Lidl Italian Wines, Summer 2015
Siena Province, Tuscany, Italy.
Wineyards ln the region of Piedmont
On the border of France, Piedmont is undoubtedly one of the
most thrilling wine regions in the world. Its most famous wines
are the uncompromising reds Barolo and Barbaresco, seriously
dry, statuesque wines that can take a while to get your head
around - but when Vou do, you'll be hooked.
The region also makes lovely whites that have a thirst-quenching
dryness that often calls to mind the rock they were grown on as
much as the fruits they remind you of. Gavi is light and fresh with
flavours of lemon and almond; the pear-scented Arneis tends to
be a little fuller
The region of Piedmont in north-western
best known for its red Borolo, but it olso mokes
very smoll omounts of dry white from a grape
called Arneis. With attractive aromas of herbs
and aniseed, this is a dry, scented white with
good freshness ond surprising length of flovour.
An unusual but really rather tasty selection.
Govi is a popular wine-producing
Italy, making uncomplicated,
whites thot are a regular sight in Italian
restourants. This has fresh aromas of herbs
and fennel, ond finishes dry and refreshing.
Corte olle Mura 2010
is a most distinctive
and this shows good,
on the palate,
this is firm and flavoursome.
The finish is dry
and firm, just mellowed
by some oak ageing.
A lovely match for most red meat dishes.
A little further towards the centre of Italy is
Tuscany, a heavy-lidded
rolling hills, olive trees and vines. This is the
home of Sangiovese (san-gia-va y-zee), ltalv's
most planted grape variety. There are many
styles of wine made from this grape
in Tuscony, including one of Italy's most famous
reds - Chianti (kee-anti).
Chianti is a medium-bodied,
tangy, dry red
with flavours of cherry and redcurrant. Quality
however is variable to say the least. If it says
Riserva on the label that can be a good sign;
it means it's been aged for longer. In particular,
look for Chianti Classico - this means that the
wine cames from the original heartland and the
producers adhere ta stricter quality laws. Good
Chianti Classico should have layers of different
oromas from fruity to spicy to earthy - an
evening's entertainment in a bottle.
Fortezza dei Colli 2012
is not the most powerful
but reveals its character
as one works through
the bottle. This is a
in intensity and showing
freshness and grip. Already
weil, this has the structure to suggest it will stay
at this level for at least another
2 to 3 years.
Vino Nobile di
does, as its name
suggests, have an honourable
of fine Italian wine. This is now at a delightful
stage of maturity, with autumnal aromas
the bright, juicy, cherry flavours.
Dry and balanced,
it is appetising
on the finish
and will work well with red meats and cheeses.
Botte dei Conti 2014
Dry Italian whites are best
known for balance and
rather than rich
depths of flavour. Orvieto
one of the best known and this
is a finely balanced,
with subtle notes of pear and
apricot. Juicy and refreshing.
Teroldego is seldom seen in the UK,
which is a shame because it is a red
from northern Italy which has plenty
of character. Deep and perfumed,
with notes of blueberry and kirsch, it
is fresh and lively. Dry and persistent
on the finish, it can be enjoyed on its
own and with food.
There are a number of Rosés in this selection,
reflecting the fact that Rosé wine has been
in popularity for several years now.
They are not always the easiest wines to
write about - they often do not have the
aromas or flavours associated
with white and red wines; and, even if they
do, our vocabulary
to describe Rosés seems
more limited. It appears to me that Rosé has
largely been becoming
because it is versatile and easy to drink.
With or without food, it is often a good
choice; and it is increasingly
being seen as
a wine that can be drunk throughout the
year. This one from Italy hits the spot nicely.
Cerasuolo d'Abruzzo Rosé
is the Rosé that you are most likely to
have drunk in the restaurants, bars and piazzas
of Italy itself. Palish red in colour and with a little
more body than one expects from a Rosé,
it has a dry, refreshing, bitter-sweet finish that is
e all love settling in to a good
movie once in a while.
too can bring huge
amounts of pleasure. The
for your eyes; the second for your ears.
is the ultimate in entertainment
for your nose.
Smell is our most under-indulged
sense, but it can be the most striking. No other sense is so
Ever been caught
and been transported
back to when you last smelt it? The hrst whiff of fresh cut
grass each spring and l'n suddenly
back on the school
field, if only for a moment.
For others it might be a particular
brand of soap, or the smell of Yorkshire puddings
in the oyen.
The transformation in food and drink culture over the last decade
in the UK has been staggering.
If you're into food and flavour, sooner or later you'll get into wine. That's because
an easy, democratic
pleasure; you don't need a recipe or any skill, just pull the cork. These
days you can get an interesting bottle for less than the price of a cinema
ticket. You can
even pick it up at the supermarket
and enjoy it at home on the sofa. Some people
you need special
training to taste wine;
but tasting is just drinking,
of us have an inkling that there is a lot of pleasure to be had in getting
to know wine
a little better. And it's true. Exploration
is the key, but where
do you begin? Try sticking to
one region for a month and trying different things. Have a two-minute
read about the area
it comes from on your way
home from the shop. A bit of background
and give you ideas about what else you might like - or what to avoid.
"Try sticking to one region for a month and
trying different things."
If you enjoy it, there are plenty of articles and blogs online to find out mare for free. See if
you can find any local informal wine events where you can wander
at your own
tasting from a range of dozens.
Even better, set up your own wine club with a few friends
It's just like a book club, but you don't have to read a book before you go
and there's more laughter.
If you have trouble remembering
the names of wines you've
take a photo of the label.
If you have a smartphone
there are even apps to help
you store and sort them.
If you open one bottle of wine a week for the next 50 years, that's just 2,600
to enjoy .
.. try not to buy the same bottle twice.
There's no end destination.
It's just an