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The World of Italian Whites beyond Pinot Grigio

Posted on 16th November 2017 by JN Wine

The World of Italian Whites beyond Pinot Grigio

The grape that has catapulted itself to the forefront of wine society, outselling many of its competitors namely Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay. An easy drinking, light fresh wine that is very seldom oak aged by itself- what could be better for the average restaurant?

From rags to riches Pinot Grigio has created quite a name for itself and is doing an excellent job in converting non-wine drinkers to the world of grapes. However unfortunately with its speedy fame, a lot of other white grape varieties from Italy have been swept under the rug and forgotten about.

Within the boot shaped land is a whirlwind of incredible, unusual but absolutely delightful white grape varieties that deserve a lot more recognition and praise than they get. So, in this short blog I am going to outline just a few that you can try to expand that Grigio horizon.

Another P but this time in the form of pecorino. A grape that had almost been lost to extinction but brought back in the late 1980s is gaining attention again due to its dry and minerally profile, its straw yellow colour and has an elegant floral bouquet of acacia and jasmine, sometimes spiced with a faint hint of liquorice. The name translates as ‘Little Sheep’ and coincidentally sheep milk cheese is a great companion to this fantastic wine. As a relatively less well-known grape variety you can get outstanding quality for relatively low prices which is exactly what I like to find! Here at JN Wines we have a lovely pecorino priced at only £8.59



Another gem that is often forgotten is Verdicchio.  Verdicchio’s name comes from verde, meaning green, referring to the yellowish-green skin of the grape, which gives the wine a subtle, greenish hue. It produces crisp, dry wines of naturally high acidity and often with hints of citrus fruits and almonds. It is also well suited to the production of sparkling wine and Verdicchio was one of the first Italian spumantes back in the 18th century. I always find this a hard wine to pair with food but could go well with the even harder to match artichoke- perhaps in a simple cream sauce with some cured meat through it would be absolutely delicious. As a relatively simple wine it’s important not to overpower it with the food match. As is so common with Italian whites the prices are generally very reasonable. This one is priced at £10.75!



The last alternative I am going to look at in this brief blog is one of my personal favourites at the moment. Along the charming coast of the Alta Maremma, 100 km to the south-west of Florence, in the small and prestigious DOC Bolgheri area lies Tenuta Argentiera, which is part of the old Estate of Donoratico that once belonged to the Florentine Serristori family.

Hints of pear, banana and apricot, lavender and white flowers with a touch of sage and spice make an easy drinking wine. This blend of 60% Vermentino, 30% Sauvignon and 10% Viognier has long fresh finish with good aromatic and mineral character.  This is delightful alongside grilled seabass and seafood risotto.   At £13.99 this is a great festive gift and as it proved very popular at our 2017 Winter Portfolio tasting.



As much as I enjoy Pinot Grigio and am impressed for how much it has done for the wine community these are just a few alternatives if you feel like mixing it up and trying a different style for a night. However, if I’ve proved unsuccessful in the converting of Pinot Grigio lovers we do have a lovely selection of them in store also! I’ll attach a link to my favourite one from our selection below:




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