Tag Archives: white wines of Italy

The best white wines for winter sips

Embracing a welcome change of pace to drinking heavy cabernets this winter, here are some full-bodied white wines to sip while winter finishes its course.

Sun Wine Kisi Qvevri Dry Amber

It’s no surprise that the country of Georgia is experiencing a wine boom in the U.S. The fact that Georgia is one of the oldest winemaking regions in the world came to light five years ago, when archeologists discovered qvevri (pronounced “kway-vree”), traditional clay vessels used in winemaking. Inside the qvevri were grape seeds dating to 6,000 BCE. UNESCO was so amazed by the longevity of these ancient clay jars that they included qvevri on its Intangible Cultural Heritage list in 2013.

A bottle of 2019 Kisi Qvevri, a dry amber wine, offers a luscious mouthfeel. This is a rare grape varietal of Georgia, made in a traditional clay vessel, a qvevri, skins-on to create a full-bodied “orange” wine. Deep citrus notes and hints of black tea on the finish. Bottle price: $22

Kendall-Jackson Vintner’s Reserve 2018 Chardonnay

If a wine could taste like slipping on a classic little black dress, this golden wine would be the perfect fit. It has remained the cream of the crop of Chardonnay’s for over 25 years, and this year, especially, it’s best enjoyed with a favorite companion during an indoor picnic.

Behind the making of this wine, whole grape clusters were pressed to retain the fresh fruit qualities and the fruit was sur lie aged with monthly battonage (lees stirring) to create a Kendall-Jackson signature velvety texture and creamy flavor.

Its silky texture delivers powerful and seductive tropical notes of pineapple, mango and papaya and aromas of vanilla, honey and toasted oak. If this wine were a celebrity, it would be Meryl Streep, simply due to its versatility to act as a lovely accompaniment to winter squash, creamy pasta dishes and pork loin. Bottle price: $17

2018 Rkatsiteli Qvevri Dry Amber Wine

In traditional unfiltered qvevri style, Rkatsiteli, which literally translates to “red stem,” is made of Georgian grape seeds whose history dates back to 3000 BC. This sumptuous wine is “orange” and offers a ripe citrus bouquet and sweeping, complex palate of dried orange peel, sweet tea, stone fruits and a lingering finish of caramel. Bottle price: $20

2019 Banfi La Pettegola Vermentino of Toscana IGT

Central Italy vermentino grapes make this choice a nice change of pace to a traditional sauvignon blanc. Its crisp bouquet of fresh-cut bouquet leads to a palate of grapefruit and pineapple, a bit of honey, with a lemon-citrus lingering finish. Enjoy with a salmon taco. Bottle price: $19.99

2019 Banfi Principessa Gavia Gavi DOCG

Its bouquet is more subtle than its taste, which lends to a full-on intensity of fruitiness and a tingle telltale of a slight secondary fermentation. The story behind the label will lend to a tingly sensation: Princess Gavia’s love story is the stuff of legends. In the 6th century, Gavia fell in love with a soldier. Their marriage was forbidden by her father, Clodimir, King of the Franks, so they ran away, eloped, and settled in northwestern Italy in the Gavi region of Novi Ligure, which was surrounded by vineyards. This is a wine best served as an aperitif with seafood hors d’oeuvres. Bottle price: $19.99

In this year of the pivot and discovering a new you, do you dare to be different? If so, winter whites are a good start.

Charlene Peters, a.k.a. Sip Tripper, reviews wines, travels the world and authored a book of her culinary travels, titled “Travel Makes Me Hungry: Tales of indigenous tastes & recipes to share,” available on Amazon.

The ‘Little Rascal’ of Northern Italy

The scent of honeysuckle thrills me. Italy thrills me. Wine thrills me. And I was able to embrace all three pleasures in a bottle of 2016 Langhe Arneis (DOC) from Luca Bosio Vineyards in Piedmont, Italy.

As one of the most acclaimed Old World wine regions in Italy, Piemonte (Piedmont) is located in the northwest corner, and is a region most notable for its Barolo wines. In Italian, Langhe Arneis means “little rascal”, which is a good way to describe this grape and the winemaking method where technology and rural tradition co-exist.

Valter and Luca Bosio, father and son, with Rosella, mother and wife, manage Bosio Family Estates. The Bosio’s winemaking philosophy is about sharing a heritage: “It’s our style, style of people who like to cultivate the vineyards and make wine, an old and tiresome ritual that is patrimony of everybody, as the piedmontese landscape is.”

I was ready to pour a glass. The first thing I noticed was this deep straw yellow color, which may be a result of the young winemaker’s method of 24-hour arneis grape skin contact. Next, I inhaled the aroma, and its floral scent gave way to a fruity taste of apricots, pineapple and peaches, which explains why this wine would pair well with white fish, chicken, pork and savory vegetable dishes.

I was ready to pair with dinner, but all I had was a slice of pepperoni pizza. This was not a good pairing because the red sauce heightened the acid component a bit too much for my taste. Next time, I’ll try it with white fish.

Now that I’ve sipped this Piedmont arneis, I’ve established an introduction to the Langhe region. Eventually, I hope to visit Piedmont, Italy, so that I might taste more of its wines. Until then, cheers!