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First Taste Guides

Many of Europe’s wines are strictly regulated to control grape varieties, grape yields, vineyard management and winemaking methods, all in an effort to preserve tradition or — more honestly — a brand name. In other words, if you buy an Amarone della Valpolicella, it ought to taste like an Amarone della Valpolicella. And in turn, nothing else in the world should taste the same way. At least in theory.

But for many wine drinkers in the United States, these rules are a barrier to entry. My series of First-Taste Guides are meant to introduce readers to some of these wines by breaking down those barriers.


Opening a Bottle is an independent online magazine focused on telling the story of unique wines, winemakers and wine regions.

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