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That Hits the Spot – Our “How to” Guide

Learn how to sip your way through Italy, pack a picnic basket in Paris, and sample Spain’s best bar bites with our guide to eating and drinking like a local

Know your Italian wine regions – Where to uncork and say salute! – from the northern border to the boot heel

Lombardy – Franciacorta, Pinot Nero. Italy’s answer to Champagne is prosecco or moscato d’Asti – it’s Franciacorta, the high-quality sparkling wine favored in Milan.

Friuli-Venezia Giulia – Friulano, Ribolla Gialla, Malvasia Istriana. The current orange wine trend began here near the Slovenian border, where pioneering winemaker Josko Gravner ferments ribolla grapes in ancient clay jugs.

wines-italyVeneto – Valpolicella, Soave, Prosecco. Amarone della Valpolicella is believed to be the modern-day descendant of wines first made in the region by Romans in the sixth century.

Umbria – Orvieto Classico, Sagrantino di Montefalco. Sagrantino wines, rising stars among elite Italian reds, were first made by Franciscan friars in this, the region from which Saint Francis of Assisi hailed.

Puglia – Primitivo, Bombino Bianco. Only Veneto produces more wine than the oft-overlooked heel of Italy, whose native primitivo grape is a cousin of American red zinfandel.

Sicily – Etna Bianco, Nero d’Avola. A movement toward organic, biodynamic wines, led by young vintners such as Arianna Occhipinti, is growing in the rich volcanic soil near Mount Etna.

Campania – Costa d’Amalfi, Greco. Visit Cantine Marisa Cuomo to sample its flowery Furore Bianco Fiorduva alongside views of the Amalfi Coast and dramatic Furore fjord.

Tuscany – Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino, Bolgheri. After a tasting of Chianti Classico at Castello di Ama, tour the fifteenth-century property’s contemporary art installations from Anish Kapoor, Louise Bourgeois, and more.

Liguria – Cinque Terre, Vermentino. Many of the Cinque Terre’s terraced vineyards, carved into cliffs high above the Mediterranean Sea, are accessible only by foot.

Piedmont – Barolo, Barbaresco, Barbera, Dolcetto. The native nebbiolo grapem used in the region’s greatest wines, gets its name from the nebbia, or fog, that blankets the region in fall.

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