For many wine lovers, Piedmont—or Piemonte, in Italian—means one thing: Barolo. And indeed, Barolo fully deserves its moniker as “the King of Wines”: this regal red has few equals when it comes to transparently expressing place with power, delicacy, poise, and long-term aging potential. Within the Barolo appellation, it is fully worth exploring each commune, and on an even deeper level, each individual vineyard—the nuances are endless, and the wines are capable of inspiring the deepest of emotions. But Barolo represents only a small slice of Piemonte’s tremendous diversity of wines. Nebbiolo, the grape responsible for Barolo, thrives in distinctive terroirs all across the region, each with its unique virtues. Also found in the dramatic undulating hills known as the Langhe, Barbaresco—the Queen to Barolo’s King—enjoys almost as much prestige for similarly finessed reds, which tend to be softer and more accessible (in character and in price), and therefore ideal for medium-term cellaring. Traveling north, toward the Alps, the cool-climate Nebbioli of Alto Piemonte’s numerous small appellations all deserve a close look. While Piemonte’s most prestigious wines get all the attention, the heart and soul of the region revolves around its delicious everyday reds. Gulping down a pitcher of Barbera or Dolcetto is the way to truly drink like the locals. These unpretentious, straightforward crowd-pleasers offer fantastic value and marry brilliantly with Piemonte’s rich gastronomic bounty: vitello tonnato, bagna cauda, carne cruda, agnolotti del Plin, and tajarin noodles topped with slow-cooked ragù or the ultimate local delicacy, white truffles. Countless other grapes—Freisa, Brachetto, Croatina, and Vespolina, just to name a few—complete the vast spectrum of Piemontese reds. Less celebrated, but equally important are its whites, which represent roughly one third of total production. A cool glass of peachy Arneis, for example, is crucial before diving into the world of heavy-hitting reds, and no Piemontese meal is complete without finishing with a flowery Moscato d’Asti alongside panna cotta. Explore all these wines, and more, with our Guide to Piemonte—the next best thing to a cool, foggy day in the Langhe, the snow-capped Alps poking their heads out of the gloom, a pungent suggestion of truffles in the air hinting at decadent simplicity.
One of the most affordable wines in our entire portfolio comes from a vineyard site that is among the steepest, hardest-to-work parcels upon which you’ll ever lay eyes. You might think that heroic viticulture comes at a cost, yet somehow the delicate, fragrant Moscato d’Asti Marco Tintero ekes from his precipitous Sorì Gramella plot—a true marvel of Italian viticulture—lands on our shelves at a mere $14.
We’ve been working with the Montanets for nearly three decades now, a partnership that was a no-brainer, given that Bernard Raveneau first taught Jean Montanet the techniques and importance of getting things right in the vineyard before anything comes into the cellar, and it was Marcel Lapierre who showed Jean the splendor and purity of natural winemaking. It has always been and remains a great pleasure to work with Jean and his son Valentin, both of whom are ever smiling, ever optimistic, and quick to joke at their own expense. But don’t be fooled. Their wines—every last one of them—are world-class, serious, and, most important, delicious Burgundies.
Much ink has been spilled about the great wines of Italy. Entire books have been written about her two superstars, Barolo and Brunello; other appellations like Barbaresco, Chianti, and Amarone are right behind, logically sharing representation in the annals of Italy’s vinous hall of fame. For the thirsty traveler, it is a similar story: Tuscany and Piedmont are obvious destinations, home to a thriving wine scene complete with fine dining, luxury hotels, guided winery tours, and scenic vineyard aperitivi.
The only thing we like better than great wine is great wine that doesn’t cost much and we’re happy to report that a bottle of great wine can still be found for $20 or less. We’ve put together a collection of our favorites all in one place for your browsing pleasure: bargain whites, rosés, reds, and a couple of sparklers.
From a tiny village nestled in the foothills of the Pyrenees to Burgundy’s golden slope and the prestigious vineyards of Piedmont, we have just received dozens of exciting wines from many distinct regions in France and Italy.
Drinking the wines of Corsica is akin to a visceral immersion into the natural wonders of the Île de Beauté: each sip is the liquid sum of sea, sun, stone, wind, and the wild maquis herbs that make up this stunning land. But beyond this, it is also a window into the Corsican identity and the strong local culture that has been forged as a result of the island’s turbid history. From this perspective, there is no better portal to understanding Corsica than through the wines of Antoine Arena.
Drinking distilled spirits, beer, coolers, wine and other alcoholic beverages may increase cancer risk, and, during pregnancy, can cause birth defects. For more information go to www.P65Warnings.ca.gov/alcohol
Many food and beverage cans have linings containing bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical known to cause harm to the female reproductive system. Jar lids and bottle caps may also contain BPA. You can be exposed to BPA when you consume foods or beverages packaged in these containers. For more information, go to www.P65Warnings.ca.gov/bpa