Joe Bastianich Knows Italian Wine Like Nobody's Business

on 29/11/10 at 6:26 pm

Gift Guide, Wine

Joseph Bastianich is steeped in Italian wines like no one else. Not only is he the co-owner, with Mario Batali, of some of America’s premier Italian restaurants, but he also produces wine on four separate estates—three in Italy—and is responsible for bringing Eataly, the groundbreaking artisanal Italian food and wine marketplace, to New York. His thoughtfully honed list of favorite wines makes for a fascinating journey that brings Italian wines to life.

Grandi Vini
introduces readers to the greatest wines in Italy by bringing them to the vineyards and introducing the winemakers behind the bottles. More than simply appealing to the palate, the wines on Joe’s list have made an impact on the industry.  In Central Italy, he recommends a stunning Sangiovese in Emilia Romagna, produced at San Patrignano, the largest drug rehabilitation center in Europe. The island of Sicily is typically known for bulk commercial wine; but now, in the unique terroir of Mount Etna, wine lovers can discover the perfectly fresh, dry white Pietramarina, produced by the forward-thinking Benati family. And we can’t forget the great Barolos. Bastianich selects a specific list of wines from this legendary production region—some of which come from family outfits, like Barolo Rocche dell’Annunziata Riserva of Paolo Scavino, by the son of the winery’s founder; and others that have emerged only recently, like the Barolo Cannubi Boschis made by Luciano Sandrone, a winemaker who only started producing great wine in the 1990s.

Grandi Vini also includes a wine list in the back of the book that shares vinification, production, and website information for every wine. With lovely hand-illustrated maps locating the wineries in their various regions, Grandi Vini is a rich exploration of eighty-nine Italian wines that rank among the world’s best—a wonderful read for any wine enthusiast. (Amazon product review)

“Joseph Bastianich’s very provocative, enthusiastic, and personal look at Italy’s greatest wines is a must-purchase for all wine enthusiasts.”
–Robert M. Parker, Jr.

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