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What We Drank Last Week: Quarantine Chronicles, Volume 5.

Here they are - aren't they beautiful?

From left to right, in no particular order:

2014 Nativ, Taurasi "Rue 333" (Campania, Italy)

2019 Vera, Vinho Verde (Minho, Portugal)

2014 Di Majo Norante, Aglianico del Molise "Contado" (Molise, Italy)

2018 Villa Sparina, Barbera del Monferrato (Piedmont, Italy)

2017 Azienda Agricola Sofia, Etna Rosso "Gioacchino" (Sicily, Italy)

2015 Casa de Mouraz, Encruzado Vinho Branco (Dāo, Portugal)

2016 Tikveš, Vranec Special Selection (Tikveš Region, Macedonia)

We know what you are thinking ... "man, you Vino Vistas people drink entirely way too much Italian wine!". It's true, we do have a lot of it hanging around our house and for good reason - we love it!

There was lots to love about every single one of these bottles, but one absolutely shined brighter than the rest of the lot - the Etna Rosso. Wow. Wines from Sicily (specifically the Etna production area) have become "hot" in the wine community during recent years so we have been trying to follow that trend to see what it is all about. When we opened this Etna Rosso (SommSelect - $29), it was stunning all around. Because we want you to fully understand the beauty of this wine, we are going to cheat a bit and give you Ian Cauble's (founder of SommSelect) own description:

"A veritable explosion of highly-perfumed aromatics power out of a large Burgundy glass: black raspberry liqueur, redcurrant, dried plum, black cherries, hot volcanic rock, dusty earth, lavender, rose oil, leather, and various exotic spices. The palate is a huge tour-de-force, but for all its brawn and power there is extreme, long-lasting finesse in each sip. Each broad layer shows impressive focus, tension, and unmistakable minerality that steers you right towards high-altitude Etna."

What he writes about this wine is exactly what made us go bonkers for it when tasted it last week. At $29, this wine is no bargain, but to get this kind of personality and quality in a wine from more prestigious regions around the globe, you can easily put a much bigger dent in your wallet. If you feel like treating yourself a little and haven't ordered anything from SommSelect, give them a try. We have been really impressed with the quality of every single wine that we have opened.

These other wines were also fantastic - the Barbera (bought locally - $12) was bursting with flavor, the Taurasi (WTSO - $18) was terrific, the Vinho Verde (Farmer's Market - $8) was a perfect afternoon sip in the sun, and then the Macedonian wine (Farmer's Market - $11). Who has even had wine from here before? We certainly hadn't until last week! Without question, this wine had the most unique flavors of all the wines we have had recently. It poured a deep ruby red in the glass, almost black, but the mouthfeel and texture were lighter than we would have expected. It had an earthiness and funkiness that we often associate with our local wine region here in North Georgia. If you’ve ever had North Georgia wines (State of Georgia), you know what we are talking about, and you either love it or hate it. This Macedonian wine had similar qualities, but on a much more subtle scale that enhanced the taste, and made you want more.  

There you have it. Share your great discoveries with us - we would love to know what you are drinking as well!

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