Mark Aselstine
May 24, 2011 | Mark Aselstine

Sardinia Italy

Sardinia, Italy

In early 2011 Italian wine is certainly world class quality, but the grapes which go into the wine and the wine regions themselves are often confusing and complicated, even for the most serious wine drinkers.

Sardinia is a perfect example thereof. The island of Sardinia is home to a wine which we’re including in shipments for our Wine Exploration Wine Club in March, a Vermentino, which is a grape which is barely known internationally.

Sardinia itself is a semi autonomous island about 120 miles west of the Italian mainland, interestingly the descendents on the island are more likely to be sheppard’s rather than fisherman, despite their island’s placement in the middle of the Mediterrean Sea. Even the language causes problems for visitors of all types as it is a curious combination of Italian, Spanish, Basque and even some Arabic. Sardinia is truly a culture which has taken bits and pieces from everyone who has taken residence on the island at one time or another. Language problems, a difficult to find location and continued naming problems in Italian wine (often 2 different grapes in nearby regions, have different names) will likely to continue to hide the quality and price to quality ratios which are both currently among the best in the world when it comes to Italian wines. It’s too bad because these wines with their minerality, would be consumer successes within the wider wine world if consumers were given a fair chance to understand what they were drinking.

We think Vermentino is a wine which could easily gain market share in the United States over the coming years, if growers are able to educate wait staff and wine store owners about it’s attributes. It’s a dry white wine, typically unoaked and very much fruit forward. In many ways it offers an interesting distraction for those drinking a lot of Chardonnay in the oaky, buttery style which has pervaded the industry over the past two decades.


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