Hub’s Hints: Favorite Wines ~ Italian Table Wines Reply

“HUB’S HINTS – FAVS”

Often times I am asked; “what is your favorite wine”?  This question is incomprehensible and absolutely impossible for me to answer definitively.  There are so many fantastic wines from all over the globe that I would not be able to limit my preference and or focus to one particular wine.  Fortunately for me, I have been exposed to a great many wines during my tenure in the wine business but, to pick one wine over the rest of the world’s production would be quite unconscionable.  Actually, I can’t even limit my choices to one grape variety or one production region of the world.  I enjoy the wide spectrum of wines; red and white, sweet and dry, imported and domestic, sparkling and or fortified.  I do however have a considerable number of personal favorites.  I am pleased and excited to share a few of these “Favs” with an inquisitive and interested wine consuming “Glamorous Camping” populous.

One of my favorite “Favs” is from Italy ~       MASTROBERARDINO

Many years ago, I had the extreme pleasure of visiting Mastroberardino, in Campania, Italy.  The facility is located in the town of Avellino in the ancient region of Irpinia. Avellino is west of Naples, inland and north of Capri and Sorrento.  The house of Mastroberardino is one of the oldest and most well-respected wineries in Italy, producing red and white wines that rank among the finest quality in the world.  Although Mastroberardino was officially founded in 1878, the family traces its winemaking heritage back to the late 1600’s.  The Mastroberardino family being “wine archeologists” is credited with locating, identifying and nurturing ancient vines that would have otherwise become extinct.  Mastroberardinos have been directly responsible for reviving and preserving historic grape varieties (Greco and Aglianico) that were brought to Campania by the Greeks over 2,000 years ago, as well as, for propagating the Fiano grape variety that was grown by the ancient Romans and was indigenous to Southern Italy.  Past generations of Mastroberadinos were committed to the fundamentals of nature and to exposing the unique characteristics of the ancient vines.  This philosophy was maintained through four generations which remains unchanged to present day.

The red wines from Mastroberadino have a reputation for being the most balanced and longest lasting Italian reds, comparable to the prestigious Brunellos and Barolos of Italy.

The whites are full-bodied, rich and elegant with finesse and balance and a vibrant flavor profile.   

I wholeheartedly and confidently recommend the following wines for your enjoyment ~

2010 MASTROBERARDINO FIANO DI AVELLINO

Made entirely from the noble and rare Fiano grape variety, this wine has the distinction of being one of a very few dry white wines that can bottle age for 5 to 10 years (up to 15 years in great vintages), considered one of Italy’s great white wines. 

DESCRIPTION:  Straw gold color, with an aromatic, complex bouquet and distinctive flavor.  Full-bodied and elegant with pear, pineapple, citrus, nut and honey flavors and a lingering toasted hazelnut complexity. 

FOOD: Shellfish and seafood, white meats and soups. . .  

            Average retail pricing: $22 to $24

2005 MASTROBERARDINO TAURASI RADICI

Is a dry, elegant, robust and hearty red wine made entirely from the ancient Alianico grape variety grown on windswept vineyards at 2,000 feet above sea level.  Although Taurasi will age for up to 50 years or more, it is surprisingly agreeable in its youth.  Taurasi Radici (Radici means “roots”) is a world-class wine, considered one of the finest from Southern Italy. 

DESCRIPTION:  Bold and complex, velvety with spicy undertones – rich and mellow, nuances of violets, blackberries, spice and vanilla 

FOOD:  Grilled and roasted meat (steak, chops & lamb), wild game, distinctive cheeses. . .

            Average retail pricing: $48 to $54

$ $ $ – More economical alternatives to the above mentioned wines would be the Lacryma Christi Bianco and Rosso.  Folklore and legend suggests that when God cast Lucifer out of Heaven, a corner of Heaven was stolen by the Devil.  When God saw what Lucifer had done, he cried bitter tears. God’s tears fell on the spot where Lucifer had fallen to earth, which is the location of the current vineyards for Lacryma Christi (The Tears of Christ).  The wines are produced in the shadow of Mount Vesuvius in vineyards containing volcanic soil.      

LACRYMA CHRISTI DEL VESUVIO BIANCO ~

Is made 100% from Coda di Volpe grapes, it is straw-yellow in color, well-structured with a bright minerality and stone fruit flavors – white peach, pineapple and a hint of licorice.  Enjoy with antipasto, seafood risottos and grilled fish. . .   

LACRYMA CHRISTI DEL VESUVIO ROSSO ~

Is produced exclusively from Piedirosso grapes, the wine is intense, ruby-red, with layers of cherries, plums, raspberries and a hint of black pepper on the finish.  Enjoy with red meats, meat based sauces and spicy dishes. . .  

Consult with your local wine retail store for the availability of recent vintages.  The average price for the Lacryma Christi wines is approximately $18 / $19.

Thank you for the opportunity to share one of my “Favs”.

Hubs

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