Several excellent white, rosé, red, and even sparkling wines are made in the neighbourhood of Perugia. The white Italian wine may be sold as Bianco (usually Trebbiano and Grechetto) or under the name of the specific grape such as Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, or Riesling Itálico. The single grape varietal wines must contain not less than 85% of the grape variety indicated on the label. Each of these wines is elegant, fresh, fruity, and fulsome in flavour. Drinking temperature is 10-12°C (50-53.6°F).
This is generic area wine. It is difficult to give an overview because each of the growers and winemakers uses their own blends and methods.
The Trentino Bianco is made from Chardonnay and Pinot Bianco. It is pale golden yellow and a pleasant but unobtrusive. Drink at 46.4-50°F (8-10°C).
The better whites are of the single grape variety with their name alongside Trentino DOC on the label. The best are usually the Chardonnay Trentino wines but there are also some excellent wines made with Pinot Bianco, Pinot Grigio, Riesling Italico, Riesling Renano, Traminer Aromatico, and Miiller-Thurgau.
Drink Pinot Grigio, Traminer, Miiller-Thurgau, and Chardonnay at 50-53.6°F (10-12°C) and 46.4-50°F (8-10°C) for the rest. The subtle wine from the native Nosiola is worth considering though do not expect great miracles, rather the discovering of a very different grape. The wine is fine and delicate, pleasingly fruity in bouquet and taste with a slight bitterness in finish. Drink at 46.4-50°F (8-10°C).
Pinally there is an excellent sweet white wine made with Moscato Giallo. There is also a liquorous version of this wine, identified by the name Liquoroso.
This is a first class after-dinner liqueur if well chilled to around 42.8-46.4°F (6-8°C). Pirst class sparkling wines are made with Chardonnay and Pinot Bianco. This Spumante is a remarkably fine aperitif. Drink at 46.4-50°F (8-10°C).
Trentino Rosso DOC is made from Cabernet and Merlot and is almost always cask aged. Depending on the wine's origins it may be light and approachable or fullbodied and powerful. The full bodied type keeps well. Drink the light and amenable type while it is still fruity at about 53.6°F (12°C) and the fuller version at 57.2-60.8°F (14-16°C).
The other type of Trentino red is made from one or two types of grape and is very characteristic of its grape and terroir. You will encounter wines made with the Cabernets (Cabernet Sauvignon and/or Cabernet Pranc) , Merlot, Marzemino, Pinot Nero, and Lagrein.
There is also a full-bodied Spumante made with Pinot Nero. Drink at 50-53.6°F (10-12°C).
These are generic whites, roses, and reds and varietal wines made from one or more types of grape. The variety indicated on the label must account for no less than 85% of the wine. The ordinary Valdadige Bianco is permitted a wide variety of grapes including Pinot Bianco, Pinot Grigio, Riesling Italico, Millier-Thurgau,
Chardonnay, Bianchetta Trevigiana, Trebbiano Toscano, Nosiola, Vernaccia, and Garganega. No one example of Valdadige Bianco is representative. In general these are pale golden yellow, pleasingly fresh, fragrant, but not all dry for some examples may contain sugar residues. Drink at 46.4-53.6°F (8- 12°C) depending on the style.
There are also countless variations with the ordinary Valdadige Rosso. The choice of grape is from three varieties of Schiava, Lambrusco, Merlot, Pinot Nero, Lagrein, Teroldego, or Negrara. Depending on the style and type of wine Valdadige Rosso can vary from light red to the deepest dark red. The bouquet is reminiscent of fresh grapes and herbs and is always a delight. The wines are not all dry and you may find some slightly sweeter examples among them. Drink at 53.6- 60.8°F (12- 16°C) depending type.
The Rosatos are made with the same choice of grapes as the Rosso and the colour varies widely. The nose and taste are fresh and fruity with a hint of old-fashioned pear drops that can be accompanied with a slight sweetness. This is a surprisingly delicious wine without pretensions. Drink at 50-53.6°F (10-12°C).
The other varietal wines, usually made from a single grape, are characteristic of the grape and terroir from which they originate. Generally these whites are a light golden yellow colour and fresh, juicy, and can be slightly sweet with Pinot Grigio examples. Drink at 46.4-50°F (8-10°C) for Pinot Bianco 50-53.6°F (10-12°C) in the case of Pinot Grigio and Chardonnay.
The wines of Valpolicella enjoyed great fame in the time of the Roman empire. The poet Virgil had great enthusiasm for it. Valpolicella's fame has grown rather than lessened since then.
