Snob Wine of the Month | Wine Reviews

Quit being such a damn cheapskate. Some wines are worth it. Great bottles for over $15.

Fattoria Colmone della Marca Bianco del Moro

Cost: Average price $19

Where buy now: Zipp’s Liquors, South Lyndale

Grapes: Sangiovese

Region: Le Marche, Italy

Vintage: 2010

Fattoria Colmone della Marca Bianco del Moro

Get this: a white wine made of 100% Sangiovese grapes. It’s truly unlike any other wine I’ve ever had -in all the best ways- a white wine in a red wine’s body.  

What? Did I just blow your mind?

I found out about Fattoria Colmone della Marca due to their familial connection with Famiglia Meschini, whom I’ve sung their praises in past reviews. It just so happens Eugenio Meschini’s cousin, Giovanni, who resides in Italy, not only makes great wine, but also helps run a five star restaurant, Ristorante A Piero! One, a wine maker in Argentina, the other a wine maker/gourmet restauranteur in Italy! Can I marry into this family, already?

One gorgeous Summer evening I had the pleasure of meeting Giovanni whilst tasting his wines. We chatted about food and wine in a mixture of his Italian and broken English and my English and broken Italian. “I could have danced all night, I could have danced all night and still have asked for more.”- the in/famous song from My Fair Lady swam in my head.

Amanda, Giovanni & me

I enjoyed all his wines, but this, this was special- I needed to write about it toot sweet.

So we all know grape juice is clear. (Well, if “we” don’t, now you do.) It’s only the contact of the juice with skins of red, purple and black grapes that give red and rose wines their hue. For this wine, the juice is extracted from Sangiovese grapes, hardly exposed to the skins, resulting in a clear white wine culled from a red grape.

FC’s Bianco del Moro has floral and apple notes. It’s acidic and fresh but has a smoother and creamier body than you’d expect. This is a great year-round white wine. In the Summer, it will taste great with grilled fish, seafood, chicken and green or pasta salads. In the Winter, it tastes amazing with a mixed green salad of romaine, arugula, herbs and gorgonzola cheese. In fact, I’m not sure what happened in my mouth, but I swear the combination of gorgonzola cheese and this wine tasted a bit like red sauce [aka my people’s gravy]. I know you probably think I’m stretching here. Truly, I couldn’t stop eating bite after bite of gorgonzolistic salad washing each morsel down with a sip of this wine. Repeatedly. Over and over. Could…not…stop.

This wine is so very fun, delicious and versatile. You must try it. While it may confuse at first, it will please white and red wine drinkers alike. Yes, this white in a red’s body- akin to a wolf in sheep’s clothing, or perhaps a transgender wine. [Can you really say “transgender” wine? I guess I just did!] Enjoy this:

Birichino Grenache

Cost: Average price $20

Where buy now: Sunfish Cellars & Zipp’s Liquors

Grapes: Grenache

Region: California

Vintage: 2010

Birichino Grenache

Grenache lovers: unite!

I’ve found my favorite American Grenache in this bottle of Birichino. [biri-kino]

I first had this at Sunfish Cellars by the glass ($4/glass!). It’s a wine that haunts you, though not in a “Poltergeist” sort of way. You can’t get it out of your head. Yes, this is a wine you’re going to love instantly.

When I saw it was from California, I assumed this was going to be very alcoholic, ripe with sweet cherry flavors- indicitive of “New World” wine making. Man, was I taken aback when I tasted it! This wine tastes far more “Old World” to me. “Old World”, “New World”?  What is THAT you’re saying? Is that anything like “Red Fish, Blue Fish”?

I shan’t assume we all know what that means. “Old World” refers to wines made in Europe. “New World” refers to wines made in, well, NOT Europe. North or South America, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa. . .basically, anywhere that is not Europe [who ever said wine making wasn’t Eurocentric?].  Wine Folly does a great job of breaking it down for you: World vs. New World

This Birichino Grenache gives great, bright cherry scents right off the bat. The flavors of that bright cherry and strawberry explode on your tongue along with some herbal hints. This Grenache evokes layers of spice and smoke with a soft tang; not acidic but more in a way that tea evokes layers of flavor. While subtle, it’s well enough to know it’s there.

I’ve seen Birichino Grenache for around $20, maybe a couple bucks less if it’s on sale.  If you are a lover of Grenache, though, don’t even hesitate to plunk down the money for this bottle. Pick it up at Sunfish Cellars or Zipp’s and let me know how much you love me for introducing you to this wine!

I Greco Savu Rosato

Cost: Average price $19

Where buy now: Zipp’s Liquor Store

Grapes: Gaglioppo

Region: Calabria, Italy

Vintage: 2011

i Greco Savu Rosato

Savu in my heart

Calabria I listen

My mouth awakens

I present Savu, the Calabrian wonder Rosé. Well, I don’t think that’s how they market their wine but that’s how I’m describing it. It had been a couple months since my last haiku, but this was plenty enough to inspire me.

Why am I gushing about Calabria, well it’s simply a matter of history. My history, yes, but I’m selfish like that. My Grandma’s side of the family comes from Calabria so therefore, it instantly peaks my curiosity. Calabria is the “toe” of the Italian boot. It’s a region that has been raped and pillaged by several different warring conquerors. It’s rough terrain, wrought with earthquakes, and due to a long standing feudal system, people weren’t able to own land and suffered from poverty. Hmm, sounds great! No wonder there was a mass exodus in the late 19th-early 20th century to the new world, mainly the United States, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Australia.

Times, they are a-changing. Calabria is becoming more of a travel destination as is the rest of Southern Italy. They are exporting delicious olives, olive oils, figs and what’s this. . .wine? The main grape indicative to Calabria is called Gaglioppo (gah-L’yee-OHP-poh). It is used to make Ciro, probably one of their more popular wines. The grape is known to provide a full-bodied red wine that is rich in spices, smoke and tannins. This is indicative of Calabrian wines made with grapes grown toward the bottom of the mountains. They grow in warmer temperatures near the sea which bring out the grapes’ intensity.

The Savuto wines are made with Gaglioppo grapes grown at a higher altitude. This creates a little more balance, the wines are softer and lighter in that the grapes get the warmth of the sun during the day but in the evenings, it cools off. Tis what’s happened with the grapes used to make the I Greco Savu Rosato (Rosé in Italian). This Rosé isn’t that bright pink color like we’ve been seeing in other Rose’s. This one has an orange-pinkish hue. It’s interesting, not in a Yoko Ono-odd kind of way. But it’s mildly complex and delicious! It’s wine you’ll drink in and feel transported to the Calabrian hills.

Unlike some Rosé’s that have that strawberry fruit forward taste, this one does have red fruit character but it’s layered with a floral, salty and spicy quality.

If the price was lower, I’d cellar up with this baby for the Summer. Alas, it does toggle my $15 price point so I Greco Savu Rosato is my Snob Wine of the Month. I’m glad to have enjoyed it and hope you’ll give the Calabrian wine a chance to wet your whistle!