13 Jun 2024
Buon Natale! Italian wine and prosecco suggestions for the holiday season
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Buon Natale! Italian wine and prosecco suggestions for the holiday season

In 2015 Systembolaget alone sold 193,6 million liters of wine, approximately 55 million of which came from Italy. Why, you might wonder? Because the sun hits Italy so much harder, so the grapes grow  beautifully and produce wines rich in flavour and aroma. What a contrast this makes with the 5 months of winter we have to endure in Stockholm! Drinking Italian wine is a way of bringing a little bit of sunshine into our lives.

“We prepared for you our largest wine’s list suggestions so far, it is as long as the winter itself and we made a super extra effort with food recommendations for everyone with vegan and vegetarian tips and for meat eaters as well.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, enjoy!”  – Octavio Hernandez, Chef/Sommelier

PERFECT FOR THE CHRISTMAS DINNER:

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Barolo Boiolo DOCG 2011 Organic

Region: Piemonte, Italy.

Grape:  100% Nebiolo

Alcohol: 13%

Price: 399.-

Systembolaget number: 78840

Tasting notes: This wine has 96 points from the Decanter World Wine Awards. 2 years on French oak, and 12 on the bottle prior to release, which translates in the producer’s words into “aromas of coffee, tobacco, vanilla and red berries, accompanied by violets and roses”.  I got spiciness, meatiness.  The taste is again in the producer’s words  “powerful, elegant, smooth and mouth-filling”. Long aftertaste, rich and full of flavour. In my opinion this Barolo easily competes with wines in the price range of 500-700 SEK. Very priceworthy.
Recommended with: This is the Christmas dinner wine to share with family and/or friends. Makes an impressive present as well.

 

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Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore Brut 2014

Region: Val d´Oca, Veneto DOCG, Italy

Grape: Glera

Alcohol: 11%

Price: 109.-

Systembolaget number: 75144

Tasting notes: Elegant with fine bubbles . Very refreshing in the palate, pear and citrus. This is all you want in a Prosecco.

Recommeded with: Spaghetti/Pasta Frutti di mare, Swedish Christmas food (senapssill, julkorv, Janssons Frestelse, prinskorv, julkorv, gravad/kallrökt/varmrökt salmon, etc.). Vegetarian: Bell Pepper Tempeh Fajitas

 

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Copertino Riserva 2008

Region: Apulien  Copertino, Italy

Grape: Negroamaro

Alcohol: 13%

Price: 79.-

Systembolaget number:  2077

Tasting notes: Black and red berries, fully developed, super priceworthy wine. A tad of spiciness.

Recommeded with: Salsa Bolognese, Swedish Christmas food (senapssill, julkorv, Janssons Frestelse, prinskorv, julkorv, gravad/kallrökt/varmrökt salmon, etc.). Vegetarian:  Pasta al forno tranese.

 

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Cappello Di Prete 2011

Region: IGT Salento rosso

Grape: Negro Amaro

Alcohol:13,5%

Price: 85.-

Systembolaget number: 2727

Tasting notes: Another super priceworthy wine. Richly textured and full-bodied red. Spicy, oaky, dry berries, cigar box, chocolate and rosemary. Soft tannins.

Recommended with: Rich pasta dishes like lasagna, wild meat, lamb, antipasti, pinchos, and Swedish christmas food as well.

Vegetarian: Brussels Sprouts with Dates & Dill.

 

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Surani Atlas Tomasi Biologico Organic Wine

Region: Apulien IGT Puglia, Italy.

Grape: 50% Primitivo, 30% negroamaro, 20% cabernet sauvignon

Alcohol: 13%

Price: 99.-

Systembolaget number:  75292

Tasting notes: A fruity nose full of red and black berries, strawberries, oak barrel tones. On the palate you get some sort of low “yogurt tasting” acidity with off-dry sweetness, and mineral tones. A little bit of spiciness, quite elegant and raisin-flavoured, medium-bodied with a medium finish.

