Montevetrano (Colli di Salerno IGT, Italy), $125
This cult classic is one of my favourite wines from southern Italy. I also love the fact that it is made in my family’s region of Campania, less than an hour away from where my father was born. Montevetrano makes one wine — a blend of Cabernet, Merlot, and the local Aglianico grape — and a very small amount of it. I love its rich spice, tobacco, and black fruit.
Calvin Love – Destroyer
Amaro (Amari plural) , which means ‘Bitter’ in Italian is typically made by macerating herbs, roots, flowers, bark and or citrus peels in alcohol followed by mixing with sugar syrup and allowing to age in casks or bottles. Amaro is generally consumed after a meal as a digestif. There are many different secret recipes many of which originated as medicinals and are still being made in monasteries throughout Italy.
Here are a few favourites:
Cardamaro is from Piemonte and made by producer Giovanni Bosca. He uses the wine from his estate as the base for this amaro. He then infuses the wine with 2 ingredients – cardoon, which is a relative of the artichoke and Thistle, which was once used in the middle ages to treat bubonic plague. The distillate then rests in new oak for at least six months. The resulting spirit is less bitter than many amari with a smooth, nutty, candied winter spice quality to it.
Amaro Montenegro is distilled in Zola Pedrosa, near Bologna, this traditional amaro made with over 40 herbs, including vanilla and orange peels. It was first produced in 1885, following a lengthy period of experimentation by Stanislao Cobianchi. A famous distiller and herbalist, Cobianchi named his liqueur after Princess Elena of Montenegro, Queen of Italy at the time after her marriage to Vittorio Emmanuele III. The drink soon became popular throughout Italy, leading Gabriele D’Annunzio to call it, “il liquore delle virtÃ¹,” or “the liqueur of the virtues”.
In 1875, the botanist Dottore Francesco Peloni developed in the mountain region Bormio, Lombardy the original recipe for the Amaro Braulio. The ingredients for the use of this unique Amaro are exclusively fresh herbs and spring water from the mountain region Valtellina. The herbs are dried at the fresh mountain air and then fermented with spring water and alcohol a month. The hand-made high-quality product gets, additionally, maturation for 2 years in oak barrels – the only Amaro in the world to do so. Braulio is infused with herbs and aromatic plants, using the ancient secret recipe. Only four, among the thirteen herbs used in its preparation are known: gentian, juniper, wormwood, and yarrow. The rest are kept secret, passed from one generation to the next.
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