Matthew's World of Wine and Drink

About Matthew's World of Wine and Drink.

This blog began as a record of taking the WSET Diploma, during which I studied and explored wines and spirits made all around the world. Having passed the Diploma and become a WSET Certified Educator, the blog has become much more: a continual outlet for my passion for the culture of wine, spirits, and beer.

I aim to educate in an informal, enlightening, and engaging manner. As well as maintaining this blog to track my latest enthusiasms, I provide educational tastings for restaurants and for private groups. Details can be found on the website, and collaborations are welcome.

Wine is my primary interest and area of expertise and this blog aims to immerse the reader in the history of wine, to understand why wine tastes like it does, and to explore all the latest news. At the same time, beer and spirits will never be ignored. 

For the drinker, whether casual or professional, today is a good time to be alive.

Casale del Giglio Bellone 2016

Casale del Giglio Bellone 2016

As I’ve written in other posts, there has been a revolution in the quality of Italian white wine. Once heavy, oxidised, and lacking freshness, wines from all over the country are now clean, crisp, and interesting. This change has come from cool fermentations in stainless steel tanks rather than at warm temperatures in large oak barrels. 

Grapes are also treated with care, which may seem obvious but isn’t always the case with inexpensive wine. With that comes a respect for the grape variety, and producers have looked towards historic, quality, but overlooked varieties. 

One such is Bellone, which originates from the Lazio region outside Rome. This is a high-quality variety which very few producers work with, as many producers preferred to plant neutral, high-yielding varieties such as Trebbiano. There still isn't much grown, but those who grow Bellone emphasise its quality. It has naturally high acidity and a rich, creamy, but balanced texture and dry, sweet, and sparkling wines are made using the grape.  

Casale del Giglio plant Bordeaux varieties (which work extremely well in Lazio), but also more obscure local varieties like Bellone. Like the best Italian whites, it has a crisp, dry acidity but is a little fruitier with citrus, stone, and tropical fruit aromas. Tremendous value at $20.   

Price: $20

Vintage: 2016

Grape Variety: Bellone

Region: Lazio

Alcohol: 13%

Rating: ✪✪✪✪✪

Drink: now-2020

Food pairing: mild spice or rich sauces. Casale del Giglio's website recommends Minestra di Sgavajone: "a typical soup from the fishermen of Anzio made with sgavajone, a local fish rarely found outside their family homes." The recipe is listed on their website.

Alexander Jules Amontillado 3/10

Alexander Jules Amontillado 3/10

Abacela Barrel Select Tempranillo 2013

Abacela Barrel Select Tempranillo 2013