Italian Wine For Dummies

Italian Wine For Dummies

by Mary Ewing-Mulligan, Ed McCarthy


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"A must-have book for anyone who is serious about Italian wines."
—Lidia Bastianich, host of PBS's Lidia's Italian Table

"I have yet to encounter more knowledgeable guides to...Italian wine."
—Piero Antinori, President, Antinori Wines

"Bravo to Ed and Mary! This book shows their love for Italy, the Italian producers, and the great marriage of local foods with local wines. Here is a great book that presents the information without intimidation."
—Piero Selvaggio, VALENTINO Restaurant

Right now, Italy is the most exciting wine country on earth. The quality of Italian wines has never been higher and the range of wines has never been broader. Even better, the types of Italian wines available outside of Italy have never been greater. But with all these new Italian wines and wine zones not to mention all the obscure grape varieties, complicate blends, strange names and restrictive wine laws. Italian wines are also about he most challenging of all to master. The time has come for comprehensive, up-to-date guides to Italian wines.

Authored by certified wine educators and authors Ed McCarthy and Mary Ewing-Mulligan, Italian Wine For Dummies introduces you to the delectable world of fine Italian wine. It shows you how to:

  • Translate wine labels
  • Identify great wine bargains
  • Develop your own wine tastes
  • Match Italian wines with foods

Here's everything you need to know to enjoy the best Tuscans, Sicilians, Abruzzese and other delicious Italian wines. This lighthearted and informative guide explores:

  • The styles of wine made in Italy and the major grape varieties used to make them
  • How the Italian name their wines, the complicated laws governing how names are given and the meanings of common label terminology
  • Italy's important wine regions including a region-by-region survey of the best vineyards and their products
  • A guide to pronouncing Italian wine terms and names and how to order Italian wines in restaurants

For Italians, wine (vino) is food (alimentari) and food is love (amore). And you can never have enough love in your life. So, order a copy of Italian Wine For Dummies, today and get ready to share the love!

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780764553554
Publisher: Wiley
Publication date: 01/28/2001
Series: For Dummies Books
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 650,256
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Mary Ewing-Mulligan and Ed McCarthy co-authored the bestselling Wine For Dummies. Mary, the only woman Master of Wine in the U.S., owns International Wine Center, a New York wine school. Ed also wrote Champagne For Dummies.

Table of Contents


About This Book.

PART I: The Big Picture of Italian Wine.

PART II: The Wine Regions of Northern Italy.

PART III: The Wine Regions of Central Italy.

PART IV: The Wine Regions of Southern Italy.

PART V: The Part of Tens.

PART VI: Appendixes.

Icons Used in This Book.

PART I: The Big Picture of Italian Wine.

Chapter 1: Born to Make Wine.

Wine to Boot.

From the Alps to almost Africa.

Diverse conditions, diverse wines.

Italian Wine Styles Today.

The Italian prototype.

Red, white, and beyond.

Chapter 2: Grapes from Near and Far.

Italy's Curious Varieties.

Native talents.

Immigrants and migrants.

The Major Grapes.

Reds aplenty.

Over-achieving whites.

Chapter 3: The Language of the Label.

The Name Game.

The DOC calls.

Non-DOC/G wines.

Putting faith in the DOC.

Common Wine Label Words.

PART II: The Wine Regions of Northern Italy.

Chapter 4: The Wines of Piedmont.

The Majesty of Piedmont.

The wines of Piedmont.

The grapes of Piedmont.

Wines of the Alba Area.



Barbera, Dolcetto, and Nebbiolo of Alba.

Roero and Roero Arneis.

Other DOC wines of Alba.

Visiting the Alba-Asti area.

The Wines of Southeastern Piedmont.

Asti DOCG.

Barbera d'Asti.

Other varietal wines.

Gavi DOCG.

Other wines of Piedmont's southeast.

Northern Piedmont.

Carema and Caluso.

Vercelli and Novara hills wines.

Other Piedmont Wines.

Chapter 5: Other Northwest Regions.

Alpine Valle d'Aosta.

Red wines from cool climes.

Regional and varietal wines.

Liguria: The Riviera.

Liguria's vineyards and wines.

Ligurian wine producers.

Chapter 6: North-Central Italy.

Lombardy Has It All.

The Valtellina: Nebbiolo's most austere face.

Oltrepó Pavese: Sparkling wines and more.

