Italy Grog Files

Italy

Reglis Ortaglia (dessert)

Type: Wine (dessert)

Rating: 4 sheets to the wind

Website: http://www.ortaglia.it/eng/ortaglia.html (link)

Notes: A few years back we’re on our honeymoon in Italy.  We get to Tuscany and to make a long story short, our first evening we spend relaxing in our private Jacuzzi at our B&B with a perfect Tuscan sunset in the background dipping below the vineyard.  We decide, “what the heck right?  Let’s raid the mini-fridge.”  Lo and behold we find a desert wine in there, so score!

We had NO IDEA what we were getting ourselves into.

That wine was amazing.  It was so amazing that the very next morning…

Greg: Priorities people! It was our honeymoon!

…we asked the owner of the B&B where he got the wine.  We come to find out it’s his, as the B&B is “just his hobby.”  His job is as a wine exporter to the US.

Yeah, that’s cool.

We bought him out.  His fridge, his backups, we even took the bottles from the other rooms!  Every.  Single.  Bottle.  That we could lay our hands on, we crammed into our bags.  About 12 bottles in all.  (It was a B&B, not a hotel.)  Our wedding reception, taking place after our honeymoon, was originally supposed to be a “dry party.”  It was … mostly and as you can see from Greg’s sister in the picture, the wine was well received.

So an amazing dessert wine that is from Tuscany and cheap enough that two ensigns can afford to purchase 12 bottles on a whim without going broke after paying for their honeymoon.  Excellent all around.

 

Crociani

Crociani wine

Type: Super Tuscan

Rating: 3 sheets to the wind

Website: http://www.crociani.it/storia.en.php  

Notes: Still on our honeymoon, we wanted to start a family tradition: find a wine we enjoy and buy 3 bottles of it.  Drink one immediately (yay!) one in five years for our anniversary and one in ten years on our anniversary.

Basically we wanted to try out the wine aging process and have a fun tradition. Being as dessert wine doesn’t age well this really forced us to begin to explore reds.  The Super Tuscan is a style of blended wine that Tuscany takes very seriously (as they invented it) and we went with that.  At the time, we found the super Tuscans to be too strong, too much tannin, too much in our face (it should be noted we were younger then and not experienced with reds).  Of the wines we tasted, Crociani 2001 was our agreed favorite.  A strong red, but not painfully strong.  We remember it being good, solid with a lot flavor that didn’t attack our tongues.  We opened the 5 year bottle a few years back and found it to have mellowed and become a smoother wine while retaining its excellent flavor.  How much of that was the wine ageing and how much it was us aging we’ll probably never know.  As for the 10 year bottle, we’ll let you know when we open it.

 

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