The Everyday Guide to Wines of Italy

Course No. 9171
Jennifer Simonetti-Bryan, Master of Wine and Certified Specialist of Spirits
Institute of Masters of Wine
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4.5 out of 5
19 Reviews
89% of reviewers would recommend this product
Course No. 9171
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Course Overview

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.

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6 lectures
 |  Average 35 minutes each
  • 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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What's Included

What Does Each Format Include?

Video DVD
Instant Video Includes:
  • Download 6 video lectures to your computer or mobile app
  • Downloadable PDF of the reference guide
  • FREE video streaming of the course from our website and mobile apps
Video DVD
DVD Includes:
  • 6 lectures on 1 DVD
  • Reference guide & wine list
  • Downloadable PDF of the reference guide
  • FREE video streaming of the course from our website and mobile apps

What Does The Course Guidebook Include?

Video DVD
Course Guidebook Details:
  • Reference guide & wine list

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Your professor

Jennifer Simonetti-Bryan

About Your Professor

Jennifer Simonetti-Bryan, Master of Wine and Certified Specialist of Spirits
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 &...
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The Everyday Guide to Wines of Italy is rated 4.5 out of 5 by 19.
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Really A Wonderful Course To Do With Friends This is the second "Everyday Guide to Wine" I've done with a group of friends. It really is a wonderful way to do the course and share the fun, expense, and amount of wine each lesson involves (generally 5 to 6 bottles). We rotated who hosted the lesson and dinner, and the rest of us split the cost of the wine. The course gave me a good understanding of the regions and wine of the major wine producing areas of Italy. Many of the wines I was unfamiliar with and they may be hard to find unless you have a good wine store or buy online. However, I found trying these unfamiliar wines added to my interest. I liked the way this course incorporated food and wine pairing into each lesson.
Date published: 2019-06-05
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Some okay information, but at times embarrassing! Some okay information and good selection of wines from the regions, but for a Wine Master (and part of her name is Italian!!) Jennifer's pronunciation is horrifying! "Grigio" in Pinot Grigio, which is used in almost every tasting is "GREE joe", not "GREE GEEE OHHH". Sangiovese, Moscato d'Asti, and others were said incorrectly. Same with the mispronunciation of wine areas and towns such as Adige, Liguria and Assisi. Even the proverbs and toasts were like listening to nails on a chalkboard. If she is presenting Italian wines, regions and proverbs they should be said correctly so that those taking the course will know them and say them correctly!!! Also, some of her pairings were strange. A northeastern region wine paired with a pasta dish from Rome? Spaghetti Bolognese . . . There is no such thing in Italy. She seemed to have textbook and surface knowledge of Italy, but did not bring the real essence of Italy. I would update this course and have an Italian as the instructor. (also, in posting this review some of the Italian wine names I had to leave out as Great Courses marked them as profane - even the lecturer's name of Simon___ was dubbed profane!)
Date published: 2018-07-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Good presentation Ms. Simonetti-Bryan's presentation is effective. She presents just enough information so it's not overwhelming yet it is clear and very well organized. Her voice is pleasant, clear, and her descriptions well-paced and descriptive without being affected or snooty sounding. I appreciate her obvious knowledge of wine and I'm learning a lot about Italy's most prominent varieties. For someone like me who has some knowledge of wine and who is very interested in moving to the next level, this is a really good place to start.
Date published: 2018-06-08
Rated 4 out of 5 by from MULTI-LEVEL SUCCESS Very pleased to say this course succeeds on multiple levels: sense of place; viticulture techniques, varieties of wines, tasting technique, food pairings.
Date published: 2018-05-23
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Lecturer great; no detailed booklet Whereas this series has excellent potential, and others of this series (wines of California, Spirits, etc. are 5/5; this course has a trifold page that lists wines and pairings, but not the details of each lecture with the history, details of tastings of each wine, etc that previous courses of hers did. Cannot recommend this course, as we had to stop and start the DVD repeatedly to take notes rather than have a book to refer to. Poorly done. We have about a 100 courses, and this is a great disappointment. The Great Courses can afford to supply a summary booklet of lectures. Such a shame that they did not do this with this course. Check whether this is offered for others in this series before purchasing!
Date published: 2017-06-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great training tool We own a small Italian family restaurant and added a variety of Italian wines to our menu; we use your Everyday Guide to Italian Wine to train our bartending staff who have little or no knowledge of the country, culture or wines. At the end of each session we give a test. It has been an excellent mechanism to coach, teach and train our staff; and stay knowledgeable ourselves. We are thinking of using your Cocktail Course next. Thank you for making learning fun and easy.....
Date published: 2017-06-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wives Of Italy A few years back we stayed in the Piemonte region of Italy where my relative has a home. We visited a number of wineries and learn a little about Barbera, and Barolo wines. This course provided a clearer understanding of those wines as well as the other regions in Italy. Very informative.
Date published: 2017-01-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Everyday Guide to Wines of Italy This was an excellent interactive course on Italian wines, both white and red. I really liked how each grape and wine was discussed in the region where it was grown. I learned which grapes were used in blends and the names of these blends. The lecturer, Jennifer Simonetti-Bryan, was enjoyable to listen to and her presentation held your attention. I have been making wine for many years and this course just brought everything together. A great purchase and a reference course that I will watch many times in the future.
Date published: 2016-12-27
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