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Mouthing Off

By the Editors of Food & Wine Magazine

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Wine Intel

Top American Winemakers to Collaborate on Limited Edition Bottles from Abroad

 

Some of the country's top wine talents, including F&W Winemakers of the Year 2012 Helen Keplinger and Aaron Pott, are hoping to crowdfund a genius new project with idealistic goals. If it can secure $5,000 more in Indigogo pledges by tomorrow, Wine for the World [http://www.wine4theworld.com/] will have raised $25,000 to send its first convoy of American winemakers to collaborate with promising, yet underrepresented vintners abroad. READ MORE>

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Wine Intel

Find Your Wine Style

Find Your Wine Style

Illustration © Alex Nabaum

Ask yourself two basic questions: How much do you like tart (acidic) flavors? Do you prefer lighter or richer foods? The answers will point you to a quadrant on this chart and help you find the type of wine that you'll like best.

Related: How to Find the Perfect Wine for You
Train Yourself to be a Better Wine Taster
Ultimate Guide to Wine Pairings

Ray Isle's Tasting Room

Wineries Not to Miss: Piedmont Picks

Wineries Not to Miss: Piedmont Picks

Photo © Martin Morrell

Piedmont, in northern Italy, is known for two things: wine and truffles. Traditionally, when people make pilgrimages to Piedmont, that’s why they come. They visit the vineyards and the wineries, they drink Barolo and Barbaresco, they eat pasta buried under snowdrifts of white truffle shavings and they laugh as they listen to that eerie whistling sound a bank account makes as it deflates, which is what happens when they pay for all those truffles. Here, wineries not to miss.

Giacomo Borgogno e Figli
At Borgogno, one of Piedmont’s oldest wineries (founded in 1761), a shop sells current bottles of its elegant Barolos, plus vintages going back to the 1960s. Cellar tours are just five euros. Via Gioberti 1, Barolo; borgogno.com.

Boroli
After tasting Boroli’s impressive Barolos and Barberas (make sure to try the single-vineyard Fagiani Barbera), travelers can eat at owner Achille Boroli’s nearby Michelin-starred restaurant, Locanda del Pilone. Fraz. Madonna di Como 34, Alba; boroli.it.

Michele Chiarlo
In 2011, this top producer opened the gorgeous Palas Cerequio resort adjacent to the renowned Cerequio vineyard. Guests can try excellent wines from the region, as well as Chiarlo’s own bottlings, in the on-site tasting room. Palas Cerequio, Borgata Cerequio, La Morra; palascerequio.com.

Elvio Cogno
Stop by this hilltop winery (tastings by appointment) for superb single-cru Barolos and a remarkable Barbera made from vines planted in the 1800s. Località Ravera 2, Novello; elviocogno.com.

Ceretto
Every wine made by this producer outside the town of Alba is impressive. So is the estate itself, which has a translucent, hemispherical tasting room that extends out over the vines, and a colorful chapel designed by artists Sol LeWitt and David Tremlett. Località San Cassiano 34, Alba; ceretto.com.

Fontanafredda
Unusual for top European wineries, the tasting room and shop here are open daily with no appointment necessary. Visitors can also take nature walks on the estate, originally a hunting retreat for King Vittoro Emanuele II. Via Alba 15, Serralunga d’Alba; fontanafredda.it.

Related: Bold Beers in the Land of Barolo

Ray Isle's Tasting Room

I ♥ Cabernet Franc

Cabernet Franc

Illustration © Alex Nabaum

I don’t understand why Cabernet Franc is less popular than its offspring, Cabernet Sauvignon—I love its herbal, tea-leaf scent, its lighter body and its vivid acidity. It grows well in a wide range of places, like France’s Loire Valley, northern Italy and Tuscany, California, Chile, even New York’s Finger Lakes. Here are three to try.

2010 Russiz Superiore Collio Cabernet Franc ($26) Friuli, in Italy, makes aromatic, medium-bodied, herbal Cabernet Francs. This one is a great example.

2010 Lang & Reed North Coast Cabernet Franc ($24) Bright berry flavors are the hallmark of this red from California Cabernet Franc specialist John Skupny.

2008 Arcanum Toscana ($100) A layered, complex Cab Franc blend from the vast Tenuta di Arceno estate in Tuscany; it more than rivals super-Tuscan bottlings of the same price.

