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One of Italy’s great glories, the Nebbiolo variety has been around since Roman days – Pliny may even have invented the name, which most people say comes from “nebbia”, the Italian word for “fog”. Nebbiolo ripens late and Italy’s north-western corner (Nebbiolo’s heartland) lies just south of the Alps, so fog is common during harvest. Others will tell you that the name comes from the amount of “bloom” on the grape skins, which looks ...

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Green Wine

This month, we’re celebrating Organic September, an organic food and drink promotion across Britain. So what does “organic” mean when it comes to wine? 

Like any other organic farming, organic viticulture follows strict rules about what you can and can’t put on the soil or the plants, or into the finished product: no synthetic herbicides or pesticides (though copper sulphate is allowed in the vineyard to combat the worst types of mould) and no ...

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Sangiovese: a Very Varied Variety

Sangiovese is, as I’m sure you know, the main grape variety of Chianti (minimum 80%) and several other Tuscan wines. It also produces single-varietal wines in Emilia-Romagna, Corsica, California and several other places.

But it’s not always called Sangiovese. In fact, it goes under several pseudonyms, even in the same vineyard region, just to be confusing. The best known are Sangioveto, Brunello, Sangiovese Grosso, Prugnolo Gentile, Morellino, Sangiovese Romagnolo, Nielluccio and Ciliegiolo. (Except that Ciliegiolo is now proved ...

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Does Low Sulphite Wine Prevent a Hangover?

Imagine being able to indulge in your favourite Chianti all evening and wake up the next morning feeling fantastic. A far-fetched concept indeed, as enjoying a good bottle of wine is rarely a consequence-free affair. 

But to what extent does the quality of the wine affect the seemingly inevitable after effects?  Could it be that lowering the sulphites in your wine you could be in for a ...

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The Secrets of Good Wine

Here’s a question – why is it that some wines are considered to be so much better than others?  More specifically, what are the secrets behind the most enjoyable, delicious and downright decadent wines money can buy?

Contrary to popular belief, there isn’t actually any specific ‘secret’ to good wine. Instead, it’s a case of several critical contributory factors determining the quality of the final product. The ‘Four Pillars’ of ...

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How is Organic Wine Made?

So many of us are now turning to organic products for reasons of ethics, nutritional value, and of course, taste. And organic wine is becoming ever more popular among those who wish to enjoy a high quality wine which is more naturally produced. 

Many of those who abstain from organic do so due to cost concerns, though the vast majority of those who sample high-end organic produce admit there’s really no comparison.

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