Ciao! Hello to Italy

I’m not sure if you know this but when I got my Certified Sommelier Certification in 2017, I celebrated by taking a trip to Italy. It was amazing. I went with amazing people, the food was spectacular and the wine… well, the wine was out of this world. A lot of it was consumed.

Enjoying a glass of wine at the Villa in Tuscany

We stayed in the Villa at the Carpazo winery in Montalcino, in the province of Sienna in Tuscany. The views were spectacular and we enjoyed amazing wine every night.

Well, I would like to introduce you to a special lady, and I’m very blessed to call her a friend. This is Nancy, who is a wine rep with the company Univins.

My friend Nancy

This past week Nancy gave me some Italian wines to try. Oh My God, I’ve only had two of them so far, but they were amazing. I’ve never had them before, and I love trying new wines. I am so grateful for her sharing these wines with me, because so far, they’ve been unbelievably good.

Amazing Italian Reds

When we met up on Tuesday, I had planned to make pasta that evening. I love trying new wines, and regular readers of this blog know how much I love Ripasso. Nancy gave me 2 Ripasso wines and an Amarone, the king of Italian wines. I’ll tell you about that one in a bit.

My mid week treat

The story of Sartori dates back 120 years. They are located in Valpolicella, a region known for wine, olive and cherry trees. This wine, a spectacular value at $25, is made with 4 Italian grape varietals, Corvina, Corvinone, Rondinella, and Croatina. Ripasso means ‘to pass again’ and is a technique that’s been used for centuries in Valpollicella. The grape juice is ‘passed over’ Amarone must and skins to give it a more complex flavor. Sometimes called ‘Baby Amarone’ or ‘Poor Man’s Amarone’, I absolutely loved this wine. It was complex and interesting, with gorgeous flavours of dried fruits and spice. Which is why I had to enjoy it with my pasta mid week, but everyone deserves a treat mid week, right?

I always save really special wines to enjoy with special friends, and the Amarone Univins provided me was no exception.

My friend Angie

Regular readers of this wine blog know my friend Angie. We both share a love of red wine, so I wanted to share the special Amarone with her. It was her first time ever having Amarone, so what a treat that evening turned out to be. We enjoyed the 2016 vintage, and this wine still had lots of room for aging, if you wanted to keep it for a while.

Look at that gorgeous color. Amarone has been called the King of Italian wines for good reason. It gets its richness from the drying process, which lasts 3-4 months. This process is called appassimento or rasinate (to dry and shrivel) in Italian. This really accentuates flavor. Once the Amarone is pressed, the remaining pomace is used in the production of Ripasso Valpolicellas.

Sartori Amarone 2016

Amarone is a treat wine, but well worth the treat. It’s also a great wine for food. My co-worker Rick asked me this past week what would be a great wine to go with game meat, and this is perfect. It would have also been perfect with my meal from last Sunday.

Stuffed pork tenerloin

As a person who lives alone, I love it when grocery stores sell smaller pork tenderloins. Last Sunday I stuffed one and grilled to sear. Then finished it by using the BBQ as an oven. It turned out perfect, for me, I like my pork medium, so it’s perfect when I see pink. I sauteed onions, celery, carrots and apples in butter for a few minutes on the stove and then added it to bread crumbs with a bit of parmesan cheese. Yum!


With the price of gas all over Canada, it’s true, wine is cheaper than fuel. Even the treat wines. Also, restrictions here in Nova Scotia are lifting on Monday, and I’m hoping to get back to doing some wine tastings. Reach out if you are looking at a wine tasting this upcoming year and live in the Halifax area.

That’s it for me for this week. Till next week, Cheers


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