchmen may consider Italians to be our continental cousins. Our rural heritage gives us both a love and passion for good food from an early age, while we also develop a keen interest in good wines as we grow up. Similarly to France, wine is part of a typical Italian meal, yet there are some key distinctions between our two nations.
Italy is a very interesting winemaking country, primarily due to the fact that, as a nation, it is an eclectic mix of varying cultures and regions with their own distinct local identities. Ranging from the Germanic influence of the Dolomites in the north, down to Sicily and its Moorish traditions, the variety of flavours and smells presented by Italian wine covers an enormous spectrum.
Traditionally, Italian red wines tend to grab all the headlines, produce from Chianti and Barolo attracting interest from all across the globe, but I am also a great lover of the country’s whites, and I believe they are massively underrated. This year we have added Trebbiano of Masciarelli to our list, a personal favourite which I am sure you will agree is absolutely delightful.
At our recent ‘Meet the Producers’ tasting, we were very thankful for the support of Carlo Vallone, who travelled to be with us from Santi Dimitri, the winery which he owns in the region of Salento,. Over the course of the
weekend, his wines were lauded by our visitors, his Primitivo proving to be a particular star, an example of a wine which undoubtedly brings a Mediterranean glow to your glass.