Ah, Italy! It just seems last week (not two years ago) that my wife and I were spending time in Rome, walking the streets, sampling the food, admiring the amazing variety of ancient wonders, and drinking the wine.
You can have at least some of that experience here - you can cook yourself a wonderful meal, watch a great Italian movie, and sip a Pinot Grigio or a Nebbiolo as you recapture your great memories.
Tonight's class focussed on a variety of wines but the first half looks at Italian wines.
We started with the whites. Italian whites are, for the most part, pale lemon in colour and tasting of green fruit. There are not a lot of differences between the different white varietals but that made it only more interesting as we proceeded to blind taste two different Italian whites and a Spanish one.
First things first, though - I discovered that Italy has over 1000 indigenous grape varietals. In Soave the grape is Garganega and in Gavi it is Cortese. Trebbiano is the most widely planted grape in Italy but you don't often see it on its own. There is also Verdicchio from Castello di Jesi.
Our first three wines were white wines - one was a Pinot Grigio (lighter than the French interpretation of the grape called Pinot Gris), one was a Soave (Garganega grape) and one was a Spanish grape called Albarino which is the signature white grape of Spain.