Posts Filed Under Italian Wine

WOLVERINES! (Talking Albarossa For

Vinted on November 1, 2017 binned in Italian Wine

Red Dawn

For my latest installment over at, we go in-depth on Incrocio Dalmasso XV-31, better known as Albarossa… as in Red DawnWOLVERINES!!!

The Albarossa grape has a history that winds almost as much as the roads throughout the Piedmont hillsides, and in its own inimitable, roundabout way ended up achieving what its creator set out to accomplish, though not exactly in the way that he intended. All of which is just so adorably typical of Monferrato.

If you’re interested in learning what this iteration of Red Dawn can do for you, check out the full story via the link below (invasions and grenades not required):






Like A True Nature’s Child (Exploring The Wildness Of Grignolino)

Vinted on September 13, 2017 binned in Italian Wine, learning wine


My latest article for the online celebration of all things vinous in Monferrato,, is now available; and in it, I explore the born-to-be-wildness of one of Italy’s most unsung fine wine grapes, Grignolino.

If you’ve never tried a good Grignolino before, you’re un-enviably currently missing out, but are enviably in for a real treat – it’s one of the most unique red wine drinking experiences you’re likely to have, and therefore one of the most geekily memorable, as well.

Hit up the link below for the full article. When you’re finished reading, if you find yourself feeling the kind of thirst that only a Grignolino is gonna quench, I suggest hunting for one from Vini Evasio Garrone, based in Grana. They won’t be easy to find, but they’re worth the effort. One of that family-run business’  head-honchos, Dante Garrone, is a tireless champion of the grape; he also happens to be a good guy and a serious Raiders of the Lost Ark fan…






Contact Points (A Decade Of Cà Maiol’s Molin Lugana)

Vinted on August 17, 2017 binned in elegant wines, Italian Wine, on the road, sexy wines, wine review
Cà Maiol sparkling on lees

Lugana bubbles on the riddling rack at Cà Maiol

Walter Contato knew potential when he saw it.

Like an inordinate number of Italians before and after him, this successful Milan-born businessman took holidays in the sometimes-too-charming-for-words (as in, how-the-hell-are-we-gonna-get-the-car-through-these-narrow-Medieval-streets?!?? levels of charming) Lake Garda town of Sirmione. As an inordinate number of successful white businessmen seem to want to still do, Contato eventually decided that he wanted to become a wine producer, and chose the site of his presumably favorite vacation spot – home to the Lugana wine region – as the place he would try his vinous hand.

It worked out; Contato eventually went on to help establish the Consorzio Tutela Lugana (still in existence today). In the 1990s, he handed over the reigns of his wine venture, Cà Maiol, to his mellifluously-named sons Fabio and Patrizia.

Contato picked a great spot, from a wine-growing perspective; the nearby Dolomites protect the vineyard area (now measuring about 100 hectares in Lugana) from the cold winds coming out of the north. They vineyards sit on enviable calcareous soils. They even have the requisite Older Building, erected in the early 1700s.

I visited Cà Maiol as part of a Lugana-area media jaunt, but I’d had ample access to one of the company’s flagship Lugana releases – Molin – long before that, during previous visits to the region, L’Anteprima Lazise, and even as part of library tastings during that most recent tour. And so I thought that I’d share a bit of perspective on how the Molin fares in bottle over a decade or more (SPOILER ALERT: it fares well)…

Read the rest of this stuff »




Aces In The Hole (A Nizza DOCG Deep-dive For

Vinted on August 8, 2017 binned in Italian Wine, wine publications
Nizza DOCG


The latest article in my storytelling Monferrato journey is now available over at, and in it we take a deeper dive directly into the terroir (and I mean down to the dirt level!) of the venerable Nizza DOCG.

Those of you who have been following along with my Northern Italian antics might recall that we already compared Nizza Barbera wines to James Bond, and I need to warn you that I inject that comparison with a healthy dose of prose steroids in this most recent piece. You have been warned.

What I didn’t have opportunity to dig into during the penning of this article was the specifics of my personal experience with older Nizza wines, which came via the excellent talents (and, thankfully, well-stocked wine library) of the venerable Tenuta Olim Bauda. I close with a handful of pics from my 2016 visit to that beautiful estate, ostensibly to increase whatever jealous rage I’ve already induced by mentioning the library tasting (warning, cute winery-dog-eating-grapes included)…





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