“B”eautiful Italian Reds


Winter Vineyard Scene, Bolgheri (Photo ©Tom Hyland)
Winter Vineyard Scene, Bolgheri (Photo ©Tom Hyland)


Text and photos ©Tom Hyland

This past week I conducted a class at Perman Wine Selections in Chicago that included some of Italy’s finest and most famous wine types. I dubbed the class “Italy’s Killer B’s”; the wines tasted were examples of Brunello, Bolgheri, Barbera, Barbaresco and Barolo. 

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  Few wines produced anywhere in the world have captured wine consumers’ imaginations as has Amarone. Rich and powerful, this is a red wine that is appealing upon release, but offers an entirely different sensation when consumed a decade or more after the vintage. Amarone is produced in the Valpolicella zone, just north and west … Continue reading Amarone

Finding Values

      Good times or bad times, most of us are constantly looking for values and it’s no different when it comes to Italian wines. Despite a situation where the Euro is much stronger than the US dollar (a situation that’s been this way for several years), there are some excellent values in Italian … Continue reading Finding Values


One of the joys of Italian wines is finding a wine like no other; Arneis, a dry white from Piemonte is one of those treasures. The word Arneis is roughly translated in local dialect as “rascal.” This is used to describe a youngster who gives his or her parents a bit of trouble. Arneis can … Continue reading Arneis

Dining in Piemonte – Part One

One of the best ways to learn about Italian wines is to try them with local foods. You might be lucky enough to dine at a friend’s home when you’re in Italy, but for most of us, a trattoria, osteria or ristorante will be our dining experience. 

There are so many wonderful eateries in all of Italy, but for me the greatest number of these are concentrated in a small area of the province of Cuneo in Piemonte. This is the area that is home to the charming Dolcetto, a red wine with delicious black raspberry and cranberry fruit; the tangy Barbera with plenty of spice, high acidity and very light tannins and the regal red pairing of Barolo and Barbaresco, both made exclusively from the Nebbiolo grape. Continue reading “Dining in Piemonte – Part One”