Posts tagged ‘italian wines’

My Book is Published!


Beyond Barolo and Brunello: Italy’s Most Distinctive Wines,  my first book on Italian wines has been published.

I wrote this book to share my knowledge and insight of Italian wines after more than 50 trips to Italian wine regions over the past 12 years (I returned yesterday from my 56th trip). Too often people have the idea that Italian wine is limited to a few world-famous reds, such as Amarone, Barolo and Brunello. I have certainly included those wines in this book, as they are classics, but the focus of this book is on the great examples of everyday wines that truly represent the Italian wine scene.

Thus, I have written about excellent examples of wines such as Soave, Gavi, Dolcetto, Chianti Classico, Verdicchio and Taurasi to name only a few. I have written about beautiful wines from every region in Italy, ranging from sparkling wine from Valle d’Aosta in the far northwestern reaches of Italy to Passito di Pantelleria, the marvelous dessert wine from a tiny island just south of Sicily.

I’ll keep this post short. If you love Italian wines or need to know more about this subject (who doesn’t?), then I think my book is meant for you.

You can purchase the book either at (the publisher) or at

February 22, 2013 at 12:59 pm 4 comments

A Great New Year!



Like many of you, I’m counting on the number 13 – 2013 – to be a lucky number for me. As I’m someone who believes that you make your own luck, I’m brimming with confidence these days, as my first book on Italian wines (front and back cover above) is about to be released in a matter of weeks.

This is my testament to the greatness of the Italian wine scene, as I write about more than 500 wines from 460 producers from every corner of the country. Yes, I discuss the famous reds, such as Barolo, Brunello and Amarone, but I devote a lot of text to great examples of everyday wines such as Soave, Gavi, Dolcetto, Nero d’Avola, Verdicchio and hundreds of other wines. Too often these wines are forgotten in today’s wine world, one in which too many people spend too much time waxing poetically about the most famous – and often, most expensive – wines, most of which are red.

After 54 trips to wine regions throughout Italy, I believed it was time to write such a book and honor the growers and producers of wines from Abruzzo, Campania, Alto Adige, Friuli, Umbria and every other region for their contributions to the wine scene. If Italian wines are to remain successful in today’s market, it has to be because of their uniqueness and not their similarities to wines from other countries. Thank goodness that growers in Campania continue to work with Greco, Fiano, Aglianico and Piedirosso and how wonderful to know that producers in Friuli constantly strive to refine their versions of Friulano and Ribolla Gialla. And yes, isn’t it a delight to experience red wines from Piemonte such as Gattinara, Ghemme and Dolcetto?

I’ll let everyone know on this blog when the book is available for sale (it can be purchased at Time will tell how successful this book will be in terms of sales, but I’m happy knowing that my labor of love will help others – at least in some small fashion – to learn about the amazing world of Italian wines!

Beyond Barolo and Brunello: Italy’s Most Distinctive Wines by Tom Hyland


P.S. 2012 wrapped up on a pretty good note for me, at least blog-wise. I had over 10,000 hits in a single month for the first time ever in December. I’m sure there are numerous wine blogs out there that get a lot more views than that, but I think for a single topic blog such as this, these figures are pretty good!

Thanks to everyone who checked in during December and the entire year!

January 3, 2013 at 4:51 pm 8 comments

Italian Varieties – T to Z


Guado al Tasso, Bolgheri, a leading producer of Vermentino (Photo ©Tom Hyland)

Guado al Tasso, Bolgheri, a leading producer of Vermentino (Photo ©Tom Hyland)




Red variety of Friuli with harsh tannins that inspired its unique name, translated as “cutting the tongue.”


Red variety of Trentino with deep color, ripe berrry fruit and good acidity. 


High acid white variety of Piemonte. Often used in the production of grappa, though a few producers – most notably Massa – make an excellent dry version.


White variety planted throughout much of Italy; generally a blender with modest aromatics and high acidity. Trebbiano di Soave is one of the most highly regarded subvarieties.



Uva di Troia

Also known as Nero di Troia. Excellent red variety found in northern Puglia. Moderate tannins, good acidity and cherry, berry fruit. The principal red variety of Castel del Monte DOC.


Uva di Troia vineyards near Castel del Monte (Photo ©Tom Hyland)

Uva di Troia vineyards near Castel del Monte (Photo ©Tom Hyland)




White variety of Marche. Generally aged in stainless steel, though a few producers age in oak. Many versions are light with pleasant pear and apple fruit; there are some excellent bottlings that offer more fruit intensity and spice.

Verduzzo Friulano

White variety of Friuli, primarily in the Colli Orientali DOC. Used to produce a dry white, but also a famous sweet white named Ramondolo. Apricot and pear flavors with lively acidity.


White variety grown in Sardegna, Liguria and the coast of Tuscany (especially in Bolgheri). Very high acidity with flavors of pear, lime and pine and often notes of sea salt with a distinct minerality. 


Two distinct examples: Vernaccia di San Gimignano is a refreshing, dry white wiht moderate acidity made as a light, dry white. Vernaccia di Oristano is a sweeter white from Sardegna that is sherry-like.


White from Veneto made as a lush, apricot and honeyed dessert wine called Torcolato.




Name for Moscato in Sicilia; the word is Arabic for “raisin.” Used in the production of Passito di Pantelleria. Honey, apricot and marzipan flavors.


August 21, 2009 at 1:02 pm 1 comment

tom hyland

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