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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Hidden Gems of Italy: An Insider's Secret Formula To Find Top-Class Italian Wines At Value Prices And Taste La Dolce Vita is a nonfiction cooking, food and wine guide written by Tony Margiotta. Margiotta is the founder and owner of Gladiator Wine Distribution in New York City, which imports and distributes limited-edition Italian wines. In his book, he sets out the big three mistakes people make when they shop for wine, and he introduces the wine-drinking public to the over 2,000 different wine grapes that are grown in Italy and the best way to shop for the wines they are made from. The author grew up occasionally enjoying small sips of his Italian relatives’ red wine, and his family had a vineyard in Montaquila, in the Molise region of Italy. Out of respect for his grandmother’s wish that he experience her Italian roots, he took that first trip there in 2000, which entirely changed his life.
Margiotta’s book is a guide to wines costing between $15-30, a price range that allows savvy wine shoppers to find what he calls “hidden gems” that are high quality, unforgettable wines comparable in quality to those costing much more. He teaches the reader how to read the labels on Italian wine bottles, even if they’re in Italian, and shows how to differentiate wines by the region (and there are 20 of them) they come from. He gives suggestions for starting wine clubs for tasting parties to learn about the different wines, and provides a table to allow French and California wine drinkers some guidance into finding Italian wines that are relatively equivalent to their favorite wines.
I love learning about wine and was fascinated by Tony Margiotta’s Hidden Gems of Italy. I will admit to being just about totally ignorant of Italian wines before reading this book, and finished it feeling pretty excited about the new world of wine-tasting that had just opened up before my eyes. I especially appreciated his instructions on how to crack the code and set out exploring Italian wines. Knowing what to start out with as a fancier of Pinot Noir and Shiraz gave me a big jump up in confidence, and having the complexities of a country that’s been producing wine grapes for over 2500 years demystified in this book is a marvel indeed. Anyone who loves wine should explore the riches to be found within these pages. This is awesome! And marvelously written to boot. Hidden Gems of Italy: An Insider's Secret Formula To Find Top-Class Italian Wines At Value Prices And Taste La Dolce Vita is most highly recommended.