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Please help wine selections - maybe Italian?

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Have a house warming party for friends who love Italy - have named their house Godiamo.

Alas, they are wine lovers, and I only know scotch. I would like to bring them a bottle of red and a bottle of white. I know that when I have had wine at their old house, the white was usually semi-dry and the red was not very tanniny (very palatable for this non-wine drinker). Anybody have any suggestions for what to buy them (for as much as 50 bucks a bottle). If the wine is Italian, it would fit the theme, but I'm open to anything you like.

Thanks,

CA Scotch Chick
www.scotchchix.com

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  1. As for red, see what your vendors can offer you in a Brunello de Montepulciano. 2004 is the best recent vintage, but won't be ready to drink for at least another 5 years. For something ready to drink look at the 1999's if you can find one, or 2001. I'd generally avoid other vintages. Brunello is a mammoth wine, treasured by lovers of great italian reds, and in general offers better value than great nebbiolos, IMO.

    You should be able to find some outstanding brunellos for $75 or less. If you want a lower price point, the great "sleeper" red wine of Italy, IMO, is Valpolicella Superiore Ripassa... a richly-fermented red predominantly from the corvina grape.

    As for whites, my single-favorite consistent rich white Italian wine grape is garganega. The best expression are Soave Classico-Superiores. See what your vendors can provide you in a great soave superiore.

    1. Seek this out: Torti Casaleggio Spumante Brut

      Deciphering what I just wrote: Torti is the producer. "Casaleggio Spumante" is the type of wine. "Brut" is the sweetness level.

      Torti makes two different wines labeled like this. One has a little tag on the top which says "Oltrepo Pavese" and on the back, the label is pink. The other does not have a tag and the back label is not pink.

      Either or both of these wines will do as both of these wines are excellent -- they are my favorite Champagne-like wines from Italy and I always think Champagne is an excellent celebratory wine. And despite being in the low to mid twenties in cost, these are actually qualitatively on par with the less expensive Champagnes.

      For a still white, I would check out wines coming from Fruili and Alto Adige. Two producers, out of dozens I enjoy, are Cesconi and Volpi Pasini, but speak with your wine merchant. Speaking of which, you call yourself CA Scotch Chick. If you happe to be in the Bay Area, just go to Biondivino on Green between Polk and Van Ness and let Ceri Smith tell you what to bring.

      For a red, I would seek out the current release of the Tomasso Bussola Valpolicella TB -- it is a dark, brooding wine that will be ready to drink and not too tannic. Really a pleasure. Should be mid or upper thirties in price.

      3 Replies
      1. re: whiner

        Isn't the Tomasso Bussola Valpolicella over $100 per bottle?

        1. re: BN1

          Nope -- the Amarone is over $100. The Valpo is in the (upper) 30's.

          1. re: whiner

            Thanks for the recommendation and the info. I’m after some now.

      2. Some wines that any Italian wine lover would be glad to receive...

        White:
        Bruno Giacosa Roero Arneis
        Pieropan "La Rocca" Soave Classico

        Red:
        Produttori del Barbaresco
        Isole e Olena "Cepparello"

        If you want to give something different...
        Valentino Brut Zero Vino Spumante from Rocche dei Manzone (sparkling)
        La Spinetta Passito "Oro" (dessert wine)
        Marco di bartoli "Bukkuram" Passito di Pantelleria (dessert wine)
        Dorigo Picolit (dessert wine)

        1. howdy ca sc,
          i still have three bottles left of the 1999 paolo bea montefalco sagrantino. maybe not the best but it will do. forget the white wine. grab a bottle or two (one for yourself). i'm staring at no. 05401 as we speak. don't forget to decant (unfined, unfiltered).
          regards,
          --steve