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Grandi Vini: An Opinionated Tour of Italy's 89 Finest Wines Hardcover – November 9, 2010

11 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Joseph Bastianich's very provocative, enthusiastic, and personal look at Italy's greatest wines is a must-purchase for all wine enthusiasts."
--Robert M. Parker, Jr.

"It is difficult to be objective when talking about one’s offspring, but unequivocally Joseph Bastianich, my son, has one of the premium wine palates in the industry. His infinite passion for wine is evident in every word he writes about it, in every sip he takes, and in every bottle he makes. Grandi Vini, eighty-nine wine stops through Italy with Joe, is definitely a trip worth taking."
--Lidia Bastianich

"Joe has created a greatest hits list of many of my favorite wines but also added delicious illumination with wines I was not familiar with--and that are now on my must-drink list. Reading Grandi Vini is like being a member of a secret wine geek club with access to the previously private whole magilla on the modern Italian wine world."
--Mario Batali

"A compelling read that brings Italy’s most important wines to life, Grandi Vini is a must-have book for anyone serious about Italian wine."
--Antonio Galloni, The Wine Advocate

About the Author

JOSEPH BASTIANICH is America’s foremost authority on Italian wine. The co-owner, with Mario Batali, of several of the most acclaimed Italian restaurants in the United States and the co-founder of Eataly New York, he also owns the shop Tarry Wine Merchants and is the proprietor of four wine estates. A recipient of the James Beard Foundation Award for Outstanding Wine and Spirits Professional, he lives with his wife and children in Greenwich, Connecticut.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Clarkson Potter (November 9, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307463036
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307463036
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #958,605 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Yiannis Papadakis on December 2, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book contains a brief presentation of the wines the author considers as Italy's finest. Despite being based on a personal view, I find it particularly useful for the beginner or apprentice in Italian wine, since he/she will get introduced to some wines which are considered as Italian classics (like Cepparello, Tignanello, Barolo Monfortino Riserva etc.) but will also discover hidden treasures like Arnaldo Caprai's Sagrantino di Montefalco 25 Anni. All Italy's wine producing areas are represented here, but of course the book is too brief to include all Italian wine gems, so many of them are missing. The book is quite pleasent and easy to read, and includes a fair amount of information on the people behind the wines. I think a "best vintages" list on every wine included here would be a usefull addition for the reader.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Reviewer on January 4, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Is there any other sort? After all, 'taste' is seldom more than 'opinion' well seasoned with snobbery. For example, I can hear an exquisite difference in the voices of Mel Torme and Frank Sinatra -- the former is a 'Barolo Riserva' and the latter is a pizza parlor Chianti -- while Joseph Bastianich can justify a preference for one Brunello di Montalcino over another. Actually, Bastianich is gracious and mild in comparison to most wine gurus. There's little of the uppity know-it-all about his opinions. He tells us about the vintners, the varietals that yield their best vintages, and the 'terroir' that determines the character of each wine. I tend to trust his opinions because our 'snobberies' seem compatible. His choices, for the regions where I've spent the most time, are just about what mine would be: four of his 89 finest wines, for example, are Brunellos, but he is justifiably alarmed that the recent international popularity of Montalcino vintages is undermining the consistency of their quality, with the acreage deemed Brunello-worthy being doubled every decade.
His admiration for the white wines of Alto Adige is justified - by my taste - and he includes five of them among the 89 finest, particularly the celestial "Isarco Kerner Praepositus of Abbazia di Novicella". He even discovers one of the few tolerable wines produced in Lazio near Roma -- well, honestly, it's nearer to Umbria -- the robust white wine made from "grechetto" grapes by vintner Sergio Mottura, and he spends three three full pages detailing the oenological artistry that goes into "Grechetto Latour a Civitella".

The problem with such a book -- and it's a serious problem -- is the difficulty of finding most of the "89" in a bottega near you.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'm not a fan of top down learning for wine beginners or regional wine guides that simply drop names of local wine celebrities. But this is much more than that. Bastianich takes each of Italy's many wine regions and uses the wines of several of the leading producers in the area as an introduction to the region. It's a sound approach because he's able to place each region in context while keeping his focus on the wines. The stories of the producers add human interest to the descriptions of the techniques, topography and other characteristics unique to each area and also allow the classic wines the area is known for to be showcased. I would want to have an e-version of this book with me whenever I was travelling in Italy and would refer to it in advance to plan the trip. In writing this book and others, the author has developed a deep understanding of Italian wines and has used it to advantage by meeting with the leading growers of each region and extracting the essence of what's unique and valuable about the region from them. For money, there's no better guide to Italian wine currently on the market.
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By Malcolm S. Low on July 24, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Anything Joe Bastianich writes is bound to be fun to read! This book, however, is not nearly as amusing as his autobiography. The wines he pursues in this book are indeed of very high quality, but they are also of very high cost. If you consider yourself an oenophile, you will be much more likely to find pleasure in this book than will a wine drinker. These wines are sippers, not drinkers, the French distinction being "vins de bouche, pas de geule." I spend at least a month a year in Italy. I doubt if I would ever drink any of Mr. Bastianich's recommended wines there. There's just too much else to enjoy at far lower cost.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Ilsa Draznin on May 11, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
When I told the sommelier at Whole Foods about an Amarone I've had sitting around since 1986...he told me to curl up with this book and drink the wine! Its a great reference if you are into Italian wine as I am. It included great recipes from Mario Batali and his mom, Lidia.
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Format: Hardcover
I use it as a reference book and have found the personalized stories informative.

Back in April, I spent 2.5 weeks touring northern Italy and tasted some amazing wines. Then I re-read some of the chapters again. I realized that the material was so much more relevant & easier to absorb.

I recommend this book highly.
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