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Swirl, sip and savour: James Suckling’s Great Wines of Italy

Wine lovers have much to look forward to this winter with the return of world-class wine critic James Suckling’s Great Wines of Italy, which will take place on 8 December at Grand Hyatt Erawan Bangkok. This fifth edition of Great Wines of Italy will showcase fine wines from more than 80 prestigious Italian wineries, including rare sips from boutique vineyards; to name a few participating wineries: Nals Margreid, Casanova di Neri and Elvio Cogno.

James Suckling Great Wines of Italy

“I love Thailand and I am delighted to be returning again this year, introducing Italy’s finest wines to the Kingdom’s consumers, restaurateurs, sommeliers and suppliers,” said Suckling. “Thai consumers appreciate Italian cuisine and culture. Italian wines are very drinkable, excellent value and provide a connection to Italy that resonates wonderfully here. It is also rounds off an incredible year for us – a year in which we have tasted over 16,000 wines and hosted over 10,000 wine participants to our events as we seek to bring great wines to customers around the world.”

Suckling rates wine using the 100-point system, which is frequently adopted by wine retailers, merchants and consumers to help them make quality choices. Scores higher than 90 is considered the equivalent to an outstanding A-grade purchase, and a rating of 95 or higher is considered to be an A+ must buy. Handpicked by Suckling himself, all of the featured wines at the Great Wines of Italy boast a score of at least 90 points.

James Suckling Great Wines of Italy

Notably, the starred Pietradolce Etna Barbagalli 2012 — 95 points — is referred as the ‘Niche Red of Italy’ by Suckling. The vineyards at Etna rest on the northern slopes whose volcanic soils contain distinct mineral components and microclimate, enriching the red wine with cooked plum and strawberry flavours. From 100-year-old vines, this fabulous red is graced with a full body, firm tannins and a beautiful finish.

Endowed with 98 points, the Duemani Cabernet Franc Costa della Toscana Centrale 2013 is a phenomenal cabernet franc with lively acidity and a powerful finish. As one of the wines of the vintage, this rich red is made with bio-dynamically grown grapes, and aged 15-18 months in new French oak. In result, a superbly intense cabernet franc with fantastic richness and ripe tannins.

The Nai Harn Rock Salt

Considering the Great Wines of Italy is a one-day event, tickets (THB 649 for age 28 and under, THB 1,299 for grand tasting) are extremely limited. However, fear not if tickets have already sold out. The tour does not stop at Bangkok. On 9 December, a chilled-out version of The Great Wines of Italy will be happening at luxury boutique resort The Nai Harn in Phuket. As one of The Leading Hotels of the World (LHW), The Nai Harn is not only a tranquil sanctuary by the sea but also a culinary escape with Suckling’s personally curated wine list.

Great Wines of Italy, Grand Hyatt Erawan Bangkok, 494 Rajdamri Road, Lumphini, Pathum Wan, Bangkok, +66 2 254 1234