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Salcheto – the only energy self sufficient winery in Italy

December 8, 2011 by Christine No Comments »

This years harvest was an important one for Salcheto. The 2011 vintage was harvested, is being and will be vinified without any use of fossil fuels! In fact Salcheto managed to cut itself off from the national grid this year and is now wholly self sufficient for its energy needs.

Salcheto have achieved this in part by reducing their need for electricity through innovative energy saving tenchniques such as solar collectors, vertical gardens and the capture and circulation of cool night air to provide air conditioning in the summer. The gases produced during the fermentation process can be used to stir the must.

35% of the energy  gained from biomass is obtained from the vines themselves with sustainable hedge, bush and tree management providing the rest of the biomass energy.

Geothermic energy is used through 400 meters of probes buried throughout the vineyards.

Solar energy provides the remaining needs.

Salcheto have created their new innovative winery with accessiblilty for visitors and would welcome anybody who wishes to take a stroll along the paths through the terrain or browse through the visitor centre.

Salcheto have also made the notable achievement of being able to provide the first European Carbon Footprint for a bottle of wine, thanks to a scientific committee established around the company’s projects and coordinated by Prof. Domenico Andreis of Siena University. The result of this research which constitutes a first benchmark for the industry is 2.02 kg CO2 equivalent per 750 ml bottle of wine, first index of such a kind to be certified worldwide inside an inventory based on ISO 14064 standard.

Well done Salcheto.



Vallersoa Bonci

November 14, 2011 by Christine 2 Comments »



 Cupramontana, the ancient native land of verdicchio, is situated in the heart of the Marches, on one of the sunny, green hills bordering the valley of the Esino river.
There the Bonci family has been producing and marketing wine for at least three generations.

The special microclimate, the careful selection of grape, the careful selection of grapes, many years of artisan experience in wine making, combined with the use of the most up to date techniques, make Vallerosa Bonci a leading farm in the field of quality wines.




Made from Montepulciano and Sangiovese grapes, this ruby red wine has marked fruity and floral aromas. On the palate it is rich and full-bodied with traces of plum and carob.

It matches perfectly with all pasta, meat and cheese dishes.





This is a Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi made with 100% verdicchio grapes. It has a straw colour with green reflections. The aroma is fresh and aromatic and on the palate it is caressing and sapid with a good persistence.

It should be drunk with pasta, risotto or soup as well as white meats, fish and fresh cheese.




Even more great wines

August 22, 2011 by Christine No Comments »

I hope you’ve all been enjoying your summer. We’ve been busy sourcing even more new wines for you to try. 



Podere Castorani (Jarno Trulli) 

Amorino Pecorino Abruzzo DOC 2010

A Pecorino with an intense straw yellow colouring and an aroma of pears, white flowers and exotic fruit.

To the palate it is well structured with exotic and citrus fruit, full and caressing, with an aftertaste of ripe fruit.

Gianni Gagliardo

Fallegro Langhe DOC 2010

Made from favorita grapes in the Roero region, this white has a delicate aroma, reminiscent of acacia flowers and an elegantly tart, slightly fizzy taste.

It is perfect as an aperitif or ideal on pate, with oily dishes, tarts with butter, smoked salmon caviar, fish.


 San Fabiano Calcinaia

Chianti Classico DOCG 2008

From the Sangiovese vineyards of San Fabiano (250 m). It ages in barrels of 2nd and 3rd passage for a period of 12 months and then it stays in the bottle at least three months. It is the synthesis of Chianti tradition: land and vines, combined with modern winemaking and more time to care quality. Suitable for ready consumption, however, it improves after a medium period of ageing



          Nino Franco

          Faíve Rosé Brut

          Variety and grapes: 80% Merlot 20% Cabernet Franc
         Type: Rosé Brut
         The wine has a rose petal pink colour. A long persistence, creamy, brut but with natural softness and fruity aromas of red fruit and pears

It is very good as an aperitif but also perfect throughout the whole meal


Selva Capuzza – Two new wines

July 25, 2011 by Christine No Comments »

In the hills south of Lake Garda lies Selva Capuzza with their vineyards, olive groves and truffle producing woodlands.

The winery was first built in 1908 and has been operating under the name of Selva Capuzza since 1983.

These wines are produced with full commitment to the local and indigenous grape varieties through the experience of four generations of wine making.

Selva Capuzza is a peculiar place located between the lake and the hills, it shows unique characters such as the particular soil made of clay and stones and a height that offers a healthy ventilation.

These wines want to express the feeling of the place, the character of the local tradition, the identity of the indigenous grapes.

A Taste of Italy now offers two of these exceptional wines – Lugana San Vigilio and Garda Classico Groppello San Bagio.


Gorey Agricultural Show

June 16, 2011 by Christine 2 Comments »

If anyone is in North Wexford this weekend, come and find us at Gorey Agricultural Show ( You’ll have a chance to taste all of the Tola wines and try some prosecco too.

We’ll also have some great pasta, sauces, breadsticks and dips on sale.

We look forward to seeing you there.



On-Line Shop – Loads of New Wines

June 7, 2011 by Christine 1 Comment »

For all those of you who use our on-line shop or who would like to check it out, we’ve just finished updating it with plenty of new wines. We’ve also added a couple of categories to make it easier for you.

Have a look at our under €10.00 section for some great wines from Sicily and Abruzzo.

Or try our half bottle selection to be brave with some amazing wines without the cost of a full bottle.

Happy Shopping.


