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I'd really love to offer you a glass or two of some of my favorite Tuscan or Piedmont reds. Unfortunately, unless you're on your way to Italy, that isn't possible. Don't worry though I have the next best thing lined up...photos of wines, vineyards and Italy. They may not have quite such a pleasant effect as a glass of the finest red but I do hope they'll bring a little bit of happiness to your day.
This is Italy's loveliest wine region and it isn't Tuscany. Now I know a lot of those Tuscanites will be writing to me and telling me I'm completely crazy...I'm not! Tuscany is beautiful, you'll get no argument from me there. Piedmont (read our guide) though has more rolling hills per square mile and ALL of them are covered with glorious vineyards.
Plus Piedmont's cuisine is superb - the best in Italy. It has been refined over centuries and every single dish has its matching wine. This isn't something that Piedmont's people learn in books. No, they just know it. They've perfected it over the centuries. You'll find wines you've never heard of brought out alongside dishes you've never heard of and once you've tried them you'll never forget them. I remember a meal at a huge family occasion I attended in the Langhe. They brought out 14 courses and 9 different wines!
Another one of the Langhe.
After Piedmont and Tuscany comes the Veneto in my list of premier Italian wine regions. There are so many great areas to explore within an hour or so of Venice. For a few ideas on exploring the various regions have a look at our suggestions - simply click here.
A huge bottle of Cesari's 1974, Sangiovese di Romagna. The sign said don't touch but all I wanted to do was drink!
How about a glass of this 1968 Drusian Valpolicella?
A fascinating shop in Verona selling all sorts of weird and wonderful wines that nobody has ever heard of...I love it!
I loved this entrance through the town walls of Marostica - it looked just like a wine bottle to me. Maybe I was just very thirsty at the time. Marostica (read our guide here) happens to be one of Italy's loveliest towns - you don't want to miss out on it next time you're in Italy.
I really liked this wine rack. I wanted to buy it. Wife Maria hated it. I didn't buy it.