Franciacorta: Sparklers with style.

Lake Garda's vineyards.

Other Lombardy DOC wines.

Emilia-Romagna: One Region, Really Two.

Emilia's beloved Lambrusco.

The hillside wines of Emilia.

The wines of Romagna.

Chapter 7: Northeastern Italy.

Trentino-Alto Adige: One Region, Two Cultures.

The wines of Alto Adige.

The wines of Trentino.

Veneto: Verona to Venice.

Verona's major wines.

Wines of the Central Hills.

Wines of eastern Veneto.

Friuli-Venezia Giulia: The Great White Way.

The wines of Friuli.

Other Friuli DOC wines.

PART III: The Wine Regions of Central Italy.

Chapter 8: The Wines of Tuscany.

The Big Picture of Tuscany.

The Land of Chianti.

The range of Chianti wines.

Chianti Classico.


Pomino, San Gimignano, and other Chianti neighbors.

Monumental Montalcino.

Brunello di Montalcino.

Other wines of Montalcino.

The "Noble Wine" of Montepulciano.

Other Montepulciano DOC wines.

Montepulciano-area producers.


Super-Tuscan Wines—The Winds of Change.

Tuscany's "Hot" Coast.


Val di Cornia.

Grosseto's new frontier.

Other Tuscan Wines.

Chapter 9: The Wines of Central Italy.

Umbria: The Inland Region.



Sagrantino di Montefalco.

Umbria's other DOC wines.

Recommended Umbrian wineries.

Marches, on the Adriatic.


Rosso Cònero and Rosso Piceno.

Marche's other DOC wines.

Marche wines to buy.

Mountainous Abruzzo.

Abruzzo's vineyards and wines.

Abruzzo wines worth buying.

Forgotten Molise.

Molise's two DOC wines.

The lone Molise wine producer.

Latium: Rome's Region.

Frascati and company, from Rome's hills.

Northern Latium wines.

Latium's South Coast.

Southeast Latium.

Latium wine producers.

PART IV: The Wine Regions of Southern Italy.

Chapter 10: The Wines of Southern Italy.

Campania: Revival Begins.

The wines of Avellino.

Wines of the coastal hills and islands around Naples.

Southern Campania.

Campania's northern hills.

Campania wines worth buying.

Apulia: Italy's Wine Barrel.

The Salento Peninsula.

The "Trulli" district.

Central Puglia.

The northern plains.

Recommended Puglia producers.

Mountainous Basilicata.

Aglianico del Vulture.

Basilicata brands to buy.

Rugged Calabria.


Other Calabrian wines.

Calabrian wines to buy.

Chapter 11: Sicily and Sardinia.

Sicilia Leaves the Past.

Sicily's vineyards and wines.

A Sicilian wine shopping list.

Sardinia Stands Alone.

Sardinia's vineyards and wines.

Sardinian wines to seek.

PART V: The Part of Tens.

Chapter 12: Ten Commonly-Asked Questions about Italian Wines.

Why Are Italian Wines So Much Better with Food?

What Are Super-Tuscan Wines?

Why Does the Italian Government Tell Producers How to Make Their Wines?

What's the Difference Between DOC and Non-DOC Wines?

What's the Best All-Purpose Italian Red Wine?

Isn't Southern Italy Too Hot for Making Wine?

Which Are Better: "Traditional" or "Modern" Italian Wines?

What Are Barriques, and Why Are They Controversial?

Why Do Italian Wines Have Such Strange Names?

Why Are Italian Wines Less Prestigious Than French Wines?

Chapter 13: Ten Common Italian Wine Myths Exposed.

Chianti Is an Inexpensive, Commercial Wine.

Italian Wines Should Be Enjoyed with Italian Food.

Pinot Grigio Is One of Italy's Best Wines.

Italy's Best Wines Are All Red.

Marsala Is Cooking Wine.

White Italian Wines All Taste Alike.

Non-DOC Wines Are Better Than DOC Wines.

Spumante Is Sweet.

Soave and Valpolicella Are Low-Quality Wines.

Montepulciano d'Abruzzo and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Are Made from the Same Grape.

PART VI: Appendixes.

Appendix A: Pronunciation Guide to Italian Wine Names and Terms.

Appendix B: Italian Wine Vintage Chart: 1980 to 1999.


Book Registration Information.

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