Television is great; it has become the center of family life and entertainment.

Wines however, can also be a great source of entertainment.

With television you can see everything going on in the world without ever leaving that over stuffed couch.

The down side is that while your eyes are entertained, your other senses are ignored.

You can watch Rachel Ray make food but you can’t smell, taste or enjoy it.

With wine, you can taste and smell wines from around the world and enjoy all of the sensory gifts a wine can bestow all from the comfort of that same overstuffed couch.

I recently had the opportunity to take a vinological excursion around southern Europe from my over stuffed couch and would like to share my experience with you.

My couch made the journey and safely landed me in northwestern Italy where the weather was still warm and sultry and the lighter wines the order of the day.

At Colognola AI Colli, I encountered some very interesting and delightful and very very Italian wines.

Scaia 2018 Garganega/Chardonnay ($14.99). A very attractive wine that teases your interest by its almost sparkling clarity and inviting color. When the cork is pulled, the room fills with a host of white fruit aromas. Pineapple, grapefruit and orange are the most obvious with mango, apple, and a new aroma for a white wine, bananas. This wine seems to display all of the attributes and joys of a white wine all rolled up into one. The flavor and the finish continue to reprise the aroma and the finish is to say the least, incredible. If I sounds that I was impressed by this wine; you’re right.

Scaia 2018 Rosato ($14.99). Like the Garganega/Chardonnay, this wine displays an incredible clarity, this time, with a pale pink color added. Raspberry and violet dominate the aroma but the real beauty is in the flavor that prominently displays raspberry and violet. The finish introduces the flavor of apricot as well as peach and raspberry. If you have become tired of the rosé wine currently in the market place, this one will revitalize you interest and appreciation of the style.

With a big smile on my face, I boarded my couch and headed toward Tuscany and the Modus winery.

Modus Toscana 2016 Reds Wine ($26). This wine is a very nice and imaginative Tuscan blending of 39% Sangiovese, 35% Merlot and 26% Cabernet Sauvignon. The aroma presents an intriguing display of cherries, plums, blackberries and an ever-changing sensation of spice. On the palate, blackberries reign supreme with a host of other dark summer fruits in the background and a finish wrapped in chocolate. This is a wine of distinction and for a super Tuscan is priced rather low.

I was tired, took a quick nap on my couch, and then was off on the longest part of my journey to St. Emilion in Bordeaux France. Saint Emilion is noted for wine blends with a predisposition to Merlot. It should be noted here that each Chateau in the Bordeaux region have their own proprietary blend that is the signature of that particular chateau resulting in no two chateaus being alike.

Chateau Les Cadrans de Lassègue ($32). The basic formula for Chateau Les Cadrans de Lassègue is 60% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Franc and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon. It is a wine of great elegance, sophistication and finesse that possesses a softness about it that is memorable. The flavor stresses the cherry derived from the Merlot while still exhibiting the black current supplied by the Cabernet Sauvignon. There are also other fruit flavors in the background along with a generous amount of oak all of which trail of to a glorious finish. This is a wine that can add a sense of elegance to any meal or get-together.

And so I ended my journey, a bit tired, but not tired enough to lie back on my trusty traveling companion, turn on the TV and watch a football game.

Editor’s note: The prices listed in this column reflect the manufacturer’s suggested retail price.

Bennet Bodenstein is a wine enthusiast and book author whose column appears in publications throughout the country.

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