My departure

May 13, 2011 by Inez No Comments »

A Sad Face Balloon - Royalty Free Clipart PictureHi Everybody this is rather a sad note and quite different to my usual posts, but I am writing to let you know that I will be  leaving A Taste of Italy so will no longer be writing on the blog.  It has been a wonderful experience and I have thoroughly enjoyed writing the entries every week, and I am very grateful for all of those people who wrote lovely encouraging comments and followed my blog.   The weekly entries will be continued by another member of staff and I know that there will be many more enjoyable recipes and wine recommendations to come.

Best of luck to you all.

Inez O’Shea


The beauty of Brancaia

April 8, 2011 by Inez No Comments »

Brancaia is one of the leading wineries in Tuscany, Brancaia only produces four wines,  however the four wines which they do produce are quite simply outstanding.  There are many contributing factors which make a wine so special the first being the location of the winery.  Brancaia being  in the heart of the Chianti Classico zone is an area famous for it’s excellent “Terroir”.  Brancaia’s vinyards all have hillside location, looking south, southwest or southeast which means the grapes recieve maximum sunlight and  ripen to their full potential, consequently improving  the flavour of the wine.  The vines are then planted quite close together which resutls in the vines having to compete with each other for the nutrients in the soil.  The moderate amount of stress which they suffer from also results in  the grapes ripening earlier and the yield being reduced.  A reduced yield gives a far better quality of wine. As the saying goes “A struggling vine, makes good wine” .

The bunches of grapes on the vine are then thinned out mid June,  this means that the remaining grapes recieve all the of the vines attention and the concentration levels are increased which again improves the flavour and quality of the wine. 
Naturally each of the different wines have different vinification methods but all of the equipment used at the estate is modern and stat of the art.  The barrels used for maturing are French oak with medium toasting and used only for 3 years as they believe after this period the lovely oak flavours are imparted less and less.

As you can see there are many reasons for Brancaia’s success,  from their viticultural methods in the vinyard, to the vinification methods in the winery.  Their success comes from scrupulous attention to detail in all areas and we are proud to be importing their wines.

Inez O’Shea
“A Taste of Italy”


Brancaia Tre                                           Brancaia Il Blu



Brancaia Illatraia                              Brancaia Chianti Classico




March 31, 2011 by Inez No Comments »

ProweinLast week was the annual Prowein Fair in Dusseldorf, Germany. This fair not only exhibits wines from Germany but in fact wines from all over the world, both Old World and New World.  Here importers get the opportunity to source new wines and wineries, while wine growers get the opportunity to exhibit and promote their wines. 

After the fair most people head into Dusseldorf to the German beer houses for a feast of traditional German cuisine.  Schweinshaxe would be the dish of choice which is the knuckle of the pig which is either grilled or boiled, this is normally served with  fried potatoes, white asparagus and Hollondaise sauce, all washed down with the local  German beer.  All in all it’s a great atmosphere both at the fair and in Dusseldorf  and makes for a great trip.

Here is a little German recipe which if your feeling adventerous you may tackle.  After getting through not even 1 quarter of my Schweinshaxe,  the following night I decided to opt for another typical German dish which may be on the “smaller” side and be a little more tender and easier to eat. So I opted for the lamb, which was soft, flavoursome and although still quite large (German portions aren’t for the faint hearted) it was thoroughly enjoyable!!

Roast Lamb- German Style

  • 6 – 7 lb. leg of lamb
  • 2 garlic cloves, cut into slivers
  • 1/4 cup salt
  • 1 tbsp. pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 6 oz. Dijon mustard
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth or water



  • Preheat oven to 350° F.
  • Trim fat from roast.
  • Cut slits (1 in. deep) on top and sides of roast and insert slivers of garlic.
  • Combine salt, pepper, sugar and cloves in small bowl. Spread mixture over roast, using hands to rub it in.
  • Spread mustard in a thin coat on sides and top of roast.
  • Put lamb on rack in roasting pan. Add broth or water. Cover.
  • Bake 2 hours, basting every 15 minutes with cooking liquid.
  • Remove cover and continue to bake and baste until lamb reaches internal temperature of 175° F. (takes about 30 to 60 minutes more). Add extra water if needed.
  • Strain cooking liquid and serve with roast.
  • Serves 10 to 12.

Of course traditionally beer should be drunk with such a meal, however a lovely full bodied red would be just as nice.  I enjoyed a Montepuliciano d’ Abruzzo Coste delle Plai by Podere Castorani.   This wine is full of fruits and jam packed with flavour.   The wine is made from 100% Montepulciano d’Abruzzo grapes   which generally gives quite a full bodied richly flavoured wine, Podere Castorani then on top of this use the “sur lie” method which involves ageing the wine on it’s lees for 5-6 months, this gives the wine even further body and flavour.  In the glass you will notice that the wine is a rich ruby red colour with aromas of cherries, prunes, and small forest fruits. On the palate is has rich strong flavours of stewed fruits.  Abruzzi is in Central Italy so it is quite a warm environment the Montepulciano d’Abruzzo is local to this region and is known for not having a huge amount of tannins.  This is highly noticeable, in the Coste dell Plai, the tannins which it does have are elegant and soft.  It has a long finish and all in all goes very nicely with the German Lamb. 

Inez O’Shea
“A Taste of Italy”


St Patrick’s Day

March 21, 2011 by Inez No Comments »

Happy St Patrick’s Day !!!


Unfortunately this is the one occasion which we can’t cater for, the only beverage that should be drunk on this day of the year is the obligitary pint of GUINNESS!!


Inez O’Shea
“A Taste of Italy”