I took a break from writing this weekend because I wanted to also break from some social media and indulge in some additional cooking time at home. It was a great Labor Day weekend and relaxation was at the top of the list (who knew cooking for me could be so relaxing).
Meanwhile, after a case of the “Monday’s” or should I say “Tuesdays”, I am already ready for the weekend. It’s the end of Summer, as all New Yorkers say, because the seasons are ACTUALLY changing (very quickly). That means fall is here and it’s almost “sweater weather”. I do love me a chunky sweater and scarf, but fall also means my birthday, which means getting older (huge sigh)… but things get better with time, right? Like wine. Wine (vino) is something that gets better with time and should be enjoyed (as much as possible).
Wine is something that I’ve explored more since I’ve been to Italia and I’m also a fan of keeping the corks to either remember a special night or to use for various crafts. However, I’m learning how to define the taste and how to properly pair it. I no longer can grab the $6 or $8 special at the super market that consisted of a Cabernet mixed with a Shiraz. No, I have learned to explore and enjoy all kinds of wines that are outside of my comfort zone. Even those that I once considered “too sweet” are in fact AMAZING when paired with the correct dessert or cheese. Even a red, I appreciate a Valpolicella paired with a rare steak (yup, mom and dad I can’t do ‘well done’ anymore – thanks to Tuscany for the best steak I’ve ever had in my life).
Wine drinking, for me, has always seemed like a sophisticated sport that gets a bad rap from sayings like “#RoseAllDay” and “Slapping the bag” with a box of Franzia (please, don’t do it). I’ve come to my own conclusion that wine is an art and there is a lot of love the goes into making it and drinking it.
One wine that truly resonates with me, because it is the perfect balance, is a white called “Pigato”. The Pigato comes from a small eastern region in Liguria (the sub-areas being Albenga and Ranzo) and is SUPER hard to find here in the U.S. However, I did find it! You would have thought I won the lottery at Chelsea Market when I saw the last bottle on the shelf. The little hidden wine shop had just what I have been searching for. Usually we try and cram an extra bottle in our luggage (weight depending) on a trip back from Italy, but we now have a source in our own backyard. I even asked the sommelier how often they keep these bottles in stock, and the orders are fluid. So, drink up!
I was first introduced to the Pigato in Ranzo when staying the weekend with Roberto. We bought a bunch of local formaggi e pane (cheese and bread) at the supermarket and had a relaxing afternoon. The Pigato paired so well with with the cheese and I knew that it was a taste match made in heaven. This wine has more body to it and an aromatic fruit flavor at the same time. It is best consumed when chilled, as most whites are, and it really is love at first sip.
I’m looking forward to exploring more of Italia’s vineyards next time we venture overseas, but until then I will keep expanding my palate. Can you believe that the first grapes I’ve ever seen growing on a vine were in Georgia? Note: all vineyard photos were taken in Dahlonega, GA – congrats Meghann and Cliff!
I’m open to trying new things (and I’m not talking about boxed wine drinking games) and actually learning how to properly appreciate wine. Until then, I’ve posted a few photos here of wines that I have had the chance to try while in Italia and I highly recommend you do as well!
Con amore per il vino (in bottiglia) – with a love of wine (from the bottle),