Recommended with: Intense dishes full of flavour like a Pasta Carbonara, lasagna, Janssons Frestelse and/or Swedish meatballs. Veg: Fried Tofu with Spicy Ginger-Sesame Sauce

 

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Fiorato Recioto di Valpolicella 2013

Region:  Recioto della Valpolicella Classico DOCG , Italy

Grape: 65% Corvina Veronese, 30% Rondinella och 5% Molinara

Alcohol: 13,5%

Price: 169.- (375 ml)

Systembolaget number: 74558

Tasting notes: Complex nose, full with dark and red berries, dry apple, warm and sweet. Very sweet taste, with full body, prunes, raisins and cherry on the palate. This is a very elegant and sweet wine.
Recommended with: Different desserts. Everything that is sweet and with jam, and even some cheeses.

 

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Soprasasso Valpolicella ripasso 2013

Region: Veneto

Grape:  Corvina 70 %  Corvinone 30 %

Alcohol: 13.5%

Price: 99.-

Systembolaget number5358.

Tasting notes: Aromas of red and dark fruit with some good spiciness. Lively acidity and dryness in the sweetness. Fleshy tannins and medium-body. Great price.

Recommended with:  Boeuf bourguignon, lasagne, carbonara. Vegetarian: Eggplant & Porcini “Meatballs” in Tomato Sauce.

 

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Siro Fifty

Region: Toscana

Grape: 50% sangiovese och 50% gratena nero

Alcohol: 14 %

Price: 119.-

Systembolaget number: 2567.

Tasting notes: Balanced, fruity, spicy flavour with barrel character, hints of black currant, cherry, sage, chocolate and cinnamon.

Recommeded withBest to relatively tasty dishes of lamb, veal or beef and preferrably seasoned with herbs. Veal liver fried with onions, garlic and fresh basil. Vegetarian: Herb-Roasted Winter Veggies.

 

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Prugneto Sangiovese Romagna DOC Superiore , 2015

Region :Emilia-Romagna, Italy.

Grape: Sangiovese

Alcohol: 13.5%

Price: 79.-

Systembolaget number: 2313.

Tasting notes:  Aromatic and mature red and black cherries. Very fruity on the taste with medium tannins, and a good body. Very priceworthy.

Recommended with: Pizza, pasta dishes, stews. Vegetarian: Butter-fried shallots chanterelle melted cheese swamp toast.  

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Basilisco Aglianico del Vulture 2009

Region: Aglianico del Vulture DOC, Italy.

Grape: Aglianico

Alcohol: 13.5%

Price: 289.-

Systembolaget number: 73521.

Tasting notes: Very impressed with this wine, Balsamic notes of berries, ripe cherry, plum, dried violet, juniper sun-warmed with a light Mediterranean back. The taste is fresh, mineral, with dense and elegant tannins. Long finish
Recommended with: Christmas dinner or a special occasion. I would recommend an authentic Italian Lasagna. Vegetarian: Baked Aubergine Parmigiana.

 

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Valpolicella Superiore 2012 Falezze

Region: Valpolicella Superiore DOC, Veneto, Italy.

Grape: Corvinone 35%, Corvina 45%, Rondinella 15% och Oseleta 5%

Alcohol: 14.5%

Price: 249.-

Systembolaget number: 73597.  

Tasting notes: Young fruit, oak, fresh medium-sized tannins, aftertaste of dry drapes. Very tasty.

Recommended with:  Goes well with lamb, creamy mustard dressings, roasted shrimps and many other things on a Christmas table. This can easily be a Christmas wine. If you are cooking something special for the 24th and would like some pork I recommend this Porchetta Recipe. Vegetarian: Yet another vegetarian lasagne, this time Pumpkin with Roasted Chestnuts.

 

A GOOD CHRISTMAS PRESENT:

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Travaglini Gattinara Riserva 2010

Region: Piemonte, Gattinara, Italy.

Grape: Nebbiolo

Alcohol: 13.5

Price: 249.-

Systembolaget number: 92303

Tasting notes: Clear and strong minerality; reminiscent of cherries, rose and liquorice. Pleasantly tannic, fresh and persistent.

Recommended with: Savoury dishes of meat, game and aged cheeses. Vegetarian: Grilled cauliflower with winter pesto.

 

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Barolo Riserva Bricco delle Viole 2007

Region: Barolo village, Bricco delle Viole vineyards, Italy.

Grape: Nebbiolo

Alcohol: 14.5%

Price: 599.-

Systembolaget number: 72275

Tasting notes: This is an exquisite wine. Perfect as a present or for the Christmas dinner, New Year´s dinner  or why not, just to drink some of the best wine ever made. I can not begin to write enough about this wine, so I rather let the producer talk for himself here.

