Over 300 grape varieties are used to actively produce wines in Italy, with another 300 or 400 grown throughout the country making small production, regional wines for towns and villages, enjoyed by locals and visitors. Thankfully, many of these beauties are imported into the US, giving us the opportunity to get a taste of Italy easily.
When we think Italian sparkling, fruity, frothy Prosecco comes to mind. Prosecco DOC sparklers, like La Marca and Zardetto, are made to be enjoyed in its youth, the wines are approachable, affordable and fun, perfect for sipping on their own or mixed with fruit juice or spirits to create flirty cocktails. Prosecco Superiore DOCG defines more of a sense of place, telling the stories of the history and terroir. The 15 communes that make up the Prosecco Superiore DOCG Conegliano Valdobbiadene, the most premium part of the region, just achieved UNESCO recognition as a World Heritage Site.
Ten years in the making, the declaration came thanks to the unique characteristics of the area’s rolling hillsides, creating wines with character, like Ruggeri Cartizze and Extra Dry, Perlage Brut, Adami Col Credas Rive di Farra di Soligo, and Villa Sandi Cartizze.
Gary and I drink a lot of Chardonnay, but in the summertime, when temperatures are soaring, and I am in search of a thirst-quenching white wine, I am a sucker for a well-made Sauvignon Blanc. From steely, grassy, sunshine filled options, to slightly more rounded, textured and lush selections, the international variety can please almost any palate.
Though made throughout the world, the grape found it’s home in France, predominantly in Bordeaux and Loire Valley. Though the two regions are relatively close geographically, the options produced are uniquely independent of each other thanks to varying soil types, proximity to regional rivers, sun exposure, etc.
The classic characteristic of Loire Valley Sauvignon Blanc, like those from Sancerre and Pouilly Fume, is an earthy, wet stone, smoky minerality in the wine, thanks to Silex or flintstone filled soils. Meld this with cooling winds off the Loire River, the wines lock in freshness and bright acidity, as found in Pascal Jolivet Sancerre ($38) and Ladoucette Pouilly Fumé ($40), melding white flowers with juicy citrus and melon. And, they pair beautifully with Loire’s famous fresh Crottin de Chavignol goats cheese.
Every Glass Is An Adventure
Sommelier, Personal Chef & Concierge Creating Elegant Dinner Parties and Unique Wine Tasting Events to the Big Island of Hawaii
Cogill WIne & Film and Cogill Consulting brings together the talents of Producer Gary Cogill and his wife, Sommelier Hayley Hamilton Cogill, working together, yet thriving individually, for a perfect pairing of wine and film.