La Pieve Prosecco, DOC, Treviso


The bubbles for Ian’s Birthday! Small delicate bubbles, very crisp, nutty biscuity aftertaste.

A great way for us to toast your 5th decade, even if you don’t want to.

2 for €20 in O’Briens, normally €12.49


Mandrarossa, Fiano, DOC Sicilia

Mandrarossa 090414

Fiano grape from Campania transplanted to Sicily

This wine is a surprise: nice dry unoaked white, slightly buttery creamy edge, apricot aroma. Nicely refreshing for a Bank Holiday Weekend.

Upon further research this comes from a part of Sicily which we love and have visited several times.

“Mandrarossa is produced by the Settesoli co-op in the hills surrounding Menfi, between Agrigento and Selinunte. Settesoli source their grapes from dedicated vineyards using a computer mapped traceability system which analyses sugar development, tannin ripeness and acidity levels throughout the growing season to ensure optimum quality at picking. The grapes are picked from the bunch and delicately crushed before cooling off and then strained with light presses. The juice undergoes cold settling and fermentation at temperatures of 16–18ºC.”

Plastic Cork.

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Allegrini, Valpolicella, 2013

Allegrini Valp 090414

This was our first outing with the 2013 vintage and it’s as good as ever: proving our belief that this is a very fine wine from the Veneto.

From Corvina grapes with a little Rondinella grown near Lake Como, this is medium-bodied, fresh, fragrant juicy Valpolicella, with cherry nose and Raspberry notes.

No longer a Classico – Allegrini droped out of the DOC Appelation – because they wanted to use a Stel Cap which is against the rules.

Keep breaking them please for offerings like this.

Allegrini Valp 090414 b

Allegrini Valp 090414 b

Rubesco Rosso di Torgiano DOC 2005 Lungarotti


Dinner in Tric Trak opposite the Duomo. Tartufo night. We shared the house starter of bruschette al tartufo and tiny parcel of white onion. I then had Taglionlini al Tartufo and Lesley had Strongozzi with a slightly spice sauce. Outstanding food.

I fancied a Sagrantino to end out visit to Spoletto but the rather pricey Umbrian section of the wine list precluded that so at €15 this Lungarotti stood out as potential value for money.

Which it was – a slightly dull ruby colour, perhaps because it is unfiltered. Faint whiff of herbs. Thin body, fruity finish, slightly musty. Ready to go now. Went well with the pasta. 70% Sangiovese and 30% Canaiolo.

The book says any wine by Lungarotti in Umbria is good and the Torgiano vineyard was recently used as a stop-over for the launch of the new Jaguar F-TYPE.

Apparently, Rubesco Rosso di Torgiano is one of Italy’s first DOC wines, dating back to 1968 and “Rubesco” is a Lungarotti trademark deriving from the Latin verb “rubescere”, to blush!


Montefalco Rosso DOC. 2010. Arnaldo Caprai. Bronze Tari. Rocca dei Conte


We had this with dinner on the Terrace at Villa Milani.

Me radish & pistaccio nut salad followed by tagliatelle of sanguigne beef on a bed of rucola. Lesley melon on top of carpaccio of beef followed by pork fillet with endive.

The meal was nice, the wine very nice.

Local – within 30 Kilometres. 70% Sangiovese, 15% Sagrantino, 15% Merlot. Arnaldo Caprai started with 5 acres under vine in Monte Falco and now the estate runs to a hefty holding run by his son Marco and they have been championing the Sagrantino grape since 1971.

Sagrantino is the grape indigineous to Umbria / Montefalco which tastes of Blackberry. I must admit I couldn’t detect it. Deep colour in the glass, the 2010 tasted of well structured tanins, lots of black cherry and a satin smooth finish.


For a nightcap we enjoyed this craft Bronze Tari Pale Ale from the Rocca dei Conti brewery in Modica South Eastern Sicily. The ABV was smuged out but I suspect it was quite a bit stronger than the stated 5.8%. Good hops, nice refreshing bite, this would have gone well with our meal too.