During the four hours of grazing on delicious food at the Culinary Extravaganza I was also looking for new wines to try. As I stated before the food offerings seem to get better every year, though I did lament that there was no duck being offered, but that is a minor complaint on my part. The wine being offered from the vendors seemed to be an afterthought and this is puzzling to me, as you would think that they would want their products to shine. Of course, I am always amazed at how the crowds would circle the wine table and rather look at what was being offered, they would only ask for a Cabernet, and I had to chuckle, because they would leave without a glass of Bordeaux, because it did not say Cabernet Sauvignon.
Rather then just drink a glass of wine, I wanted to try some wines that I might not order in a restaurant or even buy a bottle of, because there is always a sense of dread offering a wine to guests that you are not sure of. So I was on a mission to find some different wines. The first was Petraio Nero d’Avola 2010, a wine from Sicily. The varietal Nero d’Avola is also known as Calabrese and this was another version of what I lovingly refer to as “Dago Red.” While that term may not be politically correct, it is the endearing name for all of the home made wines that we would be given through out the year at the house by friends of the family. This particular wine had more personality and finesse then the homemade wines of my youthful remembrances. The wine would have been better with plates of Southern Italian cuisine, but since there was none being offered at any of the tables, it was kind of a fish out of water for proper pairing.
The other wine that I will discuss from that afternoon for the moment is another Italian wine, but this time it is a white wine. I tried a glass of Moris Vermentino 2008 from Maremma Toscana. While Tuscany is famous for their red wines, this white wine was made with the Vermentino grape, which is known in France as Rolle, but the Italian name has a bit more cooler sounding name, and this wine is also has 10% Viognier and between these two grapes there was some nice acidity and floral nose and kind of a musky fruit taste. I think it would have been great on a summer day with some crackers and cheese.