Since Rusty started us on the road to Italian varieties with last week’s Must-Try Wine, the J Pinot Grigio, let’s get into some more delicious Italian varieties—this time directly from Italy!
Zuani Vigne Bianco (Zoo-ahnee Vee-nyeh) comes from the Collio DOC in the Friuli region of Italy. This northeast corner of the country near the borders of Slovenia and Austria is rightly famous for its juicy whites. The Vigne is a blend of Friulano, chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, and pinot grigio grapes from vines that are from 15 to 30 years old.
Each of these varieties seems to do quite well in the region, producing crisp, balanced, and refreshing wines. This combination is no exception—so much so that Zuani decided to blend the grapes together. Each variety is vinified separately, using cold maceration, temperature-controlled fermentation, and maturing in stainless steel vats. The wine is light yellow-gold in color, with and an absolutely gorgeous nose filled with peach, pear, and apple, along with a lovely waxy-scented quality just hiding in the background. The Vigne also has beautiful balance on the palate, and is nearly chewy in body, all of which complements the abundant fruit through the very long finish. This would be a wonderful pairing with practically any white fish or grilled or roasted chicken, or you could easily serve it as an apéritif with light smoked fish or prosciutto and melon.
About $20, and available locally from Best Wines Online or Wine Exchange.