Related: Ultimate Guide to Wine Pairings
French Wine Regions: The Loire Valley
F&W's Wine Tasting & Travel Guide

At-Home Sommelier

Almost-Extinct Grapes to Try Now

Winemakers across Europe have worked to save indigenous grape varieties from extinction, often bringing them back from a few surviving vines. Here are four to try.

Almost-Extinct Grapes

Illustration © Alex Nabaum

Malagousia
In the late 1970s, winemaker Vangelis Gerovassiliou of Greece helped rescue this silky variety from one remaining vine. Now, wineries around the country make wines with it. Bottle to Try: 2011 Zafeirakis Malagousia ($16)

Nascetta
Native to Italy’s Piedmont region, citrusy Nascetta was virtually gone when winemaker Valter Fissore of Elvio Cogno first started experimenting with it in the mid-1990s. Bottle to Try: 2011 Elvio Cogno Anas-Cëtta ($33)

Godello
Only a few hundred vines of this crisp, minerally white variety were left when Spanish vintners revived it; now there are more than 3,000 acres. Bottle to Try: 2011 Gaba do Xil Godello ($17)

Pecorino
A full-bodied white variety, Pecorino was thought to be extinct when a few final vines were found in the 1980s. Now it’s grown in much of central Italy. Bottle to Try: 2011 Velenosi Villa Angela ($15)

Related: More from F&W's May Issue: 5 Promising New Wine Regions
F&W's Wine Tasting & Travel Guide

Wine Intel

Wine Rivals Take it to the Court

© Michelle Pattee

As the Final Four prep for their games this weekend, here's a look at a friendlier basketball competition that's been going on between the staffs of two excellent Sonoma wineries: CrossBarn, owned by star winemaker Paul Hobbs, and culty Pinot Noir producer Kosta Browne. In this photo, the teams face off on a court whose perimeter is lined with barrels that were used for Kosta Browne's 2011 vintage.

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Ray Isle's Tasting Room

Superb Easter Wines under $15

At-Home Sommelier

4 Italian Wine Shops to Know

Italy by the Bottle

Photo © Richard Owyoung

Biondivino, San Francisco
The Russian Hill shop hosts frequent winemaker tastings and sells hard-to-find varietals and bottlings. biondivino.com.

Italian Wine Merchants, NYC
Specializes in rare, high-end wines and cellar management for collectors. italianwinemerchants.com.

DeLaurenti, Seattle
This shop has an impressive selection of half-bottles. delaurenti.com.

Wine Expo, Santa Monica, CA
This store and wine bar focuses on Italian and sparkling wines, especially inexpensive bottles. wineexpo.com.

Related: Italian Value Wines
An Italian Wine-Pairing Summit

Tasting Room

Ice Wine, That Peachy-Lychee-Tropical-Honeyed Nectar

Illustration by Kathryn Rathke.

Illustration by Kathryn Rathke.

Yes, it’s that time of year again, when hearty Ontario winemakers (and others) freeze their—well, their somethings—off, in order to bring you bottles of the sweet, unctuous liquid known as ice wine. Fantastic Ice Wines. »

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Tasting Room

Wine with Fajitas, Otherwise Known as “Fa-HEE-tas”

© Iain Bagwell. Food styling by Simon Andrews.

© Iain Bagwell. Food styling by Simon Andrews.

When it comes to pairing wine and fajitas—a situation that might occur for some people only after every last margarita on earth had been drained—here’s a general thought. Fajitas, which are typically served with onions, grilled bell peppers, cheese, pico de gallo, possibly guacamole, maybe sour cream and who knows what other fixings, fall into the broad pairing category of “It isn’t the meat, it’s the sauce (or condiments).” Essentially, you’re picking a wine to go with a mass of wildly different flavors. So you want one that goes with, more or less, anything. How to pick that fajita-pleasing wine. »

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Congratulations to Nicholas Elmi, winner of Top Chef: New Orleans, the 11th season of Bravo's Emmy-Award winning, hit reality series.

Run with chefs and wine experts in the Celebrity Chef 5K and dance all night at Gail Simmons’ Last Bite Dessert Party during the FOOD & WINE Classic in Aspen, June 20-22.