An Italian Wine Reading List

italian-wine-reading-listAllow me to rewind this thread just a bit:

Recently, a fascinating concept caught my attention, the brainchild of @tirebouchon, born when he suggested use of the #tutor hashtag to support a wine learning / sharing initiative via the social media application Twitter.

The initiative summarizes a growing trend among enlightened wine appassionati to take responsibility for one’s own palate (learning), and help friends and wine lovers to do the same by acting as tutor-mentors who give advice and transfer knowledge via social internet (sharing).

It’s happening on Twitter. It’s happening on Vinix. And on Blogs. Everywhere.

AKA –> Real Wine Culture.

You can find more about #tutor here on @tirebouchon’s blog, including a list of friendly, helpful #tutors

BTW: The extraordinary wealth of wine information on the internet Is Not always available in your first language. If you don’t already use Google’s Chrome browser with auto-translation, I politely suggest that you install it immediately. It will automatically render translations of foreign language web pages. If you’re an English speaker, for example, exposure, say, to the French, Italian or German conversation about wine and food oftentimes provides perspective invaluable to any real understanding of either topic.

Meanwhile, in the spirit of sharing, and since several persons have inquired, I list below a few books about Italian wine for home reading, available in English, which I have found to be interesting and helpful in their respective topics:

A Wine Atlas of the Langhe: The Great Barolo and Barbaresco Vineyards
Authored by Vittorio Manganelli and other writers, Published by Slow Food Editore, Edited by Carlo Petrini
ISBN 88-8499-041-6

Barolo to Valpolicella: The Wines of Northern Italy
Author, Nicholas Belfrage, Published by Faber & Faber LTD / Octopus Publishing Group LTD, London
ISBN 1 84000 901 2

Brunello di Montalcino
Author, Guelfo Magrini, Published by Morganti Editori sas
ISBN: 88-87549-27-3

Brunello to Zibibbo: The Wines of Tuscany, Centra and Southern Italy
Author, Nicholas Belfrage, Published by Faber & Faber LTD / Octopus Publishing Group LTD, London
ISBN 1 84000 790 7

Chianti and the Wines of Tuscany
Author, Rosemary George, first published for Sotheby’s Publiscations by Phiop Wilson Publishers Limited, London. In US, Rizzoli International Publications, New York
ISBN 1-55949-881-1

Italian Wine
Author, Victor Hazan, Published by Alfred Knopf, New York
ISBN 0-394-50266-3

Vino Italiano: The Regional Wines of Italy
Authors, Joseph Bastianich & David Lynch, Published by Clarkson Potter Publishers, New York
ISBN 0-609-60848-7

Wines of Italy
Author, Patricia Guy, published by Tide-mark Press LTD, Windsor, CT
ISBN 1-55949-881-1

Seems like a bit of work, you say? What’s the alternative? Believe me, you don’t want to know:

“Here’s a great bottle of wine, produced by one of our biggest advertisers, we gave it 97pts and just happen to have it available for your purchase today.”

Feelin’ motivated now ? 😉

Book: “Too Much Tuscan Wine”, by Dario Castagno

Too Much Tuscan Wine, A Book by Dario Castagno with Robert Rodi

too-much-tuscan-wine-thumb5I’ve written before that, in my opinion, it is impossible to understand Italian wine without an awareness of the people, place, and culture that created it. But where does one find this magic? Unfortunately, I can name too many popular places where you cannot find it; but among the places you can, I suggest a copy of Too Much Tuscan Wine by Dario Castagno.

I don’t wish to focus on Dario “factoids” here – from what I can tell, neither would he want us to – so I’ll let you research Dario on your own.

In his book Too Much Tuscan Wine, Dario paints in prose a Tuscan countryside of picturesque beauty where the culture and tradition of wine figures prominently as a cast of sometimes quirky characters happily carry out life. Against the background of Dario writing a new book manuscript proposed by an intriguing editor named Mia, you’ll be charmed by real life stories that are oftentimes fueled by…well, too much wine.., and written with such a sense of place that it will have you thinking that if you press your ear to the Chianti ground you may hear the heart of Dario Castagno beating just below.

Fans of Tuscany and its wines will especially appreciate the many locally flavored anecdotes and maxims about wine found between the pages of Too Much Tuscan Wine, although any wine lover, of Italy or otherwise, will be enlightened and inspired by the insights the wine proverbs plentifully bestrewn throughout the book provide. It’s a perspective on wine I’d recommend not to miss 😉

Title: Too Much Tuscan Wine
Author: Dario Castagno
ISBN: 978-88-901102-4-5

Italian Wine Education: A Wine Atlas of the Langhe

wine-atlas-of-langhe-thumb1Italian Wine Education – A Wine Atlas of the Langhe:  The Great Barolo and Barbaresco Vineyards

“A Wine Atlas of the Langhe” is the conclusion of 10 years research of the great Barolo / Barbaresco crus and wines .  The men and women whose effort has contributed to the international success of these celebrated wines are nicely profiled.  The book takes us upclose and personal to explore the Langhe soil, topography, climate, etc., that uniquely influence the wines, never forgetting the local cultural background that helped create these famous wines.

First of all, this book is beautiful.  Spectacular aerial photographs hover us over landscapes, let us soar above quaint hilltops and vineyards galore.  The photography really helps give the reader a spatial perspective of the area(s) being discussed.

What I really like about this book, however, are its  “eyewitness reports” – word sketches by some of the area’s oldest householders that give the reader a sense of Langhe culture, history, and tradition, a background against which the Barolo and Barbaresco story can be understood.

Then, there are the chapters featuring the pioneers and legends of Barolo and Barbaresco which provide super detail about the lives of winemakers, growers, scholars, cellar staff, and others.

Subzones and the great crus of Barolo / Barbaresco are covered in very specific detail with beautifully articulate mappings of municipalities and vineyards.

If you’re traveling to Piedmont and are interested in wine or Piedmont culture, this book will help you plan some great day trips.  Also contains info on good places to eat and stay.

If you love a Barolo or Barbaresco geek, search no more for a special gift – this is the book for them.

Published by Slow Food Editore, Authored by Vittorio Manganelli and other writers, Edited by Carlo Petrini.  Hard cover.  352 pages. ISBN-10: 8884990416 ISBN-13: 978-8884990419

Italian Wine Education: “Brunello” by Guelfo Magrini


Italy, Wine Education: “Brunello” by Guelfo Magrini

To say “Brunello di Montalcino” by Guelfo Magrini gives great information about Brunello is an understatement.  The book steeps the reader in the culture of Brunello and of Montalcino with wonderful focus on the wine, land, producers, production techniques, vineyards, vintages, local foods and products, recipes, traditions, flora, wildlife, art, and history.  Wonderfully shot photographs on all these topics convey an incredible regional intimacy and sense of place.

Available in English, German, Italian.  Ordering can be done via several places on the Internet.

Morganti Editori sas
via Morino, 5-37060 Sona (Verona)
telephone +39 045 6081114 and +39 045 6089739
fax +39 045 6089739
ISBN: 88-87549-27-3