I have to say that Italian wine has always been a bit of a mystery to me. It’s maybe because we have never holidayed in central or southern Italy or it might be just because I am linguistically challenged I just don’t know.
We finally put this right when we attended a launch party for a new web-based Italian fine wine business being launched by Annmarie Darrington-Wright. I have to declare a vested interest in that Annmarie is a good friend of my wife, Madam et vin.
The event was held at Non Solo Vino in Chesterfield. They welcomed us with a glass of Vino Spumante Rose from producer La Farra, a soft vibrant pink sparkler. Just the thing for a dark wet miserable afternoon in Derbyshire.
Annmarie hosted the event together with one of her business partners Andrea, a native Italian.
The concept is very simple, they want to bring their producers’ wines to the UK on an exclusive basis. Whereas most merchants will choose a wine to fit a particular price point, they will find wines that they like and offer a distinctive experience and only then will see if the financials stack up.
This was my first ever tasting event and what great fun it was. We listened to a brief description of each wine and then began to taste our way through a Pinot Grigio DOC, a Friulano and finally for the whites, a really unusual wine which is grown near Lake Garda, Lugana DOC Perla.
To refresh our palates we had a Prosecco DOCG Brut again from La Farra. This was a proper prosecco – apples, pears and lovely tiny bubbles. Probably the best Prosecco I have tasted!
Then it was on to the reds, starting with Valpolicella Classico Ripasso DOC, moving through a baby Brunello on to the king of Italian wine, the Barolo from producer Barale Fratelli. I was particulary interested in the Valpolicella as this wine goes through a second fermentation process which results in a more complex taste.
We stocked up on the Spumante Rose, Prosecco and the Valpolicella.
Do I now know more about Italian wines? Yes definitely. My education has just begun!
If you are looking for good quality, well sourced wines then give them a go.
Fine Italian Wine www.fineitalianwineonline.co.uk
Non Solo Vino www.nonsolovino.co.uk/