Uncommon Grape Varietals v2

February 5th, 2010 by Jeff

Wines featured in today’s show:

  • Librandi Cirò Gaglioppo  (~$13)
  • Ampelo Malvasia Nera Salento  (~$18)
  • Graham Beck Pinno Pinotage 2008  (~$11)

Recommended food pairings from The Som:

One of the many joys of my job is turning folks on to grape varieties that they might not get the opportunity to try otherwise.  I’m often reminded of a story that a friend of mine tells about a wine dinner he attended in Napa.  The good people of Napa Valley tend to be very parochial when it comes to their wine habits….meaning, Napa folk drink Napa wine almost exclusively.  It was about halfway through the dinner, and a few bottles as well, when one fella asks my friend, “Tell me Corey, are Minnesotans as sophisticated wine drinkers as we are in the Napa Valley?”  Corey puts down his glass, looks the guy square in the face and says, “No. They are more sophisticated.”  At that, the table began to buzz and all eyes turned to Corey.  “What do you mean?” asked the incredulous fella.  Corey posed the question, “When is the last time any of you drank a wine from Bulgaria or Switzerland or Brazil or from Greece, even?”  The man then made Corey’s case by answering, “I just drink wines from Napa.”
My point is that we are very lucky in Minnesota.  The wine laws here make it very easy to import, distribute and sell wine from almost anywhere in the world, and stores (like Zipp’s) take advantage of that as much as possible.  So the next time you go to your local wine shop, tell your wine guy to give you something different…something off the beaten path.
In the show, I mentioned eggplant parmesan for the Cirò, and BBQ will work well with Pinotage.   So let’s just focus on the Malvasia Nera.  Medium to full bodied, decent acid, not much in the way of sticky tannin.  Round, ripe fruit and a fairly short finish.   Hmmm…let me see.   Ah!  Here we go:   A great curry wings recipe  from Food & Wine magazine.   I believe the heavy fruit of the wine combined with the mango notes will help tame the heat and turn this into something pretty special.  But ya know what?  A good winter ale might be better.  Try both!

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