Winefriend by David Way

Writing about the wines of Piemonte, Italy and France


The wines of the Veneto

Tank fermented wines

Italian bubbles

Last night’s tasting with Andover Wine Friends reviewed Italy’s sparkling wines – the everyday bottles (basically tank-fermented) and the special occasion bottles (traditional method with classic varieties). Here is the line up for tank fermented: Passerina (example of a local variety, here from the Marche), Lambrusco, top quality Prosecco Superiore and delightful, inexpensive Asti.    

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Grand Hotel Savoia

Spectacular Cortina d’Ampezzo

Photoblog – Spectacular Cortina d’Ampezzo VinoVIP 2017 was held at Cortina d’Ampezzo high in the Dolomites in northeast Italy. I have written about the conference but one of the real draws is the spectacular location.  Let’s get in the mood with a photo gallery and, below, a video of the panorama.   Video of the panorama

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Taking the temperature of Italian wine

Taking the temperature of Italian wine: VinoVIP July 2017 Recently I was a guest of the Italian wine magazine, Civiltà del Bere (English website here), at VinoVIP 2017, held in spectacular Cortina d’Ampezzo, high in the Dolomites.   You can see my pictures of Cortina here.  I contributed to a session on Communicating Complexity (of

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Bertani plus

State of the Amarone nation

Amarone – the grand wine made by the semi-dried (passito) grapes method within the Valpolicella region – is riding on the crest of a wave. It seems that we northern Europeans and Americans love its rich, dried fruit character and accessible structure. This can be seen from the enormous success of the related Ripasso style

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Pink Sicilian prawns

Drinking Quintarelli’s legendary Valpolicella in Verona

Eating out in Verona during Vinitaly is a bit of a challenge. 50,000 visitors descend on a small city already quite full of young tourists, all wanting to eat out, all wanting to drink something special.  Our solution is to cross the Adige river which encloses the historic centre and walk to Veronetta, just beyond the

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Longparish’s Italian tour

I love writing pieces for this website but just occasionally it is good to have another voice, somebody else takes on a tasting. So here is the view of Tim Pierce, owner of GrapeExpectations, on the giro d’Italia which I led with his wines. It was a real pleasure to be in Longparish, just outside

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The Italian road less travelled

Recently, because of studying for wine exams, I have had to concentrate on tasting mainstream, commercial wines.  If it isn’t ‘widely available and commercially important’   sadly it isn’t high on my current list of priorities.  This is a complete volte-face for me.  Normally, I would seek out the local varieties and ignore the Cabernets, Chardonnays

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Blind tasting masochism?

Andover Wine Friends unusually had a fine wine supper in August … and also, atypically, indulged in a bit of blind tasting masochism.  Speaking for myself I normally enjoy the considerable challenge of blind tasting, even though it is a very artificial exercise.  This is not just for the rare moments of triumph when you

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Rare Italian varieties

It is a great moment when a book is published which genuinely marks a substantive change in our knowledge. For decades, wine people have been dependent on Hugh Johnson and Jancis Robinson’s The world atlas of wine and the same team’s Oxford companion to wine as their basic reference books.  Oz Clarke and Margaret Rand

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Things can only get better

May’s BBC 1 – bring any quality bottle or the odd joker and taste them blind  – threw up a distinctly mixed bag.  The whites in general,, unusually, did not shine, the one sparkling wine met a distinctly mixed reception and the evening was saved by good company and a high standard in the reds. 

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