There’s more to white wine than pinot grigio

DO WINE shelves groaning with chardonnay and pinot grigio piddle you off?

Perhaps it is just me. Supermarkets must be selling what people want to buy. Or are they dictating the market?

This came home to me on my two-week fondly remembered sojourn by the coast.

I’m not one to leave myself short of wine – but it was two weeks, and sadly the bottles I’d taken didn’t magically refill overnight.

A quick trip to the small supermarket nearby. And there it was. Shelf after shelf of chards and pinot grigio. I wasn’t happy.

Then the next day my faith was restored. Twice I discovered little independent wine shops away from the beaten track. Fantastic choices; reasonable prices.

They were small shops too but sticking their necks out to offer more choice to you and me. Where am I going with this?

Well please, please spread your wings away from pinot grigio. Don’t stick to what you know; support the independents when you see them (they will actually talk to you too). Find more wines that you love; ask for them; create the marketplace.

Don’t even get me started on wines sold in pubs …

I was better natured when I tasted a couple of Italian wines from the Wine Society (www.thewinesociety.com).

I’ve ditched my old club and joined for £40 life membership. I can bequeath it to my beautiful daughter, even if she might prefer the house.

Sannio Greco Janare, 2012 the wine society
Sannio Greco Janare, 2012

Sannio Greco, Janare, 2012 (13.5% £7.25 a bottle, £87 a dozen) There was a frizzle of bubbles, sometimes seen in young wines. It has peardrops on the nose, stone fruits, smoke-tinged apples. Complex aromas had me swirling and whirling. Now you can’t  say that about a pinot grigio. (Prove me wrong?).

To taste, a perkiness of stewed apples and pears, a mouth-coating of creamy brazil nuts. Cirò, Barone di Bolaro, 2011 (£7.25 bottle £87 dozen) is a spicy red from the gaglioppo grape.

My dad used to love those blackcurrant and liquorice toffees – and that’s the memory which floated up to me. Those sweets and a spicy pepper sprinkle. Bless dad.

Also in my glass …

It’s rounded, it’s rich with a little kick. That’s not Argentina’s Maradona but  Viña Ventisquero Grey Carmenere 2010 (£12.99, www.the realwineco.co.uk).
It is said Chilean carmenere is ideal to have with a curry and this wine did pair well with chicken marinaded in onions, chillis and brinjal pickle. Soft black fruits and smokiness.

Published in the saturday extra magazine August 24, 2013

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