From a small vineyard on Sicily, this Pinot Grigio – Grecanico blend is produced in a softer creamier style than many mouth-puckering Pinot Grigios. A gentle nose of citrus, pineapple and melon. Light-bodied with soft acidity, offering flavors of pineapple creme, lemon and green apple with a bit of minerality in the finish. Think summertime with friends. Will pair well with lighter summer and picnic fare. Buy This Wine
2012 Giordano Collection Pinot Grigio Delle Venezie, Italy, $10 (S) – Rating 88
A super patio sipper at a fantastic price. A lovely nose of of spicy citrus and lemon peel. Crisp on the palate with balanced acidity. Flavors abound of citrus and ripe lemon with notes of orange rind and green apple as the wine opens. Buy This Wine
2010 Swanson Vineyards Pinot Grigio, Napa Valley, CA, $21 (S) – Rating 89
A refreshing summer sipper with a nose of tangerine, pear and peach. Crisp and clean acidity kisses the palate with flavors of citrus, Meyer lemon and melon highlighted by tropical notes. Pairs well with lighter summer fare. Sure to be a party pleaser.
Mr. B&B and I had breakfast with Cynthia Cosco of Passaggio Wines recently as we left Sonoma County for the Oakland airport. Passaggio translates to passageway and is a tribute to her Italian ancestors who four generations ago, came to America. Cindy shares her passion for winemaking with her grandfather who took great joy in sharing his wine with neighbors, friends and family. She spoke of growing up in an Italian home where there always wine and food; thus, she makes her wines to be enjoyed with food (a crisp style with zippy yet balanced acidity) and to bring wine, food and friends together. The true testament to her winemaking passion is the fact she left a 14-year career in Virginia law enforcement to pursue her winemaking dream, starting at the bottom.
I grew up with a Chinese mother who came to America when she was fourteen-years-old. Wine in our home was rarely served, mainly at holidays, so when I did begin to drink wine it was as a stand-alone beverage. While I enjoy a glass of wine with dinner, I still choose my wines for their ability to stand-alone (usually robust with lower acidity) and those are not always the best food pairing wines. I like to have my glass(es) of wine before, during and after the preparation of the food. To give Cindy’s Passaggio white wines their due, we decided to design our own food pairing meal.
Do you remember the old 7-UP ads from 1975 for the UnCola? If Napa wineries are best regarded for their cabernets, then Benessere is the Un-Cabernet; specializing in Italian varietals.
I have to say that when these winery samples arrived at my office I wasn’t jumping around with excitement. My past experience with Italian wines has been uneventful, at best. I know many of you love them but until I tasted these wines from Benessere I was not on the bandwagon. While I may not bang a drum for Italian wines as a whole, I will bang a gong for these beauties.