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The Everyday Guide to Wines of Italy

The Everyday Guide to Wines of Italy

Course No.  9171
Course No.  9171
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Course Overview

About This Course

6 lectures  |  35 minutes per lecture

No place on Earth has a more ancient and important tradition of winemaking than Italy. Thousands of years before wine became commonplace in France or the Napa Valley, Italians were producing their own unique varieties and making wine an essential part of Italian—and human—culture.

Today, Italy’s role in the wine industry is as important as ever. In addition to being one of the world’s largest consumers of wine, Italy

  • is the world’s largest wine producer (surpassing a title previously claimed by France),
  • contains over 1.5 million acres of vineyards growing in a range of climates, and
  • produces just under 5 billion liters of wine each year.
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No place on Earth has a more ancient and important tradition of winemaking than Italy. Thousands of years before wine became commonplace in France or the Napa Valley, Italians were producing their own unique varieties and making wine an essential part of Italian—and human—culture.

Today, Italy’s role in the wine industry is as important as ever. In addition to being one of the world’s largest consumers of wine, Italy

  • is the world’s largest wine producer (surpassing a title previously claimed by France),
  • contains over 1.5 million acres of vineyards growing in a range of climates, and
  • produces just under 5 billion liters of wine each year.

But more important than the statistics are the wines themselves, which can tantalize your palate, enchant your senses, and prove that enjoying a glass of wine is just as much an art as it is an activity. Subtle whites like Pinot Grigio; spicy reds like Chianti; effervescent sparkling wines like Prosecco—these and others of Italy’s native sons rank among the most famous, most well-liked, and most well-respected wines in the world.

Now with the six lectures of The Everyday Guide to Wines of Italy, you can experience the dynamism of Italian wine for yourself and become your own expert in the tastes, traditions, and innovations from history’s definitive wine-making regions. Delivered by acclaimed Master of Wine Jennifer Simonetti-Bryan, one of the foremost authorities on wines around the world, this course is a chance for you to embark on a delicious, interactive, and unforgettable tasting tour through a country that is equal parts picturesque, romantic, and mysterious.

Take a Virtual Tour of Italy's Best Wine Regions

Ms. Simonetti-Bryan has crafted an informative itinerary that takes you across Italy on a tour of its most notable wine regions—and the delicious wines they produce. Each lecture focuses on a specific part of the country and the features that set its wines apart from other regions of Italy and other parts of the world.  Examples include:

  • Northeast Italy: The regions of the Veneto, Friuli-Venezia-Giulia, and Trentino-Alto Adige are home to one of the most famous white wines in the world Pinot Grigio, as well as decadently rich reds.
  • Tuscany: One of Italy's most popular tourist destinations, Tuscany yields wines recognized for their high quality and their ability to pair easily with food. 
  • Sicily: The volcanic soil in Sicily (coming from nearby Mount Etna) is quite fertile. Sicily’s most prominent red grape variety is Nero d’Avola.

An even greater level of engagement and immersion is added to your tour of Italian wine regions, thanks to green screen technology, which transports Ms. Simonetti-Bryan (and you) to many of the breathtaking regions discussed in these lectures.

Sample Italian Wines like an Expert

See. Swirl. Sniff. Sip. Savor. Ms. Simonetti-Bryan teaches you how to employ the craft of wine tasting to better understand and appreciate subtleties most people miss. You’ll explore reds, whites, sparkling wines, and dessert wines, including

  • Prosecco, Italy's most popular sparkling wine that rivals the quantity of champagne exported from France;
  • Chianti Classico, a pale ruby wine made from Italy’s most planted grape variety, Sangiovese;
  • Pinot Grigio, a white wine whose characteristics change depending on how its grapes are grown; and
  • Super Tuscan, a luxurious wine from Tuscany that includes French noble red grape varieties such as Merlot.

In addition to the interactive wine tastings that make The Everyday Guide to Wines of Italy a unique way to learn about and experience great Italian wine, these lectures also feature suggestions on food pairings, tips for shopping, recipes for fun cocktails, and more. So order The Everyday Guide to Wines of Italy and expand your appreciation and understanding of wines unmatched in taste and history by anything else in the world.

