Category Archives: Wine Column

Earthquake near wine producers expected to have minimal effect

By Justin Manjorin | Wine & Food Editor NAPA VALLEY, CALIF. This week the Napa Valley Vintners Association issued the following statement: “While some individual wineries may experience inventory shortages as a result of the earthquake, it is not expected to have a significant impact on the Napa Valley wine inventory in general.” As devastating as an earthquake may be, the timing of this one was good. The quake, which occurred around 3:30 a.m. on Sunday, did not result in the loss of any life. This would have been quite different if the event had occurred 24 hours later as the 2014 wine h…

Holy Wine, biscotti welcome visitors to Tuscany

By Justin Manjorin | Wine & Food Editor Drying grapes in Tuscany to make Vin Santo. Vin Santo or Holy Wine is the name for Italy’s famous sweet or Sherry-like dessert wine. Although produced in several areas of Italy, this wine is most often associated with Tuscany. Made primarily from two varieties of white grapes, Trebbiano and Malvasia, the wine can be straw colored to amber and when it is made with the addition of red wine grapes this style is called “eye of the partridge.” It is a rare style and I have never seen it. The wine can also range in taste from fairly dry (like Fino Sherry) to a s…

Stressed vines lead to excellent wines

By Justin Manjorin | Wine & Food Editor An uphill view of Montalcino Located about 75 miles south of Florence is the small medieval village of Montalcino, which produces one of Italy’s most prestigious wines Brunello di Montalcino. The village as you can see is at the top of a hill, about 2,000 feet high. This area is quite warm and dry and this stresses the vines, lowering yields and producing superior juice, which leads to excellent wines. In addition, the climate allows grapes to mature about a week earlier than those from Chianti and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. In the Northern Hemisp…

Straw-covered bottle of Chianti one of columnist’s earliest memories

By Justin Manjorin | Wine & Food Editor This is the first of at least two and probably three columns on the Tuscan Region of Italy. There is so much that can be written about this region! Allow me to offer a quick background and mention some of the grape varietals grown in this area. The above picture is a typical vineyard in the Chianti section of Tuscany. Located in Central Italy and bounded on the West by the Tyrrhenian Sea, Tuscany covers about 8,900 square miles and has a population almost 4 million. To most Americans, the name itself evokes images of rolling hills, vineyards, walled cities a…

Computer glitch affects column writing, but not wine drinking

By Justin Manjorin | Wine & Food Editor It has been more than two months since I last saw my computer. I just got it back and I can’t tell you how happy I am to be able to write my wine column again. Getting rid of the viruses that I acquired proved to be a nightmare. The removal process was simple but somehow all of the material stored on my hard drive was erased or mysteriously disappeared. Not the least of which were all prior articles for theCounty Compass. I wish everyone a very belated Happy New Year and hope that some of you will send me an e-mail describing what meals and wines you enjoyed over th…

Good wine in Italy produced near famous castle

By Justin Manjorin | Wine & Food Editor Castel Del Monte Puglia, Italy Apulia (Puglia), forms the heel of the Italian boot. Bounded by the Adriatic Sea, the Gulf of Taranto and the Ionian Sea, this area has a long history of wine production and other agricultural products dating back to Greek and Roman times. Often called Italy’s wine warehouse or wine cellar due to an annual production exceeding 200 million gallons, the wine from this area for many years was viewed as only suitable for blending, making Vermouth, or to produce industrial alcohol. It wasn’t unusual to achieve g…

Recommended red for Thanksgiving: 2013 Beaujolais Nouveau from Georges Deboeuf

By Justin Manjorin | Wine & Food Editor It seems as if it were yesterday that I was writing about wine and the Holidays and here they are rushing toward us like an express train coming to an intersection. With this in mind, I am taking a one-article break from our tour of the various regions of Italy but I am already researching the next region. (Hint: Think the heel of the boot.) This time of year not only brings us the Holidays but the annual release of Nouveau Beaujolais a light, fruity wine from the Burgundy area of France, but made with the Gamay grape. Thanksgiving and Christmas are the two most…

Fast cars, great food, Balsamic Vinegar, and famous Lambrusco wine

By Justin Manjorin | Wine & Food Editor BOLOGNA, ITALYWhile Italy rediscovers Cucina Povera (peasant cooking) and minimalist serving, Emilia Romagna has celebrated food for more than 700 years. Back then, the region and especially Bologna was known as La Grassa or plump due to the prosperity of the area. Hallmarks of this Italian region: Fast cars, great food, Balsamic Vinegar, and the famous Lambrusco wine! Emilia Romagna is the fourth largest region in Italy and one of the richest. This area is comprised of about half in plains — featuring extensive agricultural enterprises &…

Prosecco – the gem of Italy’s eastern Veneto region where Harry’s Bar originated

THE GRAND CANAL VENICE By Justin Manjorin | Food and Wine Editor Again, here I am writing about the Veneto Region of Italy. As you may remember from the last article, there are a number of large cities in this region, including Venice, which is one of my favorites! An incredible number of tourists visit Venice each year and until the recession of 2008 one of the main attractions was Harry’s Bar, which has worldwide fame. Started around 1930 with the repayment of a loan made to Harry Pickering by Giuseppe Cipriani, Harry’s Bar may still be owned by the Cipriani family although one or more len…

Columnist likes ‘Baby Amarone’ as alternative to more expensive older brother

St. Mark’s Square in Venice, part of Italy’s prolific wine-growing region known as Veneto. By Justin Manjorin | Wine & Food Editor My columns about Italy are becoming equal parts wine, food, and travel! Please continue to e-mail your questions, comments and suggestions. Because we live in a rural area, it can be difficult to find some of the wines that I mention. When you go to Raleigh or Greenville, there are wine stores that carry a larger selection. And, don’t forget that the small wine stores in our area have contact with the distributors. The diligent store owner will he…
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