Here we are in March, and despite the best efforts of ground hogs and weathermen, we should see the weather start to warm. This is the time when we emerge from our caves to bask in the first warm rays of Spring. There are no better wines to match that mood than Italian white wines.
When we think about Italy, the white wine that leaps into our minds is usually Pinot Grigio. While there are certainly many beautiful Pinot Grigios from locales on the slopes of the Alps, all the way down the boot of Italy to Sicily, there are so many more white grape varieties to explore. Many less familiar grapes offer delicious wines to match the refreshing spirit of Spring. Their unique flavors and qualities can provide a little something special to your next meal, outing, or porch session, if you have an explorer’s heart and you know how to search.
A wonderful example is Santadi Villa Solais Vermentino from the island of Sardinia. This wine brings the Mediterranean breezes and seaside sun right to your glass. The Vermentino grape is always pleasant and refreshing with notes of citrus, but this one gains a crisp acidity and intriguing minerality from its oceanfront terroir that makes it a perfect pairing for shellfish (like the crab cakes available at The Wine Emporium) or as a stand alone libation for a few minutes of relaxation in the porch swing.
Another of my personal favorites is Pasqua Romeo & Juliet Bianco. This wine comes from 100% Garganega grapes found in the regions around Venice. To provide structure to this wine, the grapes are slightly dried before juicing, concentrating its elegant flavors. It has a well rounded yet bold flavor with overtones of white peach and apricot, but it is accented by a slightly tart finish to punctuate its liveliness and freshness. This would be perfect for a picnic or pontoon ride for two. It is okay to match the passion and romance of this wine’s namesake without the bad ending.
When we hear Pecorino, we usually think of cheese. However, there is also a grape variety by the same name that produces powerful yet elegant wines. The Cavallo di Battaglia Pecorino is a great example of this varietal. While the the fruit provides a backdrop of honeyed pear and pineapple, it is the accents of herbs and chamomile featured in its savory finish that will raise your eyebrows and curiosity. Its wonders continue to unfold with each sip just like each trip to the garden reveals new buds or blooms this time of year. This wine could stand alone, but it would also pair well with creamy, cheesy, or buttery foods.
These are just a few of the options we have at The Wine Emporium, and they are all very reasonably priced. In addition, for the month of March we will offer you an additional 10% on all Italian White Wines other than Pinot Grigio. Do yourself a favor and explore the wonderful qualities of these exciting wines.