Recommeded with: It will make any Christmas dinner special, or any dinner for that matter. Slow-cooked Beef Stew. Vegetarian: Here you go a full list of recipes that match up with this wine.

 

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Duca di Aragona 2009

Region: IGT Salento Rosso ,Apulien, Italy

Grape: 80 % Negroamaro, 20 % Montepulciano

Alcohol: 13,5%

Price: 129.-

Systembolaget number: 73314

Tasting notes: Beautiful red colour, elegant wine, black berries and dry plum on the nose. Intense bouquet with clean aromas and a delicate fragrance, explodes in roasted coffee bean aroma, tobacco and leather combined with the aromas of balsam wood.

Recommended with: Full blown rich  meat dishes. Porter steak,  grilled entrecôte with grated potatoes. Vegetarian: Vegetarian lasagne. Roasted Eggplant Spread.

 

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Castello Di Gabbiano Chianti Classico Riserva 2011  DOCG

Region: Toscana, Chianti, Chianti Classico, Italy

Grape: 95% sangiovese 5% merlot

Alcohol: 14.5%

Price: 189

Systembolaget number: 76842-01.

Tasting notes: One of the best Chiantis for it’s price, winner of 2016 Vancouver Wine Awards. The nose is clean with full-bodied sweet  fruit aromas of black cherry, one can feel the French oak in the taste with a lively body and nice tannins.

Recommeded with: Lasagna, stuffed roasted turkey, pasta with meatballs and cheesy dishes among others. Vegetarian: Raw Vegan Lasagne.

 

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Bellezza Chianti Classico Riserva Selezione 2012

Region: Tuscany D.O.C.G., Italy

Grape: Sangiovese

Alcohol:

Price: 299.-

Systembolaget number: 76476-01.

Tasting notes: Ripe red cherry and strawberry, raisin, cream, and of medium-high intensity nose, a little spicy and  with vanilla. Medium body,but almost full. Very nice dusty tannins and quite refreshing to the palate. Robust, flavourful and ultra smooth and refined. If you like Chianti or would like to try a great one then this is it.

Recommended with: Meatballs in tomato sauce, Osso Bucco. Vegetarian: Sixteenth century recipe for baked aubergines.

 

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Barolo Luigi Baudana 2012

Region: Piemonte, Italy.

Grape: Nebbiolo

Alcohol: 14.5%

Price: 279.-

Systembolaget number: 2330.

Tasting notes: A lot of tannins, a very dry wine , intense and beautiful, the kind of wine for a person who wishes a deep and pronounced well balanced structure. Cherries nippon, roses, tobacco, liquorice. Very juicy and delicious.
Recommended with: Garlicky Grilled Beef Tenderloin with Herbs. Vegetarian: Red wine risotto with cranberry beans and grilled chicories.

 

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Ripasso della Valpolicella  Falezze DOC 2011

Region: Ripasso della Valpolicella DOC, Veneto, Italy.

Grape: Corvinone 40%, Corvina 30%, Rondinella 15% och Oseleta 5%

Alcohol: 14%

Price: 265.-

Systembolaget number: 74490.

Tasting notes: This is a dry Ripasso. Very complex and intense aromas of plum, cherry, herbs like mint. The taste is very intensive with liquorice, plum, cherry. Very fresh and mineral.

Recommended with: Tomato sauce based dishes, but also sausages. Vegetarian: Sun-dried Tomato pesto pasta (vegan and gluten free).

 

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Lo Sparviere Franciacorta DOCG Brut Millesimato 2009

Region: Lombardy, Italy

Grape: Chardonnay

Alcohol: 13%

Price: 209.-

Systembolaget number: 77926.

Tasting notes: Honey, yeast, beeswax, very fresh fruity and mineral.

Recommended with: Excellent with any type of creamy risotto and shellfish dishes. Vegetarian: Risottos, vegetarian or vegan lasagne, french fries.

 

NEW YEAR’S EVE TREATS:

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Doppionodo Prosecco Ardenghi Brut Ecological Wine

Region: DOC Trevisio Veneto, Italy.

