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Italy is an even easier country to find that one extra wine, or is it? With so many varieties of grapes, it can seem safer to stick to the ones you know: Sangiovese, Nebbiolo, Barbera and Dolcetto for example. But you'll be missing some of the greatest wines and values that Italy has to offer. I could make this easy on myself and suggest some of the wines that I frequently talk about, but there is one grape that struggles for traction and always makes me want to take a closer look.

That grape is Nero di Troia, a little ditty from down Puglia way that can express wonderful wild berry tones over savory herb and vivid floral tones. It's another wine that may not wow you at a tasting, but really excels at the dinner table.

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  • Snooth User: maffe
    146867 51

    Nice to hear that you recommend exploring Marcillac and Gaillac wines. I'd even go so far as to say that if you're not an expert, stay away from Bordeaux, Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Côtes du Rhône. You find better values and better wines for the American palate in Bergerac, Madiran, Faugères, St-Chinian, Fitou, Corbières, or VdP from Côtes de Thongue or the new Pézenas appellation.

    Feb 29, 2012 at 4:23 PM

  • Snooth User: Gregory Dal Piaz
    Hand of Snooth Voice of Snooth
    89065 238,749

    An interesting observation. Thanks for sharing. I love Fer, and do see the wines as being very easy to like, but I think people will continue to gravitate towards Chateauneuf and the like!

    Mar 04, 2012 at 10:31 AM

  • Snooth User: maffe
    146867 51

    Gregory, I'm sure you're right ... most people will keep knowing only the already famous names. But I'm glad every time influential guys like you write about lesser known appellations or regions that are worth discovering. I'm sure a few people will get intrigued and want to learn more.
    The problem with Languedoc and the South-West is of course the immense diversity, which makes these regions difficult to get a grip on, even when living here. Different soils, different grape varieties, different micro-climates, old family wineries and young, hungry, creative winemakers. But that also makes the wine scene very exciting here.

    Mar 04, 2012 at 5:09 PM

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