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Italian varietals that stay home

By Dave Buchanan
VERONA, Italy - It's Day 3 of VinItaly, possibly the world's largest gathering of wine producers and it's all Italy. With 5,000 producers and maybe 150,000 visitors over the fair's four-day run in the city made famous by the fantasy of Romeo and Juliet, Vinitaly is a once-a-year affair that offers unexpecting visitors tastes of Italian wines you'll never see in the states. Yesterday I tasted raboso, a dry and very acidic red wine that spends 2 years in wood, including a year in chestnut barrels, it's one of the indigenous grapes you need to taste to appreciate. Other fascinating indigenous varietals include pignoleto, a fizzy white from the Bolognese hills and picolit, which comes in dry and slightly sweet, and even a very dry lambrusco, yes, a drinkable lambrusco that isn't the sweet Cold Duck memories of long ago. Not everyone wants to be discovered by the U.S. market but even so there's no U.S. distributor about to take the risk of importing these wines, even if the dollar wasn't sinking into the far distance against the euro. But VinItaly is a great opportunity to dig deeper into Italian wines and the passion shown by Italian winemakers. More in VinItaly soon. Ciao, ciao, ciao...

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