By Bruce Cochran
Four flights, six hotels, four rental cars and more restaurants than I can remember just now. This is to tell you that I’m leaving soon for two and a half weeks in Italy and Spain, so this is a reminder that E Wine of the Week will be on hiatus for two weeks while I am traveling.
Don’t forget about the new Community Bulletin Board on www.brucecochran.com. It’s a place to announce your upcoming events and other news of interest to Arkansans who love wine, food and travel.
Try a new wine this week!
Gavi, Piedmont’s White Wine
Even Italians drink white wine sometimes, and the northern region of Piedmont (capital: Turin), a place famous for red wines like Barolo and Barbaresco, is no exception.
It may seem odd that in a country known for hearty reds most Italian white wines are dry, many are crisp in acidity, and most are medium to light in body, receiving little or no oak aging.
Gavi made around the small town of the same name, in the hills of southern Piedmont near the meeting point of Piedmont, Liguria (capital: Genova), and Lombardy (capital: Milan). It is made primarily from a local grape called Cortese, an ancient variety grown in this area for centuries.
Crisp, light and dry, yet often intense in flavor, it can be a very good accompaniment to seafood dishes, particularly shellfish and calamari. Some people are surprised at the popularity of seafood in Italy until they consider the lengthy coastline of the Italian peninsula. A tangy wine like Gavi, with hints of citrus, is a good replacement for that ubiquitous lemon slice. There is sometimes a clean racy, mineral finish from the local chalky soil. Some people like Gavi with sushi.
While the name Gavi always appears on the label, some will read “Cortese di Gavi”, or “Gavi di Gavi”.
Cortese is one grape not grown much outside its native home, so look for it in the Italian section of your local retailer or restaurant wine list. Good names include Principessa—named for an old story about a local princess—and Pio Cesare. Most Gavi’s sell for $15 to $20 per bottle.