Three Italian Wines
Italian wine has a long and proud history. Back in the days when Rome was a republic they were able to trade a single barrel of wine to the Gauls for the price of one slave. This was a pretty good deal, but not good enough for Julius Caesar, who invaded Gaul so he could get all the slaves he wanted while keeping the wine for himself.
Slavery is currently out of fashion, but most decent independent off licenses will be happy to accept cash in return for the following Italian wines.
Santa Cristina Rosso Toscana was one of the first Italian reds to become popular in Ireland. When supermarkets first started stocking wine this was often promoted by selling the bottle with a joint of beef for roasting. One sip and you’ll know why. It’s a strong, intense wine, perfect for a big lunch on a Sunday afternoon.
Of course if it’s a nice day, and we do get one or two a year, your Sunday lunch may move to a sunny garden. Your roast may be replaced by something lighter, fish, or salad, or maybe even some sort of fish salad. If so reach for a bottle of Masi Masianco Venezie IGT. It’s mainly Pinot Grigio, with a drop of Gris, it’s a pleasing dry wine with a hint of vanilla. This would also be an excellent wine to bring to a party, the sort of party you would have brought prosecco to a few years ago when people still drank prosecco.
Sometimes it’s worth going for a slightly pricier wine for a celebration. Whether you’re celebrating a birthday, a wedding, or the fact that someone else is paying for the wine then head for the Masi Mazzano Amarone Valpolicella Classico 2009. Especially if someone else is paying. This stuff would have cost several slaves once upon a time. It has a low production run but a very high concentration of flavour. It also packs a punch at 16% ABV, so take it easy.