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Grandi Vini: An Opinionated Tour of Italy's 89 Finest Wines

Grandi Vini: An Opinionated Tour of Italy's 89 Finest Wines [Kindle Edition]

Joseph Bastianich
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Product Description

Product Description

Travel through the Italian countryside with Joseph Bastianich in search of the country’s eighty-nine finest wines.
Joseph Bastianich is steeped in Italian wines like no one else. Not only is he the co-owner, with Mario Batali, of some of America’s premier Italian restaurants, but he also produces wine on four separate estates—three in Italy—and is responsible for bringing Eataly, the groundbreaking artisanal Italian food and wine marketplace, to New York. His thoughtfully honed list of favorite wines makes for a fascinating journey that brings Italian wines to life.
Grandi Vini introduces readers to the greatest wines in Italy by bringing them to the vineyards and introducing the winemakers behind the bottles. More than simply appealing to the palate, the wines on Joe’s list have made an impact on the industry.  In Central Italy, he recommends a stunning Sangiovese in Emilia Romagna, produced at San Patrignano, the largest drug rehabilitation center in Europe. The island of Sicily is typically known for bulk commercial wine; but now, in the unique terroir of Mount Etna, wine lovers can discover the perfectly fresh, dry white Pietramarina, produced by the forward-thinking Benati family. And we can’t forget the great Barolos. Bastianich selects a specific list of wines from this legendary production region—some of which come from family outfits, like Barolo Rocche dell’Annunziata Riserva of Paolo Scavino, by the son of the winery’s founder; and others that have emerged only recently, like the Barolo Cannubi Boschis made by Luciano Sandrone, a winemaker who only started producing great wine in the 1990s. 
Grandi Vini also includes a wine list in the back of the book that shares vinification, production, and website information for every wine. With lovely hand-illustrated maps locating the wineries in their various regions, Grandi Vini is a rich exploration of eighty-nine Italian wines that rank among the world’s best—a wonderful read for any wine enthusiast.

From the Hardcover edition.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 713 KB
  • Print Length: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Clarkson Potter (9 Nov 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003F3PMRA
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #361,275 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Bastianich recalls his years spent working in Italy in many wineries throughout the peninsula. For each winery he offers a description of the varieties used, their vineyards and their choices of farming and winemaking. At the end he always expresses a judgment on their best bottles. It's not a technical book reserved for insiders (no tables), in fact he always describes the people behind each wine; the human aspect is king in the book. Wine enthusiasts can get tips on labels and vintages to taste.
The original text, written with skill, it is smooth and well balanced. It surely conveys Bastianich's deep love for Italian wine. Contrary to what he might look like at MasterChef Italy (stingy in compliments and sometimes rude), in the book he often praises wines and people.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.5 out of 5 stars  8 reviews
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Brief, informative but very personal 2 Dec 2010
By Yiannis Papadakis - Published on
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.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An "Opinionated" Wine Lover? 4 Jan 2012
By Giordano Bruno - Published on
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. 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.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great Italian wine reference book 11 May 2011
By Ilsa Draznin - Published on
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.
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved that Grandi Vini 8 Jan 2014
By Carol Brejcha - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Purchased this book for my niece's boyfriend for Christmas. He's Italian and into restauranteuring - at a fine Italian restaurant in SE Portland. Was delighted to find this available for him and he was delighted to receive it as well.
5.0 out of 5 stars I'm in the restaurant space & use it as a good reference book 21 Jun 2013
By DC - Published on
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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Brunello di Montalcino—LA CERBAIOLA &quote;
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Romangnan Sangiovese is more tannic and, if made well, can withstand long aging periods. &quote;
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The soil is not very fertile, and the cold nighttime temperatures, even in the summer, make for concentrated, very aromatic grapes. &quote;
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