Grape: Glera

Alcohol: 11%

Price: 159.-

Systembolaget number: 76913

Tasting notes: White flowers,  I really liked the pear in this wine because it reminded me of my favourite Swedish ice-cream ever – the pear-flavoured Piggelin. If you like Piggelin you have to buy this. Green apple on the nose as well. The palate is dry, well balanced, fresh with tones of lemon, lime, peach, and some minerality.

Recommended with: Friends to cheer and celebrate with good music. Song: “Chicago Swing” by Dj RhythmGirls from San Remo” by Fafa Monteco. They are on Spotify.

 

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Gelso D´Oro IGT 2013 (Nero di Troja) Biodynamic Wine.

Region: Puglia, Italy

Grape: Nero di Troja

Alcohol: 14%

Price: 249

Systembolaget number: 78688

Tasting notes: Another complex wine full of flavour with good acidity, creaminess and notes of juniper, liquorice, fennel red berries, raisin. Soft tannins with a long finish. A wine for Amarone lovers.

Recommended with: Hard cheeses, dark chocolate and for smoking a cigar as well. Vegetarian: Potatisgratäng( Potato gratin) with oven roasted Artichokes. You can use soy cheese and cream to make it vegan!

 

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Tommasi Crearo 2013

Region: Veneto IGT, Italy

Grape: 50%corvina veronese, 15% oseleta, 35% cabernet franc

Alcohol: 13,5%

Price 189 .-

Systembolaget number: 87204

Tasting notes: Red Berries, vanilla and a tad of chocolate on the nose. The palate has little spiciness to it with red cooked berries, stewed plums,  low acidity and an off-dry sweetness. It has a very nice flavour, rich with fruits and a smooth  medium body that makes it perfect for:

Recommended with: Different meat dishes and rich cheeses. A meat stew. Veg: Three-cheee Mushroom pizza with basil , Red Wine Risotto. Vegan Shepherd´s Pie.

 

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Sartori Marani Bianco Veronese IGT

Region: Sartori Veneto, Italien

Grape: Garganega, hand picked.

Alcohol: 13,50%

Price: 98.-

Product Number: Private importer.

Tasting notes: This is an amazing wine of hand-picked grapes which are left to dry for 40 days before carefully pressing them. Afterwards a part of the juice ferments in big oak barrels and the rest in stainless-steel tanks. The wine rests afterwards in the “wine lees” until it is time to bottle it, which in turn gives a complex and intensive taste. The nose has honey, dry fruits like peach. It’s very fresh and yet mature at the same time, with a beautiful creaminess and very soft acid. This wine is a must-buy.
Recommended with: Crunchy Korean fried chicken. Vegetarian: You can replace the chicken with tofu and it´s just as amazing!

 

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Albino Armani Sauvignon

Region: Veneto

Grape: Pinot Grigio, hand picked.

Alcohol: 12.5%

Price: 159.-

Number: Private importer.

Tasting notesHigh quality wine, mineral taste of tropical fruits and tannins that lengthen the after taste. Pear and grapefruit aromas.
Recommended withChicken and fattier fish like salmon or vegetables. Vegan Cheese Stuffed BurgerGoodstore at Skånegatan, Södermalm has a lot of vegan and vegetarian ingredients! Or a Vegetable curry.

 

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Albino Armani Sauvignon

Region: Veneto

Grape: Sauvignon Blanc, hand picked.

Alcohol12.5%

Price: 163.-

Number: Private importer.

Tasting notes: One of the best Sauvignon Blancs in the market.

Recommeded with: Fish and shellfish soups and dishes. Light white fishes. I found a great recipe for Sunshine HakeVegetarian: One of the best recipes I’ve ever seen, Vegan sushi burger.

 

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Cuvée Deor NV

Region: Cielo e Terra, Apulien

Grape: Moscato, Garganega

Alcohol: 10%

Price: 89.-

Systembolaget number: 77308.

Tasting notes: Spicy and sweet New Year’s sparkling wine with very fresh bubbles and a golden-coloured bottle.

Recommended with: Friends and good music. It is quite affordable and of good quality. One can easily buy 4 bottles to get the party going!

 

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Gran Maestro Bianco Appassimento 2015

Region:  IGT Apulien, Italy

Grape: Chardonnay 80 % Fiano 20%, handpicked.

Alcohol: 14,5

Price: 69.-

Systembolaget number: 76052.

Tasting notes: We were surprised to hear the price of this wine. It could easily be 30% higher. It has a lot of peach and very flowery aromatic tones of exotic fruits. A tad of minerality in the taste, creamy and a very nice flavour.

