Vino e Cucina d'Italia

Cantine Lonardo – Technology with Tradition

It's about an hour southeast of Naples, but you aren't looking for Cantine Lonardo you could easily miss it, writes Neil Duarte. It has no signage or fancy tasting room. What it does have are some truly excellent wines. Here's his report.

Gerard Bertrand

Gérard Bertrand 2011 Corbières ($12.99)

A characteristic blend of the Languedoc grapes Grenache,Syrah and Mourvèdre, this is an inky dark purple wine. Showing earthy black plums and blackberries on the nose and palate, it's full and rich, good structure and balance with fresh-fruit acidity and soft tannins at 13.5 percent alcohol. It's an excellent food wine, with some potential for short to midterm cellaring. Simple Languedoc reds, like their cousins from the Southern Rhône, pair easily with red meats, grilled chicken and cheese. I find they work very well with Italian-style red-sauced pasta, too.

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Put a Little Sparkle in your Summer

"We talk regularly about Champagne and how it can define a moment, or even create one, but the same applies to most any sparkling wine," writes Richard Fadeley. Why not look at the "second stringers" of sparkling wine? "They are not too shabby in their own right." Here's his report.