Archive | Italy RSS feed for this section

Bru & Nell’s Excellent Adventure

2 Oct
2012

The Original: Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure

“Brunello, exceedingly elegant and vibrant, with more complexity than muscle, won my heart.” – Kerin O’Keefe, from ‘Brunello di Montalcino’

Last week I hosted a tasting with Mark Protheroe looking at twenty-two Brunello di Montalcino wines of the 2007 vintage. The aim was to provide a thorough spread of producers to highlight the differences between the unofficial sub-regions of the Montalcino area. Below are some brief tasting notes and detailed information of the tasting, including what I wrote for the tasting booklet. If you do read right until the end, you may come across an interesting character with beady red eyes that some like to refer to as ‘Suckzilla’. You have been warned…

Continue reading

Wine Reviews September

18 Sep
2012

andre clouet, champagne, clover hill, sparkling, tasmania, france, lambrusco, lini 910, italy

Spring has arrived and brought with it welcome bursts of sunshine. Keeping in line with the season, I thought I would write about three different styles of wine where each bottle bursts open in a shower of beads.

Continue reading

Brunello Club – “Say hello to your friends”

11 Sep
2012

For most of the people who stumble across this blog, the reference in today’s title may be lost. However if you were a young lass like me in the ’90s, you’d be well aware of this ol’ chestnut and the theme song’s tag line, “Say hello to your friends“. It also inspired this:

baby-sitters club, spoof, funny, field, flowers, girls

Photograph from the 1995 film ‘Baby-Sitters Club’

What is with my infatuation with Brunello di Montalcino of late?

Well there is an event that I am organising with Grossi restaurant’s wine buyer, Mark Protheroe, under the Sommeliers Australia umbrella. We have organised a grand total of twenty-one wines, some of which have come directly from the Brunello Consorzio and are thus unavailable in the country. They all hail from the 2007 vintage and will be available at this one tasting.

Continue reading

Bibemus Boozes on Barolo & the Red Panty Threesome

28 Aug
2012

poem

On Monday the 20th August, an Italian-loving wine club experienced an evening entitled ‘Bibemus Boozes on Barolo‘. While it may not be the most eloquent choice of expression in relation to such a noble wine, it was deemed delightful by Bibemus’ core members nonetheless.

Continue reading

Bibemus boards the Brunello train. With surprise guest, Jean Claude Van Damme

10 Jul
2012

During June’s waxing crescent moon and under the watchful eye of team Bibemus, fourteen Italophiles converged in the darkness outside the Carlton Wine Room and craned their necks towards the sparkling night sky.

Together they chanted:

star light star bright, wine, quote, poem

Adapted by La Donna del Vino

The stars twinkled back at the happy group. Their wish would be granted.

Continue reading

Battlesip

26 Jun
2012
Sipping, wine tasting, wine, glasses, red, drinking, spitting

Battlesipping in my Barolo King T-shirt. Any commentary on my attire can be directed to Nick Stock.

When I came up with the name for this post I had a good, hearty giggle to myself. I know I’m a lame-o, but say “Battlesip” quickly and it sounds like you have a lisp. Hey, come on. I thought it was clever! Small things really do entertain my small mind on a cold and wet wintery evening.

Continue reading

The importance of Italian grape varieties to the Australian wine industry

22 May
2012
open arms, gesticulation, Italian, man, politician, hand gesture

“Ask not what your country can do with my grapes, but what my grapes can do for your country.” Err, sure thing, Berlusconi.

An essay submitted for the 2012 Lorenzo Galli Estate Wine Scholarship

By Krystina Menegazzo

WHY AND HOW ARE ITALIAN GRAPE VARIETIES IMPORTANT TO THE AUSTRALIAN WINE INDUSTRY? DISCUSS FOCUSING ON AT LEAST TWO VARIETIES.

Continue reading

Wine Reviews May

15 May
2012

MONTEVECCHIO Rosso 2011

Heathcote, Victoria

RRP $23.00

wine, label, heathcote, victoria

Continue reading

The Age-Old Dilemma…”Ageing”

1 May
2012

I need to be cautious of what I write on here because even though my nonni (grandparents) do not own the internet or a computer, my dear mother prints off all my posts and reads them out aloud to her elderly audience. Somehow I have not been disowned after all the confessions of my drinking, daydreaming and occasional profanities. So here is hoping that loving feeling they hold deep inside is strong enough to withstand some teasing.

