Locorotondo will be a fun revelation for any wine lover, but in particular for those who are drawn to lean and flinty whites. One sip will sail you to the Adriatic coast, where the sea is turquoise blue, the olive groves are ancient, and the fish is so fresh it hops from the water to your plate. A blend of co-planted Verdeca, Bianco d’Alessano, and Minutolo—an indigenous, aromatic variety only recently recovered from the brink of extinction—epitomizes the richness of local Italian heritage. It’s zesty and cleansing, with just a spritz of orange blossom.
Never have I opened a bottle of Duline and wondered what all the fuss is about. Each one delivers on the promise I’ve heard over and over, that these are some of the most captivating wines in all of Friuli. Morus Alba, a mouthwatering blend of Malvasia Istriana and Sauvignon Blanc, is the botanical name for the white mulberry trees that grow amid Duline’s vineyards, which you’ll also notice on their simple label. It may sound silly, but if mindfulness were a glass of wine you could sip, this would be it: center into the present, wind down, and focus on its appeal while all distractions disappear.
As interest in Sicily’s winemaking regions grow, so increases the demand for Massimo Padova’s wines—and it’s about time! Take his Marzaiolo, a sun-dappled blend of Grecanico, fragrant Moscato, and one of the island’s most ancient varieties, Inzolia, a walnutty grape with plump, juicy berries. Most important to Massimo is to respect the environment and honor Sicilian identity. He works organically and only in collaboration with local businesses, as indicated by the statement Cento Per Cento Sicilia—100 Percent Sicily—embossed into the collar of his glass bottles. Pair this wine with a saffron spaghetti topped with blistered tomatoes, or tasty appetizers of small fish or prawns.
It’s soup season on the East Coast, and where better to look for recipe inspiration than Tuscany? A slowly simmered Tuscan stew, loaded with savory herbs, buttery beans, and bitter greens is hearty, healthy, and healing—and a warming treat when paired with Elisa Sesti’s baby Brunello, her Monteleccio. Made from organically grown and biodynamically nurtured Sangiovese Grosso, it has tannins that are firm but never brawny, and its brambly nose of blackberry and violet will transform a country dish into a polished experience. While your broth is still steamy, grab a knob of Parmesan for dusting and a hunk of bread for sopping, and dig in!
A glass of Giulia Negri’s wine offers so much to admire—about its maker and its terroir. Having inherited the incredible Serradenari estate from her family at the age of twenty-four, Giulia revived the property and made the conversion to organic viticulture. Her Langhe Nebbiolo vineyards in the “Pian delle Mole” (named after an ancient grain mill) lie hundreds of meters above sea level, where the soil is rich in marine sediments and surrounded by hazelnut groves and a white truffle forest. Due to her gentle approach in the vineyard and cellar, it’s amazing how lightly tinted the wine is, but so intense on the palate—it’s a total knockout.
A Pinot this alluring that’s not from Burgundy? Send me a case! Father-daughter duo Ferruccio and Michela Carlotto farm their micro-estate in the mountains of Ora, just south of Bolzano, which also happens to be home to Mazzon, one of the finest crus for Pinot Nero. Is it the cool Alpine air in Alto Adige that preserves the youthful berry aromas in their grapes, or is it the limestone subsoils, or both? Either way, Filari di Mazzon is seductively perfumed and impossibly elegant. Any home-cooked meal would feel fancy in its presence, but a perfectly pink lamb chop roasted in rosemary would be a worthy choice.
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