Ready for a shock? What is the world's number one wine producer? France? Australia? The United States? Actually, it may surprise you to know that Italy is number one, giving the definitive boot to the pride of all other winemaking nations. Yet, I know relatively little about Italian wine, and have often wondered why that is the case. Well, this morning it actually hit me: Besides the rather obvious answer that I'm not Italian, I feel the true reason has to do with ignorance of Italy's grape varietals. You see, France, Australia, the US, and other countries generally share the same grapes: Chardonnay, savignon blanc, cabernet, merlot, pinot noir, and shiraz/syrah are usually planted in great quantities in all the top winemaking countries. Not so much in Italy, where the most planted grapes tend to be barbera, sangiovese, nebbiolo, and the delightful little star varietal of this mornings review direct from the Old Country: The Masi Pinot Grigio Verduzzo Masianco.
The robe of the Masi Pinot Grigio Verduzzo Masianco is the pale verdant straw of a perfect Tuscan morning. The nose is definitely floral: wisteria, lavender, and meadow. The crisp acid bite of melons, apples, and grapefruit wash upon the palate, finishing with a nice surprise of minerals. This little vino is just ducky with seafood chowders and bisques, and is just waiting to be invited by a good salad to the ball. Website is www.masiwine.com, and I hope you have better luck getting into it than I did; you might also consider stopping by www.tuscan-wines.com, which will give you a good primer for all Italian varietals, not just those from Tuscany. Expand your Italian horizons soon, and as always:
LIFE IS TOO SHORT FOR MEDIOCRE FOOD!!!