We met because of wine. After my last hospitality management role I (Meghan) re-trained in wine and my first job in the wine industry was selling for a lovely smaller distributor called Vinothentic. A friend invited me to Bocca di Lupo for dinner and so I studied the wine list (for 3 hours) to make sure I could try and sell something while I was there. The sommelier (Bruno) was clearly annoyed that I should try and do that mid service and was almost rude in correcting my awful Italian pronunciation. Nonetheless, he accepted my invitation to a wine dinner and not only did Bocca start selling the wines but we became great friends. Bruno became my tasting coach as I did wine exams, his English improved as did my Italian! The rest is history!

Irmana, Sicilia I always find there’s something about Sicilian wines that make me almost feel the sea, or smell it, or hear it – there must be something in the grapes that travels. Honestly! Give it a go! This one if from Trapani on the Western coast.

  • Grillo IGT, 2019 £13.00

Manincor, Alto Adige Quite literally a royal family of wine – the same genes have been making wine on the estate since the 1600’s. The most recent Count has turned to organic and biodynamic production and the fruit of his labour is sublime!

  • Terlaner Reserva Della Contessa DOC 2017 £50.00

MAGNUM 60% Pinot Bianco, 30% Chardonnay, 10% Sauvignon Blanc fermented in oak with indigenous yeast, matured on the lees for 9 months. You’ll find stone fruit, herbs and refreshing acidity on the palate. This is a superb wine – very limited stock.

Rosade Furlane, Friuli Venezia Giulia Not everyone can afford an estate. But that doesn’t mean they can’t make great wine. These folks buy quality grapes and vinify them superbly. Their wines are staples in our home.

  • Venturin Bianco IGP 2018 £11.00

Name a grape – it’s in here but the result is harmonious and delicious! Chardonnay, Friulano, Gewurtzraminer, Müller Thurgau, Pinot Bianco & Sauvignon Blanc.

Castello di Torre in Pietra, Lazio A region known for its easy drinking aperitivo wines.

  • Elephas Bianco IGT 2019 £12.50

A lovely blend of Vermentino, Fiano & Trebbiano

Tenuta San Pietro, Piemonte An organic & biodynamic estate where the winemakers strive to let the true expression of the grape sing.

  • Gavi di Gavi ‘San Pietro’ DOCG 2019 £19.75

This is the only Gavi I drink. There is nothing better and every time I return to it I get that same fairly smug feeling of having a great secret – now it’s yours too! Floral and stone fruit on the nose with a long mineral finish. Superb!

The Lenzini Estate, Tuscany covers 24 hectares in the foothills of Lucca, in the beautiful area of Gragnano. It is nestled in a natural amphitheatre which benefits from its own particular microclimate. Vines have been growing here since the Etruscans. The estate has been farmed organically & biodynamically since 2007. 

  • Poggio de Paoli, IGT 2015 £22.50

A classic Super Tuscan blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Syrah and Alicante. Aged in oak for 24 months before release.

Antonelli, Umbria A signore Antonelli bought the estate in 1881 from the Archbishop, the church had already been enjoying the spoils of the land for 600yrs. There are 170ha of idyllic rolling hills, 40 of which are devoted to vines and the rest to olives and farmland. Bruno visited recently with his mum – I demand to be included next time!

  • Half Montefalco Rosso DOC, 2016 £10.75
  • Baiocco Sangiovese, Organic IGT,2019 £13.50
  • Sagrantino di Montefalco, Chiuse di Pannone DOCG 2012 £46.50

This is a very special wine. The kind you’ll remember. A single vineyard wine from an ancient grape which ages for 30 months in oak, then 6 in concrete and finally 2 in the bottle before they let it leave the estate. This is a wine with pheromones.  Spicy, sexy and complex.

Tenuta Fessina, Sicily A truly volcanic estate – it sits on the intersection of two lava flows dating from 1300. This wine is the jewel in their crown – it accompanies many of our special occasions. Most of the vines are 90yrs old but some are pre-phylloxera and 150yrs old. 

  • Il Musmeci, Etna Rosso DOC 2012 £36.50

This is a wine that would cost more than double in a restaurant. If you’re a fan of Burgundy then you’ll love this – the soil gives that great earthy quality and a 2012 Etna Rosso will taste like a much older Burgundy.

