Cost: Average price $13.99
Where buy now: Surdyks – $10.97
Grapes: 70% Barbera, 30% Nebbiolo
Region: Piedmont, Italy
The tall, dashingly handsome Italian wine rep at the store made it impossible to pass by with only a glance. Right dapper in his pin stripe suit, well-coifed hair and slight Mediterranean tan, I was completely entranced as he regaled with details about the Giacomo Vico vineyard and their wine. He even smelled like he came straight from a Versace fashion shoot: cypress, smoke, spice and everything nice. As I stood with five or six other patrons, the crowded store made it difficult for our little gathering to remain in one place. When we shifted around to make room for other patrons, I would stealthily lean in to catch a hint of his aura. I know that’s downright creepy, but I was addicted. Oh, how I wanted to channel my inner Sophia Loren!
With his heavy, dripping accent he described this Langhe Rosso blend. The Giacomo Vico vineyards are in a hilly area, South of Torino and East of the River Tanaro in Piedmont, called “Roero”. Barbara and Nebbiolo wines are created separately, then fused into barrels to age. This blend creates a smooth, slightly tannic but not too dry libation. The deep color and smooth nature is evident as it is 70% Barbera. The slightly tannic, woody dry flavor is due to the Nebbiolo. I figured I’d like this wine since I love Barbera, and the introduction of Nebbiolo gives it a little bit drier quality. It has enough character to stand alone- perfect for sipping and gossiping with girlfriends (or Italian boyfriends). It is not, however, too strong to drink alongside spaghetti and meatballs or a grilled hamburger. Ooh, or pick up some truffle cheese at Trader Joes- that mushroomy smokiness would gracefully bring out the Nebbiolo flavor.
When this romance novel of a gentleman finishes telling us all the details, I stand there like a deer in headlights. I don’t speak. I can’t speak! I merely extend my hand hoping he will take it, whisk me away to his villa, perhaps speeding on windy hills in his convertible Alpha Romeo. He smiled and asked if I’d like a bottle. As I mutely nod, he places one in my desperate, outreached hand and moves on to the next patron.