Touring, Tasting and Buying in the Most Beautiful Wine
By Ornella D'Alessio and Marco Santini
by Sylvie Greil
great wines coming out of New Zealand, South Africa and Chile,
Europe’s long-standing monopoly has gotten a bit corky.
Yet even without Euro-centric bias, you’d have to concede
that the Old World is the birthplace of the vine. And we’re
certainly not going to get into an argument over entitlement in
the face of a beautiful work that lovingly trails, via twenty
itineraries, the terroir of European wine-producing regions “from
Champagne to Chianti, Douro to the Rhine, Slovenian Collio to
Europe also had to give up the privilege of being the one and
only civilized cradle, where serious-about-culture, self-respecting
Americans hone their skills (whether writing the next big novel
or learning to handle knife and fork properly), there are still
plenty reasons to visit, as Wine Country Europe points
out. Where else in the world can you taste a Chenin Blanc in calcareous
tufa grottos other than in the French village of Vouvray? Or how
about sipping pretty near a Teutonic monastery in South Tyrol’s
Alto Adige, a region of hills bucolically blanketed by vines?
Nor can you beat flower-framed temple ruins in Sicily. En route
you get to know winemakers of ancient wineries, find out where
the locals feast and, most importantly, what labels to look for.
Even lodging ideas are suggested.
you embark on imaginary travels in your armchair or actually buy
a plane ticket, we dare you to experience the “bull’s
blood of Eger,” an intense wine from Hungary, or take part
in the opening ritual of a new vintage in Portugal that involves
a trick with fiery hot tongs.
authors, being Italian, unapologetically included six Italian
wine regions and six from France (of course) but skimped a bit
on other countries like Germany, Austria, Portugal and Hungary.
But we weren’t looking for a comprehensive tome. Wine Country
Europe works perfectly as an aperitif, to get you started. It
delivers aromas and flavors that whet your appetite and set you
yearning for the old countries. If anything, you’ll walk
away with a shopping list of fine European wines.
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