Wine drinkers who love “authenticity” probably wouldn’t have enjoyed the Spanish wines that Columbus carried in barrels on his discovery voyages to "India." Although he was born in western Italy, Columbus no doubt drank local when hob-nobbing with the Queen of Spain, as she was the one who paying for his journeys—and his wine.
As Columbus Day approaches, we aren’t as limited in our choices of wine, and they come from a bottle, not a barrel which has been tossed around the hot hold of a smelly ship. Here are seven wines from northern Italy to help you make it through the holiday weekend:
NV Cavicchioli “1928” Prosecco extra dry ($14)
A quite floral with candy notes, it is enjoyable but could be a bit crisper in the finish.
2012 Canti “Millesimato” Prosecco extra dry ($13)
Quite nice; mild, creamy, lightly sweet and a little toasty in the finish.
2012 La Froscà Soave classico ($21)
A little spicier than your normal Soave—think of spiced apple—with good structure and a fuller body.
2013 Cantina di Soave “Rocca Sveva” Soave classico ($13)
A touch toward the sweet with green, creamy flavors and nice bitters around the edges.
2011 Monteverro Toscana Rosso IGT ($130)
Very good, straightforward intensity with flavors of dark cherries, ripe plums and traces of creamy chocolate in the finish.
2012 Collazzi “Libertà” Toscana Rosso IGT ($18)
Somewhat fruit-forward, with cherries in the first taste turning to plums. Pleasant but simple, it could use a bit more bite of acidity or bitters in the finish.
2011 Monteverro “Tinata” Toscana Rosso IGT ($86)
A blend of syrah and grenache, this is a hearty red with tangy cherry flavors, hints of lactic, mild cheeses, and granular, enjoyable tannins—my personal pick of the litter.