Barone Ricasoli: a Brief History of Chianti Classico

Only in Italy do you have the opportunity to get a tour of a Medieval castle which has been producing wine for hundreds of years. The winery tour of Barone Ricasoli is a great one to do if you are looking for a little bit of everything, you get the old castle, the modern winery and latest equipment, and a lovely wine tasting. There is also a really good restaurant on the premises where you can have lunch (and they are very accommodating to food allergies). First of all, this is the winery where they invented Chianti Classico, so obviously it is a must-see if you are at all interested in Chianti. Continue reading


Bottle of The Week- La Quercia Montepulciano d’Abruzzo

The day is upon us, actually the day I’m talking about is tomorrow. What day? The day Pass The Bottle goes to Italy! In honor of such a momentous event I am featuring yet another Italian wine for Bottle of The Week. Surprised? I didn’t think so. What better wine to feature on such a week than the Montepulciano? It is one of the most widely cultivated, indigenous, grapes in Italy. There is a very lengthy list of DOCs and DOCGs that include the Montepulciano grape, but today we’ll focus on the Montepulciano d’Abruzzo DOC. Most of the wines from this DOC, this bottle included, are dry, medium bodied wines with lighter tannins and intended to be consumed young. As is the case with all DOCs, this one has specific requirements which need to be met in order for the wine to earn the label. It must contain a minimum of 85% Montepulciano grape,and can contain up to 15% Sangiovese. Continue reading

Bottle of The Week- Downton Abbey Bordeaux Claret Blend

I am a huge Downton Abbey fan, I won’t lie, and I was more than a little upset that the very last ever episode aired this past Sunday. If, however, I am forced to accept the fact that I will never ever again see another new episode of this fabulous drama, I might as well do it with a glass of wine in hand. What better wine to choose than the Downton Abbey wine itself. The Downton Abbey wine is a Bordeaux Claret blend from the Entre-Deux-Mers region of Bordeaux, France. As I mentioned in a previous post, Bordeaux wine is a blend of several different grape varietals that are grown in the Bordeaux region. Continue reading

Bottle of The Week- Garduno Vino de la Tierra de Castilla Cabernet Sauvignon 2014

Cabernet Sauvignon, one of the world’s most popular grapes, grown in virtually every wine producing region, from its original France to New Zealand and South Africa. The grape was created by a cross between the Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc during the 17th century. It is apparently a fairly easy grape to cultivate, I wouldn’t personally know because I’ve never actually cultivated grapes, which is the key attribute for its popularity and relative affordability. Your classic Cabernet Sauvignon will be full bodied, with high tannins and and acidity, which make it a great possibility for aging. Depending on the climate in which the grape is grown it can be anywhere from dry and spicy to slightly sweeter and fruity. Continue reading