The wine is made from Corvina Veronese, Rondinella, and Molinara grapes (not less than 85% of the total), supplemented with not more than 15% Rossignola, Negrara, Trentina, Barbera, or Sangiovese. Like its neighbour in Bardolino, Valpolicella is light ruby in colour, tending towards an intense granite red as it ages.
The bouquet is fresh and fruity, sometimes with herbal notes. The taste is smooth, fruity, with a touch of spice, and dry, with a touch of roasted bitter almond in the finish. There are also Classico and Superiore versions (the latter has 1 % more alcohol and has been aged for an additional year). Drinking temperature is 53.6-57.2°F (12-14°C).
The Italian for 'ears' is 'orecchi' and its diminutive is 'recie' which is the name also given to the top of a bunch of grapes, or in other words the part ofthe bunch that receives most sun. Recioto wine is made from selected grapes.
The bunch is cut in two with the lower part of the bunch being used to make ordinary Valpolicella and the upper part – the recie or 'little ears'- are kept separate for further ripening in the sun. The liquid in the grapes partially evaporates so that the concentration of sugars, aromatic, and flavour substances is increased. The result is a deeply-coloured dark red wine with seductive and powerful fruity bouquet that suggest conserved fruit, prunes, figs, and raisins etc.), that is filled with extract. The taste is full of flavour, sensual, very warm (minimum alcohol 14%), and overwhelmingly sweet. Drink at between 50 and 60.8°F (10 and 16°C), according to preference.
This is a dark red sparkling wine with an intense bouquet (see above), filled with extract. This wine has minimum alcohol of 14% and is for those who enjoy sensation, or for a strong and sweet sparkler to accompany a dessert that is far less sweet. Drinking temperature is 42.8-46.4 °F (6-8°C).
This wine is made in the same way as the sweet Recioto della Valpolicella, but this is a dry version with minimum alcohol of 14% alcohol and an additional two years maturing before sale. Not everyone will enjoy this strong macho wine but for those who have the opportunity to eat wild boar that has been slowly roasted (in the oven or on the spit) this wine will contribute to an unforgettable evening. Drink at 60.8- 64.4°F (16- 18°C).
This wine from the area around Lake Garda is relatively unknown. The many tourists who have drunk this wine and found it enjoyable have somewhat flattered its status. Whether all Bianco di Custoza is of the same quality is another question entirely. The wine can be made from a very broad range of grapes, resulting in many different types of wine that vary in taste different. The wine-makers can choose from Trebbiano Toscano, Garganega, Tocai Priulano (Welsch Riesling), Cortese, Malvasia, Pinot Bianco, Chardonnay, and Riesling Italico, either as single grape or all blended together. At its best this produces a fulsome and aromatic wine with plenty of juice, body, and freshness that has a slight bitter note in its finish.
Vaud is one of the most attractive vineyard landscapes in Switzerland. It combines the ruggedness of Valais with the more gentle landscape of Geneva and Neuchâtel. There are superb views of the mountains, lakes, marvellous wine domains, and castles. Vaud is also a paradise for both lovers of nature and gastronomy.
There are two parts to the area: to the south it extends along the northern shore of Lake Geneva or Lac Léman and to the north along the southern part of Lac de Neuchâtel. These two areas are subdivided into six districts of Chablais (Aigle), Lavaux (between Montreux and Lausanne), and La Côte (between Lausanne and Nyon) by Lake Geneva and Côtes de l’Orbe, Bonvillars, and Vully around Lac de Neuchâtel. Most of the Swiss vineyards enjoy a microclimate influenced by the lakes.
The taste of a wine depends principally on the grapes from which it is made. Different climates, soils and winemaking tehniques also play a part.
White wine is almost always made from white grapes, although black grapes can be uses if contact between the skins (where colour is obtained) and the juice is avoided. All grapes varieties have individual characteristics and ripen at different times, the type of grape exerting a heavy influence an the taste of a wine.
Broadly speaking the style of white wine produced can be broken down into three categories: light-bodies white wines such as German Riesling, aromatic white wines such as Gewürztraminer, and full-bodied and wooded white wines such as Chardonnay or Sémillon.
Today world's most popular white grape, Chadonnay express its varietal character in many forms: from the racy, steely, and nervy wines of Chablis, to the fuller-bodied, buttery rich wine made in the Napa Vally, California.
