Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Wine Tasting Wednesday: Friuli-Venezia Giulia

This is the first time I am participating in Wine Blogging Wednesday. (Gosh, they’ll let anyone participate!) This virtual wine tasting event picks a theme each month which bloggers post an entry on all on the same day. This months topic is white wines form the Italian wine region of Friuli-Venezia Giulia, the North-eastern most wine region in Itay.

According to “Vino Italiano” in Friuli there is a distinction between white wines similar to the distinction we make between red and white wine. There are the fresh wines, wines that are fermented in stainless steel resulting in clean wines with high acidity. Then there are the barrique wines, wines fermented and aged in oak resulting in heavier wines with lots of “character.” While the fresh wines (like Tocai Friulano and Pinot Grigio) would go well with lighter fare like a shrimp dish, the barrique wines can stand up to richer foods like an herb-filled ravioli. The barrique wines have also been called the “super whites.”

I tried one of the fresh wines, the 2005 Sirch Tocai Friulano. This grape is thought to be related to the Sauvignon blanc grape, which is what the Sirch reminded me of. It was a little light in flavor, but it had nice acidity. I also read in “Vino Italiano” that some of the cold fermentation went too far and “stripped the wines of any real character.” I wonder if this is what happened to the Sirch. It may just be my inexperienced palate, so I’m going to have to try some more Friulanos to compare.

The Sirch was $13 from WineLibrary (episode 254, I couldn’t find one in any wine stores in the Sacramento area.) I would prefer a Vino Verde from Portugal for a similar light wine that is less expensive. I’m not writing off the Friulano, just wishing it was easier to find some to try.

There are so many different wines from Italy I like to try, but finding them locally is difficult. Even a local wine store that specializes in Italian wines didn’t have any Friuli-Venezia Giulia wines. How do others of you find wines made from less popular grapes? I would really like to try one of the “super-whites.” If you know of a great Italian wine store in or around the Sacramento / San Francisco bay area, please let me know!

Tasting Notes:

Color: Light yellow

Aroma: Slight citurs smell, almost like a Sauvignon blanc

Taste: Light flavors, almost like a Sauvignon blanc with nice acidity

Finish: No real finish


SB Wine Advocate said...

looks like a bargain. hope you enjoyed WBW

Orion Slayer said...

Thanks, SB. By participating, I learned a lot and it made reading other people's post more fun.

Taster A said...

Thanks for the information about fresh and barrique wines. Great piece of data.

Jack at Fork & Bottle said...

"This is the first time I am participating in Wine Blogging Wednesday. (Gosh, they’ll let anyone participate!)", we're changing the rules.

(Just kidding. Sorry, but I "try" to inject one else seems to. How come wine is soooo seriousssss?)

To your question, I don't know about Sacramento, as I'm not stopping when I drive through it today, but San Francisco is easy: The Jug Shop. Easily the best in Northern California. Note, they hide some of the best bottles way up high. They have Gravner and Vodopivec and others; wine life changing wines. Ask for Flori.

Dr. Debs said...

OrionSlayer, try Corti Brothers. That's where I got all my Italian wines when I lived in Davis. They really know their wine, and they are very helpful. You might prefer one of the bigger Friuli whites--Bastianich's Vespa falls into that category, I'm pretty sure, and is fairly easy to fine.

Glad you WBWed. And way to put the Wine Book Club book to great use!

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