Wine 101: Italy: Basilicata

This episode of “Wine 101” is sponsored by Argiano. First of all, I freakin’ love Brunello di Montalcino. It’s one of the most age-worthy wines in the world — a sleeping giant, if you will. This wine has to age for six years before it can be enjoyed but believe me, it’s worth the wait. By the time Brunello di Montalcino gets to your glass, it’s right where it needs to be, and no one knows that better than Argiano. 

All the way down south in the arch of Italy’s boot, above the Gulf of Taranto, lies a wonderful region called Basilicata. A whopping 47 percent of this region is mountainous, yielding just 0.2 percent of Italy’s total wine output. It’s home to four DOCs and one DOCG, and the wine made there is incredible. The main grape we’re going to focus on today is Aglianico, or “the grape of the plain.” It’s red, full-bodied, powerful, and carries dark, inky fruit notes with a touch of mocha. It’s also one of the most tannic grapes on the planet, and like other varieties in southern Italy, it retains acidity under a lot of sun and high heat.

To guide us through Basilicata, we have none other than our host Keith Beavers. We’re going to explore the region and its wine and maybe take a trip to the city of Matera, where ancient caves coexist with modern condos — it’s wild, and it’s all right here on “Wine 101.” Tune in for more.

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“Wine 101” was produced, recorded, and edited by yours truly, Keith Beavers, at the VinePair headquarters in New York City. I want to give a big old shout-out to co-founders Adam Teeter and Josh Malin for creating VinePair. Big shout-out to Danielle Grinberg, the art director of VinePair, for creating the most awesome logo for this podcast. Also, Darby Cicci for the theme song. Listen to this. And I want to thank the entire VinePair staff for helping me learn something new every day. See you next week.

E. & J. Gallo Winery is excited to sponsor this episode of VinePair’s “Wine 101.” Gallo always welcomes new friends to wine with an amazingly wide spectrum of favorites, ranging from everyday to luxury and sparkling wine. (Gallo also makes award-winning spirits, but this is a wine podcast.) Whether you are new to wine or an aficionado, Gallo welcomes you to wine. Visit today to find your next favorite, where shipping is available.