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Vino Italiano Buying Guide: The Ultimate Quick Reference to the Great Wines of Italy Paperback – November 16, 2004

4.6 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Oenophiles and gourmands alike will recognize Bastianich as the other half of Mario Batali’s empire, which has put up such temples to food and drink as Babbo, Esca and Lupa in Manhattan. Bastianich also collaborated with Babbo wine director Lynch on Vino Italiano, and the two return with this companion, dedicated solely to listing vintners, vintages, prices and availability. They separate "elite" wineries from "premier," "rising star" and "value" wineries. They note how much wine each winery makes and whether or not it has a restaurant or accommodations available should anyone want to go the source. Entries range from Abruzzo and Molise to Toscana and Veneto and everywhere in between—Lazio, Puglia, Sardegna. The descriptions of each winery are short and punchy (of Castello di Verrazzano: "Their benchmark Chianti still has a rustic, wild edge")—and there are literally hundreds of them. Seventy-plus pages of appendices do everything from "decode crus" to offer a full listing of all Appelations, or sets of official classifications for what grapes make up what wine and at what percentage. Sound complicated? Bastianich and Lynch infuse this guide with enough care to make readers want to puzzle it all out.
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Review

“This book is a must-have for anyone who enjoys good wine! Joe Bastianich and David Lynch are not only great wine experts, they are true wine lovers. Their knowledge and passion shine through in every page of this invaluable book. They are the perfect team to give consumers the inside track on buying and enjoying Italian wines.” —Angelo Gaja, Barbaresco, Italy

“This is a great, compact wine book. You can stick it in your bag and take it with you to your local wine shop (or to Italy) and all the information you need will be right there at your fingertips.” —Jamie Oliver
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Clarkson Potter (November 16, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400052874
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400052875
  • Product Dimensions: 3.8 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,905,399 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
By Bill Marsano. Call this the perfect stocking-stuffer for wine buffs. The authors previously wrote the award-winning Vino Italiano: The Regional Wines of Italy, which I also recommend. It's confusing for many that the vast world of Italian wines frays into chaos at times--usually just when you think you've mastered it. Bastianich and Lynch manage to impose some order. The core of the book is the alpahabetical listing of wineries, to which a common-sense approach is applied. Italians are in love with long names. There is a town in Tuscany called San Macario in Piano di Ponte San Pietro; wineries, naturally, are often melodiously decorated with prefixes like Azienda Agricola and Azienda Viticoltura. The authors mercifully list such wineries under the principal part of the name. Thus Azienda Agricola Miani is under the M's. (I hope in future editions they will do the same with the innumerable wineries prefixed with Fattoria, Masseria or Castello.)

After you've found the winery you're looking for you also find crisp, accurate information on its wines, with a rough price-guide included.

There's lots of other useful stuff here: how to read a label, the meaning of DOC and DOCG, vintage charts and so on, but it's the big list of wineries (which doesn't skimp on Sicily, Sardinia and southern Italy, as some others do) that makes this book an excellent companion every time you head to your local wineshop.--Bill Marsano is an James Beard award winning wine-and-spirits writer.
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This is a valuable companion to Bastianich and Lynch's book on Italian wines. It's small; we have taken it on our trips to Italy the last few years. Their reviews are succinct and informative, and not biased to the well-known vintners. We have especially liked finding what they call the "Rising Stars." We typically lookup the winery after we've had the wine -- and have found that we usually agree with their assessments of the product.

The listings can be frustrating occasionally. There is no index by regions, so one really can't use the book to plan visits to cantinas unless you already know the names. And we have found inconsistencies in how wineries are listed. For example, Stefano Farina is listed as "Farina, Stefano", but Donatella Cinelli Colombini is listed as "Donatella Cinelli Colombini." Addresses are also inconsistent, e.g., Colombini's address in Montalcino is listed, but there is no mention of her property near Trequanda where one can sample and buy wines in very charming surroundings. Mention is made of Stefano Farina's "Le Bocce" label, but there are no assessments of the wines. And in a few cases, we haven't been able to locate a winery in the listing at all.

These shortcomings are minor compared to what the book does offer. If you have an interest in Italian wines this is definitely a book to own.
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Format: Paperback
Can it really be almost 5 years since I wrote a review of Vino Italiano: The Regional Wines of Italy, the original work that gave birth to this line extension? That was near the beginning of a Potter-like quest to learn as much as I could about Italian wines. And though I've been at it diligently (after all it's not my day job and it has a tendency to interfere with my day job), I still feel like I'm merely up to my ankles in the juice with a long way to go before complete immersion occurs.

As we'll explore, I think the proper way to review this book is to compare it both to Vino Italiano, so you see in what way it differs from its parent, but also the incomparable and indispensable Gambero Rosso Guide, which appears quietly in the bibliography. To save space and keystrokes, from now on I'll refer to the subject of this review as VIBG.

VIBG is a more or less pocket-sized review of Italian wine producers whose wines are available in the US. It is organized as an alphabetical list, with comments ranging from brief Hugh Johnson Pocket Guide to Wine-type descriptions to a longer entry for a heavyweight like Gaja. I'm going to devote the rest of this paragraph to the organizing schema because it's integral to your ability to use the book. It `s no easy task deciding on taxonomy for Italian wine producers. I'm telling you from experience, VIBG should receive a medal for making it easy to find the winery/wine you're looking for.
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Great reference for Italian wines, either for use in the wine store or when traveling the Italian countryside. Small enough to carry with you yet packed with a lot of relevant information
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Received this book in time for Christmas. It made my husband's Christmas morning VERY HAPPY!
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