De Long Blog

November 27, 2012

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Italy Map Changes and Garibaldi Awards

Italy's at it again. When you look at their constant changes, it’s hard to think of them as a unified country. Does Italy need a wine Garibaldi? Luckily, out of this chaos, a wild variety of good and great wines are made, so it’s hard to complain too much. There has been the overall change to be consistent wine with European law: Both DOCs (Denominazione di Origine Controllata) and DOCGs (Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita) will now also be known as DOP (Denominazione Origine Protetta). In the same way that AOCs in France will now be known as AOPs. The main change here is in one term – ‘controlled’ becomes ‘protected’ – that at least one person in the EU believes is an important distinction. It’s strange that this is all based on the French AOC system but even they need to change their terminology.

Garibaldi Awards: The winner of the Most Sensible New Region is Romagna DOC. It’s a consolidation of five former DOCs: Sangiovese di Romagna, Trebbiano di Romagna, Pagadebit di Romagna, Cagnina di Romagna and Romagna Albana Spumante. Much more consolidation would be appreciated! The winner of the Most Ridiculous New Region is Vigneti della Serenissima (Serenissima) DOC in Veneto. It’s a huge and very specifically designated DOC for producing Champagne style sparkling wines that covers pretty much all of the best vineyards of Veneto. Serenissima is a nickname for Venice which literally means 'the most serene'. It’s also the nickname for the A4 highway that runs through it as well as Franciacorta in Lombardy, a well established producer of Champagne style sparkling wines. Does Italy really need another Champagne? Are Venetians (and tourists) really going to switch from Prosecco to Serenissima? Is Serenissima just a bad joke?

There are now 73 DOCGs and 403 to 412 DOCs. It’s hard to get an exact figure on DOCs. The last published number was 403 but that would have required nine DOCs to have been abandoned, something that is not mentioned. For now, we’re leaving all 412 on the map.

New DOCGs (DOPs): Bagnoli Friularo is a new DOCG with the same area as Banoli di Sopra DOC in Lazio. Cannellino di Frascati is a new DOCG with the same area as Frascati DOC in Lazio. Castel del Monte Bombino Nero, Castel del Monte Nero di Troia Riserva and Castel del Monte Rosso Riserva are new DOCs that all share the same area as Castel del Monte DOC in Puglia. Colli Euganei Fior d’Arancio is a new DOCG in Veneto with the same area as Colli Euganei DOC. Dogliani DOCG, formerly Dolcetto di Dogliani DOC, has expanded its boundaries slightly to the south-west in Piedmont. Elba Aleatico Passito is a new DOCG with the same area as Elba DOC in Tuscany. Frascati Superiore is a new DOCG with the same area as Frascati DOC in Lazio. Lison is a new DOCG with the same area as Lison-Pramaggiore DOC in Friuli Venezia Giulia. Montecucco Sangiovese is a new DOCG with the same area as Montecucco DOC in Tuscany. Montello rosso is a new DOCG with the same area as Montello - Colli Asolani DOC in Veneto. Offida DOCG – elevated from DOC in Marche. Piave Malanotte is a new DOCG with the same area as Piave DOC in Veneto. Rossaso is a former subzone of Friuli Colli Orientali DOC that has been elevated to a DOCG. Suvereto is a new DOCG in Tuscany.

New DOCs: Malvasia di Cagliari, Monica di Cagliari and Moscato di Cagliari are now just know as Cagliari. Giro di Cagliari, Nasco di Cagliari and Nuragus di Cagliari – which all have the same boundaries as Cagliari – remain independent DOCs. Calosso is a new DOC in Piemonte. Casavecchia di Pontelatone is a new DOC in Campania. Falanghina del Sannio is a new DOC in Campania that shares boundaries with Sannio DOC. Maremma Toscana has been elevated from an IGT to a DOC in Toscana. Negroamaro di Terra d’Otranto is a large new DOC at the southern part of Puglia which occupies the entire provinces of Brindisi, Lecce & Taranto. Roma is a large new DOC that includes the vineyards around Rome. Romagna DOC is a consolidation of five former DOCs: Sangiovese di Romagna, Trebbiano di Romagna, Pagadebit di Romagna, Cagnina di Romagna and Romagna Albana Spumante. Sicilia, which includes all of Sicily, has been elevated from an IGT to a DOC. Spoleto, a new white wine DOC in Umbria. Tavoliere delle Puglie is a new DOC in Puglia that covers many northern vineyards. Terre del Colleoni is a new DOC in Lombardia Terre di Cosenza is a new DOC in Campania that covers the entire province of Consenza in the northern part of Campania. Terre di Offida occupies the same area as Offida DOCG. Offida has been elevated from DOC to DOCG status. Terre di Pisa is a new DOC in Tuscany. Tintilia del Molise is a new very large DOC in Molise that covers most of its vineyards but not all. Val d’Arno di Sopra is a new DOC in Tuscany. Valtenèsi is a new DOC in Lombardia. Venezia is a large new DOC in Veneto that covers the entire provinces of Venezia and Treviso. Vigneti della Serenissima (Serenissima) is a very large new DOC in Veneto. Villamagna is a new DOC in Abruzzo.

November 20, 2012

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Blind Tasting, Point Scores and Other BS

On recent trip to Etna, I learned that you can take blind tasting a step further. View full article →
October 02, 2012

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The Wine Grapes of Etna

Traditionally, wine on Etna wasn't red or white, it was simply wine with all the grapes blended together. Barone di Villagrande introduced separately vinifying the red and white grapes on Etna in the 1850s.X View full article →
September 27, 2012

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Etna and Burgundy Comparison

Wine Map of Etna and Burgundy There are many wine regions that compare themselves with Burgundy but few have a better argument than Etna DOC. Actually, the more precise comparison would be to the Côte-d'Or. Both are very similar in size and slope from hillsides, but while the Côte-d'Or slopes from hills in the west, the Etna vineyards are wrapped around the base of Mt Etna. And both make elegant, aromatic wines.
June 16, 2012

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Wine Map of France

Wine Map of France

I can now safely say that we're a proper wine map company. In retrospect, this should have been our first map, but we were under the erroneous assumption that France was already well covered by other map makers. There are many excellent regional wine maps of France, but the overall maps all seem to fall short either in clarity or accuracy. This map fills that gap and we're very proud of it. To get a closer look or to download the map's index (the most complete listing of Appellations currently available), go to: Wine Map of France

February 29, 2012

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Theory of Bad Restaurants

I’ve put together a fail-safe method of how to spot a bad restaurant instantaneously. In theory it should work in the same way that a ninja assesses a threat: in a split second tallying the number of enemies, judging their skill level, determining exit routes, etc. You’ll usually have more time than a split second as the restaurant won’t be attacking you . . . unless you let it. View full article →
September 20, 2011

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May 22, 2011

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Hero of the Vino

The dark arts of advertising. . . View full article →
March 30, 2011

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PLAYMOBIL WINE BAR STIRS OUTRAGE

If you’ve noticed your 5 year old swirling and sniffing his/her juice glass, you may want to pay attention to this story.

Playmobil Wine Bar, one of Playmobil’s best sellers since it was introduced last fall, has hit a nerve with parents and trade groups nationwide. The Zirndorf, Germany-based company has previously courted controversy with Bank Robbers and Gangster play sets but may have taken it a bit too far this time.

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February 06, 2011

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