Continue reading

Great Grange & Grand Italians – A wine tasting event

20 Mar

2012

Penfolds Grange is unquestionably Australia’s most famous red wine and has reached celestial heights in terms of adoration and expectation. From its experimental inception in 1951 by winemaker Max Schubert, Grange has been lovingly crafted to shine as a uniquely Australian wine of longevity, power and class.

“Grange’s aesthetic quality and remarkable aging potential is the stuff of legends.”

Andrew Caillard MW

In line with the 20-year celebration of the Melbourne Food & Wine Festival, an event was arranged that could commemorate the significance of this anniversary. Two bottles each of Penfolds Grange 1971 and 1976 (tested by the clinic in 2011) were obtained from a close friend of the owner of my workplace. The extensive museum Italian wine list was pulled out for perusal. It was like being a kid in a candy store as eight other wines were chosen that hail from Italy which would sit alongside Australia’s most iconic wine. The wines selected are classified in the upper echelon of quality and come from the most respected producers. These include rare wines such as Ceretto Bricco Rocche Barolo Brunate 1990, Produttori del Barbaresco Montefico 1985, Mastrojanni Brunello di Montalcino Schiena d’Asino 1990, Tedeschi Amarone della Valpolicella ‘Monte Olmi’ 1991, Castello di Ama Chianti Classico 1997 and even the famous Toscana IGT wine Antinori’s Tignanello 1985 and Bolgheri’s inimitable Tenuta San Guido Sassicaia DOC 1987.

In total, the combined age of these wines is over 200 years. This was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and one that I feel privileged to have been able to pour at. Below is a visual diary of the evening with small commentary made as to the condition of the wines.

La Donna del Vino savouring a glass of Grange

Continue reading

Wine Reviews March

13 Mar
2012

PHI Chardonnay 2008 

Yarra Valley, Victoria

RRP $46.00

La Donna del Vino

Dear Patrick Hernandez,

Continue reading

Where The Wild Things Are

6 Mar
2012
Wild Boar, shooter, gunman, hunter

Source unknown

Continue reading

Wine Reviews January

10 Jan
2012

HODDLES CREEK ESTATE Pinot Blanc 2010

Upper Yarra Valley, Victoria

RRP $35

wine, Upper Yarra Valley, gothic, label, Franco d'Anna

Continue reading

Wine Reviews December

13 Dec
2011

FOSTER E ROCCO Nuovo Sangiovese 2011

Heathcote, Victoria

RRP $30

Heathcote, wine, Australia, Victoria

Continue reading

The Bibbers of Bibemus

6 Dec
2011

BIBEMUS

In Italy We Trust

Mount Etna is alive, will it erupt once more?

The air to be dust-laden and scorched

Hell could break loose within its core

Bringing havoc to everything it torched

The lava may flow over the mountain side

Destroying flora, fauna by its flood

Countless beasts may have bellowed and died

In forest-fires and the blazing mud

Beneath these dragon-like fires are sprung

New buds bursting for light

Vines all twisted in the baking sun

Crafting the vino we drink tonight

Interwoven by La Donna del Vino

Last week saw the inaugural tasting for an adoring Italian wine club called Bibemus. That’s Bibemus as in Latin for ‘we drink‘ and pronounced like an ol’ Scottish man saying ‘baby moose‘.

Initiated by Italophiles Matt Paul, Jane Faulkner, Anthony D’Anna and Krystina Menegazzo, the purpose of creating Bibemus was to act as an excuse to gather a group of Italian wine-adoring friends for an evening of entertainment via imbibing and dining.

That being our mission, the first evening held at Merchant in the Rialto…was a success. And the theme?

MOUNT ETNA

(Insert Tchaikovsky’s climactic ‘1812 Overture‘ music here)

Mount Etna eruption in 1989 - Photograph by Boris Behncke

Continue reading

To train the growth, or go all bush?

28 Nov
2011

What did you think this would be?

I dissertation that discussed the potential benefits in ‘To groom, or not to groom your nether regions?’

As much as I would like to venture into great detail on the topic (I kid), this is a blog that is read most eagerly by none other than my mother, which tends to prevent ghastly filth from pouring from my mouth and onto the keyboard. I have heard that it is probably a good thing to be tamed.

