The Raise a Glass feature is published every week in several regional newspapers … here’s one from May 2021 when my world was dominated by Italian wines for a few days.
I’ve been feeling the love for Italian wines of late.
I won’t bore you with the details, but I’ve been sharing the love with a handful of other people (not you guys, I’m sorry to cheat on you).
Then I come over to this part of my world and share the love again. But this time with you.
If you’ve been with me a while, then you’ll know I’m not a huge fan of pinot grigio. (That’s what I tell everyone).
Then along comes a pinot grigio that makes me think “oh, go on then, I like you”.
One such is this: The Society’s Pinot Grigio 2020 (£8.25, online at The Wine Society).
It is made exclusively for the society by Cantina Valpantena and wow, it keeps on giving.
I tasted this with some wine students (the people with whom I’ve been two-timing you).
These are some of the things we said: Granny Smith’s green apples; pear drops; a wave of blossom; lemon.
It’s so aromatic. It is much more inviting than a mass-produced pinot.
Mmmm, very nice.
On another day, I tasted the wine again as part of an extensive selection of The Wine Society’s seasonal offerings.
I enjoyed its sister Italian white, The Society’s Gavi 2020 (£9.50) with its delightful pear, lemon and a hint of herbs.
Think sage. Think of plump mounds of ravioli filled with crab, lemon and tarragon and a glass alongside. Welcome to my life.
I finished my flurry of the society’s Italian wines with this one: The Society’s Chianti Rufina 2018 (£9.50).
It has notes of sour cherry and strawberry. It is perfumed with violet and edged with vanilla.
A little later in the day I dilly-dallied around a plate of bolognese pasta, snowflaked with parmesan and dreamed of holidays.
Now to an imposter which sounds as if it’s an Italian wine but actually it’s not
It’s from Chile.
Estevez Chilean Sangiovese Reserva (£6.49) is another seasonal appearance from spring and summer selections, but this time from Aldi.
The sangiovese grape is the backbone of Chianti wines.
The Rufina choice, and my earlier pasta flurry, was brought to this world using 100% sangiovese grapes.
Cherry notes are upfront in the Chilean wine. Vanilla and woody spice trickle alongside and there’s gentle tannins.
It’s pleasant enough as a wine to help slide you into the weekend.
First published in UK regional newspapers including:
Hull Daily Mail – Leicester Mercury – Cambridge News – Liverpool Echo –South Wales Echo – Daily Post Wales – Huddersfield Examiner – The Chronicle, Newcastle – Teesside Gazette – Birmingham Mail – Coventry Telegraph – Paisley Daily Express