jamie goode's wine blog: I love Italy

Saturday, June 07, 2008

I love Italy

Back from Italy. We were only there a few days, but once again I've come away with a restless sort of feeling - I must explore Italy more deeply, and I must not be so neglectful of Italian wines.

I don't know why, but here in the UK there's a widespread ignorance and lack of interest in Italian wine. France gets the lion's share of coverage, but then countries such as Spain, Portugal and the 'new world' nations seem to be in front of Italy when it comes to the attention paid to their wines by the press and the serious wine drinking public.

Personally, I reckon Italy is full of interest, although - as with other wine countries - you've got to put a lot of hard work in finding the really great wines from among the dross. And I'd also say that many of the more expensive wines that hog the limelight aren't the real stars: there's a lot of spoofiness in Italy - the success of certain famous wine consultants making wines in a particular style is evidence of this.

So one of my missions over the next few months is to search for the 'real' Italy.

Pictured is the place Fiona and I were staying in: Poggio Alla Sala. Verdict? It would have scored 10/10 - it's a new, serious high-end hotel with impeccable service, luxurious high-ceilinged rooms, three swimming pools, a spa and a gorgeous hilltop location amid the vines of the Vino Nobile estate of the same name. The standard of finishing is stunning. However, it is still a work in progress, and while the main part of the resort is complete, there was some building work still going on. So, for this reason, we'd have to dock a point or two.

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At 11:06 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did you pick up the tab, or was this another freebie masquerading as a serious work trip?

At 4:10 PM, Blogger Jamie said...

Ouch! I picked up the tab. 185 Euros per night if you want to know the precise figure.

At 7:33 PM, Anonymous Sklenicka said...

"there's a widespread ignorance and lack of interest in Italian wine" - I have underestimated Italian wine and all Italian products until my first 3-weeks holidays in Tuscany. From then I love Italian wine, I wouldn't even be afraid to buy a Fiat :)

At 9:28 PM, Blogger David said...


for 1st class small grower italian lok no further then Ben Robson at the "Bat and Bottle" wine merchant in Oakham.

Really nice range of unusual stuff and particularly from Emilio Bulfon

I've got no relationship etc etc other than being a very happy customer!

At 1:24 PM, Anonymous Ane Miren said...

From here in Spain, our perception is that Spanish wines get very little coverage in both the traditional and online press. Maybe it's just that you really only register what you're looking for and the rest melds into one. I regularly read your blog and, offhand, I can't remember a single mention of a Spanish wine in the past few weeks (I'd nearly even venture to say months but I won't, just in case somebody goes to the bother to tally them up and I'm proved seriously wrong!)I think both Spain and Italy are seen as second tier when it comes to old world wines and don't get the attention they probably deserve.

At 2:55 PM, Anonymous keith prothero said...

Agree that Italian wine is slightly off the radar in the UK and I think part of the reason is there is so much of it and much is dross.
OK there is plenty of dross in South Africa for example but as there are only about 300 or so serious wineries,it is relatively easy to sort out the good from the average.
Also so many of the well known Italian wines are overpriced although I am sure there is great value if one could be bothered to look.


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