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Grandi Vini: An Opinionated Tour of Italy's 89 Finest Wines Hardcover – November 9, 2010
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"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."
"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."
"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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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. Even in Roma it isn't easy to enter a wine shop with such a book in hand and to emerge confidently with one's rightful quota of the world's best wines. Possibly Bastianich could have done us a favor by also enumerating some of the nastiest wines that seemingly come from the same grapes and the same terroir. His solution, I think, would be to focus on the vintners -- the "winemakers behind the bottles" he says -- and to expect consistency from them. The book concludes with a simple list of the 89 wines, their makers, the varietals from which they're made, and for most of them a website. You may learn that the only way to enjoy many of the "89" is to go to the winery itself, but you'll also learn which of them has a restaurant, which is located in a splendid village, etc. "Wine touring" in Italy is probably the best way to see the country.
Most recent customer reviews
Back in April, I spent 2.5 weeks touring northern Italy and tasted some amazing wines.Read more