Continuing on, the play on words at least allowed me to demonstrate my cunning punning expertise.

I will call it my ‘cun pun‘, for short.

white man afrored hair afro vintagediana ross afro, vintage

Continue reading

All Aboard The Bandwagon – Gastrovins

27 Sep
2011

Forgive me Father for I have sinned.

It has been 9295 days since my last confession. I accuse myself of the following sins. Absolve me if you see fit.

Last Wednesday night in a quiet, private room within the Circa The Prince complex, I found myself surrounded by nine much older and wiser gentlemen, where I then proceeded to try the finest white wines that I have ever had the privilege of putting past my lips.

The sin?

They were not Italian.

They were French.

Continue reading

The wine tasting: Massolino wine masterclass- Rionda, Rhonda, Wanda…Eh?!

6 Sep
2011

Massolino of Serralunga d'Alba

Massolino, also known as Azienda Agricola Vigna Rionda, is the name of one of the small grape grower/wine bottling families in the Serralunga valley whose business is named after their most famed and popular vineyard, Vigna Rionda. The business began with Giovanni Massolino creating the estate in 1896, followed by his son Giuseppe subsequently building the cellar a number of years later. Today, the winery is still in the hands of the Massolino family with brothers Roberto and Franco Massolino along with Giovanni Angeli acting as winemakers for the estate.

Back in August 2011, the Australian wine importers for Massolino, Bibendum Wine Co., held a long-awaited masterclass to highlight the producers various vineyards. The event was held at the gloriously spacious and sea-view aligned restaurant The Stokehouse in St Kilda. Just to heighten the opportunity to make someone green with envy, see the menu below for what delights were in store:

The well-dressed Italian representative (because there always has to be at least one good-looking Italian at these events) was none other than winemaker Giovanni Angeli. Softly spoken, but groomed within 007 standards, he acted as our amiable host along with head of Bibendum, Robert Walters.


Continue reading

The Tasting: Valpolicella, Amarone and the venerable Speri

2 Aug
2011

A week ago on the 27th July 2011, the wonderful Sommeliers Australia association put together a delightful tasting for twenty willing Members at the old Melbourne Wine Room in St Kilda. The tasting was hosted by none other than The Wine Guide’s Dan Sims, with panel members including Speri winemaker Luca Speri, Italian wine importer Matt Paul from Trembath & Taylor and La Donna del Vino. I sat up the front voraciously anticipating the good things to come over the next two hours.

What words do you associate with an Amarone della Valpolicella wine tasting? Let me tell you: Velvety. Voluptuous. Vim. Vibrant. Va va voom! Exaggeration aside, my brain cannot ignore the urge it has to continue that alliteration of the letter ‘v’ by making reference to the script from a scene in the movie, ‘V for Vendetta’. Right here. Right now. Apologies for confusing anybody. Blame my brain.

Voila!

In view, a humble Vaudevillian Veteran, cast Vicariously as both Victim and Villain by the Vicissitudes of fate. This Visage, no mere Veneer of Vanity, is a Vestige of the Voc populi, now Vacant, Vanished. However, this Valorous Visitation of a bygone Vexation stands Vivified, and has Vowed to Vanquish these Venal and Viulent Vermin Vanguarding Vice and Vouchsafing the Violently Vicious and Voracious Violation of Volition!

The only Verdict is Vengeance- a Vendetta, held as a Votice- not in Vain, for the Value and Veracity of such shall one day Vindicate the Vigilant and the Virtuous. [Chuckling].

Verily, this Vichyssoise of Verbiage Veers most Verbose, so let me simply add that it’s my Very good honor to meet you, and you may call me V.

As spoken in V’s introduction to Evey – V for Vendetta (2006)

Enough of that. Now to the details of the tasting!

Continue reading

Wine Reviews July

12 Jul
2011

SHIRVINGTON Cabernet Sauvignon

McLaren Vale, South Australia

RRP $55-$65

Hmm…that name…Shirvington. Doesn’t it make you think of the Australian track athlete Matt Shirvington and the package that was so infamously publicized on television years ago?

Or was that just me getting a little excited? Anyway, the joke beckons, but I will save that until last.

Continue reading