Sunday, February 10, 2019

The veil of un-knowingness over Southern Italian wine

Tasting notes are a cinch. How does one tell the tale of Southern Italian wine with a single photograph?

You think there haven’t been changes in how the South presents to the West?

Compare these two PR pieces from Puglia, 40 years apart.

The first one (1977) was very basic, but for those times, I’ll say this: they were one of the few regions I traveled through in the early days that had access to pamphlet and area information. They were out in front, and still are.

The older is steeped in tradition and un-retouched customs, some which might seem a sight strange to outsiders. It’s amazing to think that Italy still has that connection to the mystic.

But today, what does everybody want? Fresh air, fresh food, fresh water, a healthy, balanced lifestyle, in which everything is in motion and is good and forever? And Puglia sets up for the delivery.

In real terms, there is a plethora of white and red wines available. And rosé from Puglia is an institution, much in the same way Provence has become with the lighter version.

You want California style? You can find it. Old, rustic, funky? Oh yeah, there’s plenty of that in Puglia. Fresh, fruity, dry, wholesome beverages to go with an abundance of fresh and wonderful foodstuffs. Yeah, bucket list stuff.

So how about that tasting note?

This wine is not from Puglia, it is an alluring Pigato from Liguria; please appease me.
I’ve had a checkered past with Pigato. God, how it was near on impossible to sell a white wine from Italy in 1983 in Texas. For sure, without a pretty label or a name someone could pronounce, or would want to pronounce, well, let’s just say it wasn’t easy sailing up that river.

Fortunately, in 30+ years the wine has sought and gathered wider acceptation. And that is a good thing. The first time I had this one from Durin, was in Liguria in 2007. That day with my friend Andrea Fassone at a little truck stop we had the most wonderful tiny piquant sausages in a fiery broth that only a Pigato can quell.

It resembles a steely, minerally, cold water out of a fountain in the school yard. The temperature that day is over 100°F and the first gasp of sweet fruit and then that steely, long, black dress that follows. Served (in 2019) with fresh trofie flown in from Italy, served with a pesto made from basilico that came from the garden.

written with images photographed (or reproduced) by Alfonso Cevola limited rights reserved On the Wine Trail in Italy
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1 comment:

magnumvino said...

You know Puglia is very close to my heart. It would be good fun to discuss it there one day. Fun post!

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