Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Italy's Lackluster Whites

So after a long day at work, I met a friend last night at Proof for a late-night dinner. As usual, the food was very good. This was the first time, however, that I had medicore vino.

The glass of Tempranillo I ordered with my second course seemed a little musty and never quite opened up. Disappointing.

The other wine disappointment was my own fault because I decided to ignore my decades-long experience and order a glass of an Italian white. (What was I thinking?) It was an unusual varietal, but it was so bland that I'd just as soon forget its name.

What is it with Italy and white wine? The two just don't go together. I can tolerate Orvieto, but let's be honest -- it's no prize. Some Italian vintners produce chardonnays, but I've never been dazzled by any of 'em (full disclosure: I'm not much of a chard drinker anyway).

And even those white wines that seem to work in parts of Italy (like Vermentino, for example) actually taste better when they're produced in Spain.

Wait a second. I just thought of an Italian white that I really think is pretty decent: Vernaccia di San Gimignano. But wouldn't you know it? According to this website, an Italian producer of Vernaccia states: "Vernaccia is really a red wine made from white grapes."

I guess that explains why I like it. (Not that I understood what the hell she meant by that statement.)

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