Let’s Talk Italian

As you can see Italian labels can often be cryptic.

Are you under the impression that all wine from Italy is bottled in jugs? Maybe you are thinking the only wine Italy produces in Chianti. Or possibly Italy’s best wines are all red. You are in for a huge surprise. Italy has built a reputation as a world-class producer of fine wines. In terms of varietals Barbera, Sangiovese, Nebbiolo, Dolcetto, Trebbiano, Pinot Grigio, Vernaccia, Tocai, Friulano, etc. the list is huge!

This extended show will give you a glimpse into the wonderful, exciting and tasty world of Italian wines. John Downing of Hi-Time Wine Cellars is back to discuss the many wine growing regions of Italy.

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Show #5
(39:18 min 18 MB)

9 Responses to “Let’s Talk Italian”

  1. 1 Jack in Oregon Feb 6th, 2005 at 6:07 pm

    Great show on Italians. I have ben drinking a good bit of inexpensive but wonderful Montepulciano D’Ambruzzo of a couple different vintners.

    I was interested to learn that this is made from the sangiovese grape as is chianti, one of my favorites. I would be interested in hearing from Jim Downing on a later show about the great Montepulcianos available ( around here anyway) for under $10.

    I used to drink a wine at an italian restaurant called Chiantini ( ?) or something like that… perhaps another diminuitive of Chianti…??? I’d love the hear more about that also.

    Thanks for asking the dumb questions! I love hearing a good explanation of tannin vs acid, and have never heard it put so well as did Jim on this most recent show. Please never assume we liusteners know anything! We probably don’t!

    Keep up the great programming. Let me know if you ever decide to showcase some Oregon wines… I’m a big fan of our local Pinot Noir.

    Jack M in Portland, Oregon

  2. 2 Brian Feb 6th, 2005 at 8:12 pm


    I am glad you enjoyed the Italian show. I am sure Jim will be back at some time in the future.

    Good timing for the Oregon Pinot request. We have Greg Sanders owner of White Rose Wines (Oregon Pinot maker) coming on the show Monday.

    Let us know what you think of the show.


  3. 3 Rene Feb 9th, 2005 at 9:50 pm

    John talked about a lot of diferent wine regions in the show. I am just getting started in wine. How should I get started, should I go with a particular region or brand of wine?

  4. 4 Steve Feb 11th, 2005 at 1:25 pm

    HI guys,

    Great show, keep up the great work. I’m a beer snob expanding my horizons and you all are a huge help.

    Quick question for you. During a trip to Italy a few years back, we picked up a few bottles of wine to bring back. Obviously, they didn’t last too long (a nice Pinot Grigio if I remember). We found the same wine at the local retail and bought some more. We were disappointed that the taste wasn’t the same (I know different vintages, different tastes) but we noticed there was a preservative or something that was in the US bought wine that was not in the wine that we brought back from Italy. So, the question is, was it all in our mind, did that preservative make a difference?



  5. 5 Jay Selman Feb 11th, 2005 at 2:58 pm

    Rene, I spoke to John today and mentionedin order to help you, he needs to get a bit more information from you in order to get you started. Would you mind contacting me so we can discuss it further?


  6. 6 Glenn Mar 12th, 2005 at 7:57 pm

    Hi Guys– I just discovered and downloaded a your shows and really enjoyed the Italian wine talk. I also would like to hear more on Montepulciano. I’ve always found it to be great table wine at great prices–often under $10 (here in Baltimore). I was in Italy a couple years ago and it was thought of very highly there and recommended in a number or restaurants.

    I also liked the long format. That’s beauty of podcasting, and you shouldn’t feel like you need to watch the clock. People can always skip ahead if they get bored. There is a local show here on WYPR called “Cellar Notes” ( http://www.wypr.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=features&id=3 ). They do a great job, but it’s only 5 minutes a couple times a week. Pretty limiting. It’s refreshing to hear you talk at length about wine, and I’ve yet to get bored. Keep it up!

  7. 7 Katie Dec 5th, 2005 at 12:57 pm

    Just got hooked on your podcast, so I’m going backwards now through your old shows. Then I saw that the first person to post a comment for this show (Jack) mentioned he was drinking some Montepulciano D’Abruzzi wines.
    He confused them, however, with the wine you guys were discussing, VINO NOBILE DE MONTEPULCIANO. The wine he’s enjoying is NOT made with Sangiovese grapes, like a Chianti, but rather with the Montepulciano grape.
    It is commonly found near Abruzzo…nowhere near the Tuscan region.
    Just thought I could help clarify even though the post is now nearly a year old!

  8. 8 GrapeRadio Crew Dec 5th, 2005 at 1:05 pm

    Wow! I am impressed. I must confess I am dismayed that you are going backwards. We will get worse as you travel back in time, so do not be too hard on us.


  9. 9 Jen York Jun 29th, 2009 at 2:29 pm

    Let’s talk Italian – what are your thoughts on prosecco vs champagne? I know they are made much the same way, but I personally have been finding prosecco is not only cheaper, but it lacks the sweetness of many champagnes. Can anyone recommend a good one?

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