Rosade Furlane, Friuli Venezia Giulia Not everyone can afford an estate. But that doesn’t mean they can’t make great wine. These folks buy quality grapes and vinify them superbly. Their wines are staples in our home.

  • Merlot IGP 2018 £10.50

Very juicy and very drinkable. 

Cantine Volpi, Abruzzo A cooperative of organic farmers

  • Montelpuciano d’Abruzzo DOC 2018 £11.75

Very quaffable and with good structure.

La Mura, Sicilia An organic winemaker keeping yields low and the flavours concentrated.

  • Nero d’Avola Terre Siciliane IGT 2018 £11.15

Classic – red berries gushing and gorgeous soft tannins.

Cantine Ionis, Puglia A great small winemaker in Salento

  • Primitivo ‘Acanto’ IGT 2018 £12.50

There are times when only a Primitivo will do – it always feels like a lovely cuddle to me, even its deep purple colour is comforting. Plums and cherries on the nose then rich and juicy in the mouth. Glug away!

Villa Monsignore, Piemonte Langhe is Italy’s most illustrious wine region and this grape is its workhorse.

  • Barbera d’Asti DOCG 2019 £13.15

Violet and dark cherries on the nose and notes of chocolate on the finish. Very easy drinking!

Le Bertarole, Veneto From the same region as the all guns blazing Amarone (my Dad’s favourite) comes a slightly more approachable wine. Always made using a careful blend of Corvina, Rondinella & Corvinone grapes.

  • Valpolicella ‘Le Filagne’ DOC 2019 £13.50

Sour cherry and floral nose and then full and velvety in the mouth.

Dacapo, Piemonte Brothers breaking the rules in Piemonte – using ancient varieties and trusting their instincts instead of trying to fit in.

  • Ruche ‘Majoli’ di Castagnole Monferrato DOCG 2016 £25

Bruno and I met because of this wine. Come in and we’ll tell you the story! Very little of this grape is left, it was the farmers wine. Along with their lunch time paninos they would drink carafes of this. It is deceptively feminine on the nose with rose and strawberries but the structure and earthiness come through and surprise you on the palate.

PoggioargentierA, Maremma A fairly new winery (1997) hence the modernist use of capitals! This is a brilliant example of how terroir changes a wine. The soil in Maremma is much sandier than in Tuscany and the resulting Sangiovese is barely recognisable compared to its fancy cousins in Montalcino or Montelpuciano.

  • Morellino di Scansano DOCG, 2019 £16.50

As the name suggests it bears a fruity resemblance to the darker morello cherries. This is a round, juicy wine.

Gracciano della Seta, Toscana We’ve been sampling the top end Brunello wines to try and find something top end for those occasions which warrant it – but nothing has beaten this yet. Why pay 3 times more? Pure silk. 90% Prugnolo Gentile (Sangiovese) 10% Merlot

  • Vino Nobile di Montelpuciano DOCG, 2017 £25

Villa Sparina, Piemonte These folks produce one of the very top Gavi wines (shout if you want us to get one in). Having now done my research it turns out it’s also a 4* hotel and Michelin starred restaurant. (Feel free to start dropping hints to Bruno on my behalf).

  • Half Barbera di Monferatto DOC, 2018 £11.00

Irmana, Sicilia We don’t see that mch 100% Frappato in the UK – it’s usually blended with Nero d’Avola to round it out. We found to show ripe red berries, bright acidity and tobacco notes.

  • Frappato IGT, 2019 £13.00

Castelforte, Veneto We’ve got a favourire Amarone available for anyone willing to splurge but as an everyday alternative Ripasso is fabulous. In winter the Corvina, Corvinone and Rondinella wines are passed over (Ripasso) the Amarone grapes. They pick up great structure, depth of flavour and a raisined quality. All with much lower alcohol and prices!

  • Valpolicella Ripasso DOC, 2017 £14.50

Botter, Veneto A family owned and run estate since 1928

  • Prosecco DOC £15.00

Refined bubbles and no hangovers yet (and I’ve had tons!)