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Vino Italiano: The Regional Wines of Italy Hardcover – April 9, 2002

66 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

At one time, Italian wines conjured images of cheap Chianti in straw-wrapped bottles. More recently, expensive ?Super Tuscans? have been the rage. But between these extremes lay a bounty of delicious, moderately priced wines that belong in every wine drinker?s repertoire.

Vino Italiano is the only comprehensive and authoritative American guide to the wines of Italy. It surveys the country?s wine-producing regions; identifies key wine styles, producers, and vintages; and offers delicious regional recipes. Extensive reference materials?on Italy?s 300 growing zones, 361 authorized grape varieties, and 200 of the top producers? provide essential information for restaurateurs and wine merchants, as well as for wine enthusiasts.

Beautifully illustrated as well as informative, Vino Italiano is the perfect invitation to the Italian wine experience.

About the Author

JOSEPH BASTIANICH is co-owner (with Mario Batali) of Babbo, Esca, Lupa, and Italian Wine Merchants, as well as (with Lidia Bastianich) Becco and Felidia, and has published extensively on the subject of Italian wine. He lives in Greenwich, Connecticut.

DAVID LYNCH is the wine director at Babbo and has been a senior editor at Wine & Spirits. He lives in New York City.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Clarkson Potter; 1st edition (April 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0609608487
  • ISBN-13: 978-0609608487
  • Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 1.7 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #242,718 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

126 of 127 people found the following review helpful By Bevetroppo on September 5, 2002
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Vino Italiano is a difficult book to describe. It's part wine guide, part travelogue, part cookbook, and part cultural history. It's a love song to Italy and Italian wine that has the flavor of a coffee table book, but without the color plates and oversize format. It's a reference work and a highly personal account of a subject the authors know well and enjoy sharing. In short, it's a classic.
The book lovingly covers all of the regions of Italy. Each chapter is a self-contained essay on an individual Italian region, with wine as the focal point. But don't think that the wine commentary is the only reason you will enjoy owning this book. It's full of absorbing discourses on Italian life, told through anecdotes that illustrate the character of a region's wines, food, people and history. For example, you'll go on a Tuscan boar hunt, watch a soccer match between Lazio and Roma, learn about the art of making Balsamic vinegar in Emilia-Romagna and discover where the Italians hid Mussolini under house arrest in the mountains of Abruzzo.
Each chapter is organized in the same fashion: an introductory essay that illuminates something telling about the character and history of the region; a simple map locating the DOC areas; descriptions of white, red, sparkling and sweet wines grown, highlighting significant producers; wine production statistics, including recent successful vintages; a few select restaurant recommendations; a guided tasting that compares and contrasts flights of wines within the same DOC's; and a recipe or food indigenous to the province with wine selections to match. Throughout are portraits of key people and properties that set the tone for the Italian wine scene today.
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33 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Eric J. Lyman on January 1, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Vino Italiano is not the best book if what you need is an introduction to Italian wine. But if you already know there is a big difference between a Vino Rosso di Montepulciano and a Montepulciano d'Abruzzo, then you'll no doubt appreciate this informative and easy-to-read book as much as I do.
This book gives the lover of Italian wine, food, and culture a lot to be excited about. It is divided into chapters that cover an Italian region (or in one case, two minor regions) and each chapter contains more information than some lesser books contain in their entirety. Included are regional recipes, maps and other essential information (e.g. significant producers, grapes grown, etc.) related to its wines, and stunning black-and-white photos that make it tempting to regard this as a coffee-table book. But I think the best part of each chapter is a well-written and entertaining essay that includes anecdotes that frame the character of the people, history, and culture of the region being described.
Of course, the centerpiece of it all is wine. But authors David Lynch and Joseph Bastianich understand that even in Italy, that subject cannot stand alone, and so they bring in discussions of hunting, and football, and fashion, and Mussolini, and cars, and artisan vinegars, oils, and cheeses.
Reading over what I have written here, I feel that I have not done this book justice. There is such a range of well-researched information here presented in such an accessible way that a different reader might pick it up and enjoy the book just as much as I do but for an entirely different set of reasons.
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41 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Donald L. Nathanson, M.D. on April 8, 2002
Format: Hardcover
As owners of a small American vineyard who love to travel through Italy picking up ideas, enjoying new tastes, and just plain enjoying the people and their wine, this is simply the best book we've found in years. Each region is treated with equal respect, each wine is described fairly and in detail, the producers are interviewed wherever possible, and everything is organized so that you can travel with confidence while there or through the shelves of your favorite local wine store. Authors Bastianich and Lynch season their book with excellent recipes thought through so most readers can find ingredients to make them work, and show how any of us can learn a wine by pairing it with the food of its region. You can be sure we'll take this along on our next drive through the wine growing world of Italy.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Thomas on March 2, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I am a lover and a drinker of wine, and not a collector or wine professional. I purchased this book because I was interested in learning more about navigating the world of Italian wine-- i.e. To further my enjoyment of Italian wine and allow me to make intelligent decisions when choosing from a wine list in a restaurant, shopping in the local wine shop, or pairing Italian wines with food at home. This book was exactly what I needed.
"Vino Italiano" is an not only an exceptional introduction to the world of Italian wine, it goes further than many (and many excellent) wine books I have read or consulted. This book places the wine in context- beginning each regional chapter with a short vignette which helps us gain a feeling for who might drink these wines, in what kind of setting, and with what kind of food. It goes well beyond the usual formula of explaining laws, grapes, producers, geography, history, and wine making methods, although it describes all of these thoroughly as well (though it is not deeply technical). It is not only a pleasure to read, it seems to me to be the beginning of a long and rewarding path into learning about the world not only of Italian wine, but Italian wine as a part of Italian culture- and especially representing regional culture when paired with regional foods (a couple well-chosen recipes at the end of each chapter). I was originally skeptical about the presentation, including each chapter's introductory vignette, and the recipes at the end of each chapter, but after reading, I have to admit that the construction of the chapters seems to provide a natuaral path to approach learning about each region, and in fact has helped me to remember more of the nuts-and-bolts information about each regional wine.
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