View Less
6 Lectures
  • 1
    Wines from Julius Caesar’s Day to Today
    In this introductory lecture, Ms. Simonetti-Bryan gives you the tools you need to embark on this unforgettable journey through the world of Italian wines. First, get a brief overview of Italy’s history of winemaking and its important grape varieties. Then, use the five S’s (see, swirl, sniff, sip, savor) to compare ancient and modern wines. Finally, take a closer look at the art of pairing wine with food, and make sense of wine labels and terminology. x
  • 2
    Northeast Italy—Beloved Whites to Rich Reds
    Continue your tour with a visit to Venice and other areas in the northeastern corner of the country—a region famed for light-bodied white wines and deep reds. You’ll compare and contrast Champagne and Prosecco; learn how to make the perfect Bellini; compare and contrast large-volume and boutique Pinot Grigios; learn the best dish to pair with a glass of Amarone (one of Italy’s most aristocratic red wines); and more. x
  • 3
    Northwest Italy—Sophisticated Wines
    Venture to the Piemonte, which rests right at the foot of the Alps. Some of the intriguing wines you’ll encounter here: a Franciacorta (whose floral hints pair surprisingly well with fried foods); a Cinque Terre Blanco (Liguria’s most renowned wine); and a Barolo (often described as a “masculine” wine due to its burly tannins). Also, take a short trip to a winery’s barrel room to explore differences in aging techniques. x
  • 4
    Tuscan Stars—Chianti to Super Tuscans
    Discover why Tuscan wines are famous all over with world with this lecture devoted to some of the greats that this region has to offer. You’ll sample some of the tastes from this breathtaking part of the country, including a lemony Vermentino, a light-bodied Barbera, a savory Chianti Classico, and a tannic Super Tuscan (considered the most controversial red in all of Italy). x
  • 5
    Central Italy—Secret Gems
    Here, Ms. Simonetti-Bryan guides you through the exciting complexities of red and white wines from central Italy, a region that is only just now beginning to make a name for itself internationally. You’ll get delicious introductions to wines such as an Orvieto and a Sagrantino from Umbria, and a Lambrusco from Emilia-Romagna—all the while comparing and contrasting them to see what subtleties make each wine unique. x
  • 6
    Southern Italy—Juicy Reds and Pizza Pairings
    Conclude with a stop in southern Italy and its surrounding islands—a sunny and exotic region known for robust, juicy wines. The wines you’ll learn about in this lecture: a Fiano di Avellino, a Greco di Tufo, a Nero d’Avola, a Primitivo, and an Aglianico. As a fun end to the course, you’ll see how some of these wines pair with three versions of Italy’s most popular dish: pizza. x

Lecture Titles

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Jennifer Simonetti-Bryan
Master of Wine and Certified Specialist of Spirits Jennifer Simonetti-Bryan
Institute of Masters of Wine

Jennifer Simonetti-Bryan is among a small number of people to have received the highest credentials in the wine and spirits industry. She is one of only a few hundred people in the world to have achieved the Master of Wine (M.W.) title from The Institute of Masters of Wine in London, England-the highest and most difficult title to achieve in the industry. She also has a Professional Certificate in Spirits from the Wine & Spirit Education Trust and is a Certified Specialist of Spirits from the Society of Wine Educators. Ms. Simonetti-Bryan has taught courses for the Wine & Spirit Education Trust, has trained thousands of professionals in the wine and spirits industry, and has judged international spirits and wine competitions, including the Ultimate Beverage Challenge in 2010 and 2011. She has also hosted seminars with Food Network stars such as Rachael Ray, Bobby Flay, and Mario Batali. In 2008, she won the Wiesbaden Tasting Trophy from The Institute of Masters of Wine. Ms. Simonetti-Bryan is a frequent guest on television programs, including Fox Business, Fox News, and Bloomberg TV. Additionally, she has been featured in publications such as Fortune, Wine Enthusiast Magazine, and Wine & Spirits Magazine.

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Reviews

Rated 4.8 out of 5 by 6 reviewers.
Rated 5 out of 5 by Excellent Guide to Italian Wines So much information in only 6 lectures and at an amazing price! If you want to get started (or further your knowledge) on the wines of Italy, take this course! Prof S-B goes through most of the regions of Italy (by grouping them into larger regions by geography) and gives many wines (both red and white) to choose from and compare. This "short" course can be viewed several times and worked through slowly as there are so many Italian wines to try. Loved it and will definitely be purchasing her other short courses on wine as I know they will be just as informative as this one! November 30, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by Excellent course Excellent lecturer. Her enthusiasm for the subject came through clearly. August 6, 2013
Rated 4 out of 5 by Caution for the Video Download ONLY Rather than the usual expansive Course Notes this course has a Reference Guide which includes a suggested Wine List from each area covered. This is a concertina-type document with three folds, and includes four “pages” of information on each of its two sides. The catalogue describes it as “slim and portable, it’s an ideal companion for shopping and reviewing the material.” Unfortunately this Reference Guide has been copied into the downloadable document as only two pages, each showing all four “pages” of the guide, rather than each “page” being scanned separately. While this can be sized appropriately to be read on a computer, when printed off the writing is so small as to render the document virtually useless as “an ideal companion for shopping.” Hopefully this major faux pas is soon corrected by The Great Courses. For this reason I cannot give the Video Download version of this course a 5 rating for Overall or Value at this time. December 29, 2012
Rated 5 out of 5 by Prof S-B is Excellent as always! Just like all of Prof S-B courses, this one is truly excellent. If you've listened to and enjoyed her other wine courses, no doubt, you'll like this one, too! If this is the first course by Prof S-B that you're considering, feel free to read the reviews from *any* of her France, California, Italy mini-courses, because they are all very much alike in their quality. If you've only seen the overall wine course, but not one of the France, California, Italy series, you'll find these courses better, on several levels. She's much more explicit about what quality is, and what wines cost. Some of the distracting elements of the first courses are gone. I have a little caveat on this: If you know more about California and French wines, consider getting those courses *first*. Because of my own low level of knowledge about Italian geography, grapes and wine, my comprehension was a little lower than for the other courses. Now, a little bias of mine: this is a good, >dignified< course. But if you want something >funky and fun<, I strongly encourage you to get her Spirits course. Especially if you are looking for a gift for a friend; you can be sure they'd enjoy every minute. December 13, 2012
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