This is a great moment to marvel at the sheer beauty of Italy’s unfathomably old vines in combination with volcanic soils: February is Italian Wine Appreciation Month on Snooth! The Etruscans and Greeks began planting vines in Italy around 2 BCE, and the native grapes have adapted extraordinarily well to changing soils over the past several thousand years. Furthermore, Italy has its fair share of volcanic sites (some still active) which dramatically impact the experience of your wine. Few countries match Italy in terms of volcanic soils under vine. The black, mineral-rich soils are sodden with iron, calcium, and magnesium. This can slow the rate at which groundwater is delivered to the vine. You absolutely will taste the difference. Examples include Etna, Soave, and Lacryma Christi.
 
February also marks the Carnival of Venice. At this time of year, masked Venetian revelers attend Carnival balls and soirees that embrace the promise of spring. They’ve been doing this annually since the 13th century.  The festivities, which culminate the day before Lent begins, run from January 31st through February 17th this year. This is a perfect time to explore the wines of the Veneto. Perhaps you’d like to a glass of Prosecco? The Millennial generation has brought this beverage into high fashion. Check out this prescient 2011 Prosecco article which includes suggested bottles. 
 
But it’s not just about the North. The secrets of Southern Italian wine country continue to elude most palates. Try trysting with an Aglianico from Taurasi or a Cannonau (aka Grenache) from Sardinia. Then again, you can always jump on the Sicilian wine rocket instead; the island’s otherworldly selections are hightailing through the wine galaxy right now. 
But there’s more: February is a month of romance, especially in the United States. St. Valentine’s Day is on February 14th. As we all know, Italian wines are inherently romantic. Just ask Frank Sinatra, or Rudolph Valentino, or perhaps Pavarotti. Maybe you will break out a vintage Chianti in a wicker basket bottle whilst the violins play? Get yourself in the mood with some of these classic Snooth articles. 
 
 
Stay tuned for fresh articles on the latest in Italian wine every week during the month of February. How will you be celebrating Italian wines this month? Join us!