Whenever I think of traditional Italian wines, there are the usual popular wines that come to mind. Whites like Soave produced in the Veneto region or perhaps a Pinot Grigio from Trentino. Traditional reds like Chianti Classico from Tuscany or the dark richness of an Amarone from Veneto are considered hallmark Italian wines.
Farther south in Italy is the Puglia region with some lesser known red wines like Primitivo and Negroamaro or white wines like Bombino Bianco or Veredeca. Puglia represents 17% of the total wine production in Italy so it’s not surprising to see grape varietals outside the traditional Italian plantings like Gargenega and Sangiovese. With that thought in mind, let’s venture outside the traditional and sample a couple of “non-traditional Italian wines”.
Mauro Chardonnay – Puglia, Italy ($11.50 – LCBO 404491)
Not your usual Chardonnay. This light yellow wine has a green tinge to it. Aromas of citrus, pear and some minerality. It’s crisp, light and slightly effervescent with flavours of golden apple and pineapple. A medium bodied Chardonnay with a crisp finish.
Available at Terry Fox & Campeau LCBO.
The Wanted Zin, Zinfandel – Puglia, Italy ($13.95 – LCBO 416487)
Zinfandel’s Italian cousin Primitivo is used to make this dark red wine. 50% of the Primtivo is aged in American oak to bring out the vanilla aroma. Dark fruit like blackberries stands out when you first taste the wine and it has a long full bodied finish with a bit of spice at the end
Available at the 858 March Road LCBO or Terry Fox & Campeau LCBO in Kanata