This is an aromatic grape, which ripens early and is mostly grown in cool-climate vineyards. Its range extends from featherweight tangy, dry white wines like Sauvignon de Touraine, to the ripe, almost tropical-like fruitiness obtained in California, where the less common addition of oak is often adopted and labelled 'Fume Blanc'. Sauvignon Blanc thrives on chalk or gravel soil.
The Riesling grape is seen by many as the most versatile variety of white grape in the world. It is without doubt a class act with a number of strengths, not least its ability to outperform Chardonnay in the longevity stakes.
Arguably one fo the most underrated verieties of grapes, Sémillon, Bordeaux's most widely planted white grape, makes delicious dry and sweet wines. With an almost honeyed texture, Sémillon is often partnered by Sauvignon Blanc to lift the acidity, although Australian winemakers also blend Sémillon Trebbiano.
An extremely versatile variety of grapes, Chenin Blanc is capable of making dry and crisp white wines that are great as an aperitif, through to medium, unctuous and sweet styles. Due to the keeen and vibrant acidity often found in Chenin Blanc grape, they make brilliant food wines and can stay in good shape for many years after the vitange.
This distinctive grape variety is known by its friends simply as Gewürtz but sometimes also as Traminer. It provides interese aromas, reminiscent of lychee, rose petals and spice.
Posavje(Posavski Vinorodni Region) means the valley of the Sava, which is the river that together with its tributaries, the Sotla, Savinja, and Krka provides the necessary moisture to this region. Posavje is situated south of Podravje, against the Croatian border. The area has a climate that is principally central European and continental but with moderating Mediterranean influences from the south, especially in Bela Krajina. Every type of this Slovenian wine is produced here from fresh to sweet, from light to moderately full-bodied, and white, rosé, and red, still or sparkling. Posavje is renowned for its excellent late harvest sweet Slovenian wines such as (Pozna Trgatev) and for Eiswein (Ledeno Vino), and others produced from grapes carefully selected such as Izbor, Jagodni Izbor, and Suhi Jagodni Izbor.
California is a very large wine region in which the following guaranteed places of origin are the best known: Mendocino Country, Lake Country, Sonoma Country (includes the famous Russian River Valley and Sonoma Valley),
Napa Valley, Los Carneros, Central Valley, Sierra Foothills, Livermore Valley, Santa Cruz Mountains, Monterey Country, San Joaquin Valley, San Luis Obispo Valley, and Santa Barbara Country.
Irrigation is permitted throughout California but not necessary everywhere. The most popular grape varieties are Chardonnay, Colonbard, Chenin Blanc, Fumé Blanc, Riesling, Gewürztraminer, Pinot Blanc, and Viognier for white wines and Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Barbera, Sangiovese, Syrah, and Grenache for red wine. The classic Californian grape variety of Zinfandel is starting to play an incresingly important role.
You mai encounter thousands of different types of Californian wine because of the great differences in climate, soil, wine-making method, yield, and target group for marketing.
The powerful house of Champagne forbid everyone from using their name outside the designated area of Champagne in France yet you will find the term ‘Champagne’ used in the USA on other wines. To avoid long drawn out and costly law siuts in the American courts, the Champagne houses have had to accept that names such as ‘Californian Champagne’ are legally permitted here.
They are however restricted to the domestic markets so that the so-called Californian Champagne must be sold in Europe merely as ‘sparkling wine’. American sparkling wines are made in both pink (rosé) and white and from quite dry to sweet. The driest is the Brut, followed by Extra Dry, Dry/Sec, and Demi-Sec, which is the sweetest.
Only the highest quality sparkling are made in the United States by the traditional method with second fermentation in the bottle. Most are produced by the charmat or bulk method. This shows to be made down to a price. A thrid method is the transfer method which combines aspects of both the other methods. The results are of better quality than with the ordinary bulk method but remain cheaper than the traditional way.
Whether white or rosé, some of these wines are well worth discovering. Two of the leading Champagne nouses make good ‘Champagne’ style wines in America. Those of Mumm are good while the Taittinger product is excellent.
Although the Americans have great difficulty with the name this wine is certainly no joke. Most of the local Gewurztramier is made as sweet wine with floral notes, suggestions of Muscat, a hint of spice, and sultry, but Gewurtraminer Dry is becoming increasingly popular.
Zinfandel and Grenache are famous blue grapes but there are also white wines made with them. The wine is of course not truly white but a light pink. These are quite recent creations which are mainly aimed at the younger market.
Most wines are not wholly dry and some of them are even slightly sweet. They have a nos in which vanilla ice cream with strawberries can be found in the White Zin or res fruit in the White Grenache. Drinkling temperature is 50-53°F (10-12°C).
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