Recommeded with: Pad Thai, spicy asian dishes. Vegetarian: Vegan Enchiladas!

 

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Soprasasso Amarone della Valpolicella 2012 D.O.C.G.

Region: Veneto

Grape: Corvina, Molinara, Rondinella.

Alcohol: 15%

Price: 169.-

Systembolaget number:  2352.

Tasting notes: A very good deal. Ripe red fruit aromas, sweet baked black currants, dark raisins. Full flavoured with a velvety structure and hints of spice.

Recommended with: Stay away from spicy dishes for they do not go well with high alcohol wine. Otherwise a hearty pasta dish with a meat sauce. Osso Bucco, braised veal shank with the marrow. If you are serious in your cooking and want to have a good Christmas dinner, then try this recipeVegetarian: Amarone swamp risotto, thick swamp pasta, grated Portabello with melted Gorgonzola pinchos.

 

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Gabbiano 2013 IGT

Region: Toscana Solatio

Grape: 50% Syrah, 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 5% Sangiovese

Alcohol: 13%

Price: 99.-

Systembolaget number:  74403.

Tasting notes: A so called “Super Toscan”, dark cherry on the nose, macerated strawberries, black currant, coffee. Nice tannins and well-rounded flavours. Good price.

Recommended with: Pasta dishes, pizza or even a hamburger. Vegetarian: Vegan Irish Nacho Pie.

 

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Barbera D´Alba Superiore 2013

Region: Vergne , Barolo, Italy.

Grape: Barbera

Alcohol: 14.5%

Price: 199.-

Systembolaget number: 23071.

Tasting notes: Very rich nose, red fruits, hay, flowers and liquorice. The palate has minerality, it is a little bit spicy with very nice tannins. Rich flavour as well.

Recommended with: Hanger steak, pasta with meat, meatloaf, most pizzas, bolognese pasta. Vegetarian: Vegetarian lasagne. Any type of veg. pasta either with a vegan creamy or tomato sauce.

 

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Monte Tondo Casette Foscarin Soave DOC

Region: Soave, Italy.

Grape: Garganega, Trebbiano di Soave

Alcohol: 13 %

Price: 159.-

Systembolaget number: 76599.

Tasting notes: Yellow color with golden highlights. the nose is fine with aromas of ripe tropical fruits, dried fruits, spices and vanilla given by the barrel with a strong minerality.

Recommended with: It goes well with first courses of fish dishes made with vegetables, fish soups and soft cheeses. Vegetarian: Root vegetable stew/baked dishes.

 

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Ognissole Primitivo di Manduria

Region: DOC Primitivo di Manduria, Italy

Grape: Primitivo (zinfandel)

Alcohol: 14 %

Price: 159.-

Systembolaget number: 75476.

Tasting notes: Nose is floral with a lot of red and black berries, some spiciness, liquorice. Very rich in flavour, a very nice and fresh fruity taste.
Recommeded with: A beef steak. Vegetarian: Italian Eggplant Stew.

 

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Bacio della Luna Prosecco Superiore DOCG 2015

Region: Conegliano-Valdobbiadene, Treviso, Italy

Grape: Glera

Alcohol: 11%

Price: 109.-

Systembolaget number:  2332.

Tasting notes: Very refreshing with pears and herbal aromas. Citrus.

Recommeded with: Tapas, calamari, gambas al ajillo. Vegetarian: French fries.

 

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Lo Sparviere Franciacorta Brut, Cuvee 7

Region: Lombardy, Italy.

Grape: Chardonnay

Alcohol: 13%

Price: 179.-

Systembolaget number:  77037.

Tasting notes: Mature, freshly baked bread aromas, nuts, jammy. Very nice flavour, a little spicy, refreshing. It is extremely priceworthy, same as its brother “MILLESIMATO 2009”, the taste is just as good as regular champagne, which may cost twice the price.

Recommeded with: Shellfish dishes like spaghetti frutti di mare. Vegetarian: Rye Spaghetti with hazelnuts, zucchini and pumpkin (vegan).

 

 

Octavio Hernandez, chef/sommelier
Octavio Hernandez, chef/sommelier

TEXT: Octavio Hernandez

PHOTOS: Karen Pérez Guzmán

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