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You don't have to go to Italy to taste

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Wines from the ancient Order of Malta – that were available only in coveted quantities in Italy – are available now in the United States by Fritz Cellars.

Over the past 900 years, this revered Catholic religious order has provided global and relief efforts to areas affected by natural disasters. The Order has maintained some of the enviable vineyard properties in Italy and became a way to bring together Clayton B. Fritz (owner of Fritz Cellars) and his passions for charity and wine.

Ribolla Gialla ($27), a yellow hued, white wine varietal comes from the Rocca Bernarda winery in the Friuli Venezia Giulia region. This selection, that mirrors its lush terrior, is bright and fruity with cascades of green apples and pears. Pour this with nutty cheeses.

Monterone ($25), from the Castello di Magione winery, is crafted from 100 percent grechetto, a classic white grape variety from Umbria. Its deep straw color is a prelude to the delicate bouquet and fragrance. The surprising finish is the perfect match for salami and spicy fish dishes.

Also from Castello di Magione, is a classic sangiovese ($25) from Umbria. It is young and sassy with aromatic bouquet of red fruit and well-rounded fruit flavors and a long finish. Pour this tonight with grilled meats.

Morcinaia ($40) – a blend of merlot, cabernet sauvignon and sangiovese – refers to the heap of stones placed as borders for a plot of land intended for vineyards. Called “super Umbrian” by winemakers at Castello di Magione, this selection is intense ruby in the glass with dark ripe fruit flavors and soft mouthfeel. Match this elegant wine with matured cheeses and pork.

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