Sunday, December 5, 2010

Livio Felluga Pinot Grigio $22.00 (Not TJ's) ***

I was charged with doing the dinner shopping.  Veal, sausage, pancetta, sage, fingerling potatoes, spinach and dry white wine. (There may have also been some Christmas shopping involved as well... 'tis the season and all that.)

Well, meat was simple.  Karl Ehmer Quality Meats had everything protein that we would need and great service to boot. Then for the wine.  I like being a neophyte.  At Greenvale Grapes I asked "What do you have in a dry white - for both cooking and drinking?"  My accomplice and I were walked to the Pinot Grigio wall and were given the rundown on the featured bottles. For me, it was a toss up.  There was a $14.00 bottle that was a contender and this $22.00 bottle that the manager had listed as his favorite.  I left it to my accomplice to choose. She went for this Livio Felluga Pinot Grigio.  The manager was horrified that I would think to cook with it.  We had a discussion, and I assured him that it was well worth cooking with good wine. I live by the Julia Child ethos which includes this gem:

"I enjoy cooking with wine, sometimes I even put it in the food I'm cooking."

And that is just what I did.  As JPH was preparing Skewered Veal Cubes and Pork Sausage Pan-Roasted with Sage and White Wine from Marcella Hazan's Essentials of Classic Italian Cookery (a well used cookbook in this household); I grabbed the wine from the fridge and poured a glass.  After all, it was my job to roast the potatoes, then cook the spinach with rendered pancetta & garlic - I should start reviewing the wine in my head as soon as I pulled the pan from the drawer, right?!?

I have written about grassy wines in earlier posts.  The main note of this wine on first sip is its subtle elegance. It did not have any overwhelming flavor to me.  If I were to use the grassy taste, this wine is a finely manicured golf course.  Just enough freshness to be palate cleansing, and a fine mineral depth that gave it a foundation, but no extremes.  It is a very easy drinking wine. JPH took his required 1/2 cup for the final simmer of the skewers, and when the spinach was almost done, I splashed some into the pan. (S. & I still had plenty to have with dinner).

With food, this is a sublime wine.  It went very well with the subtle flavors of the sage and veal.  The sausage added a peppery highlight, and this wine was an excellent foil for the pepper.  I do think that this is more of a seafood wine, but it still works.

I don't have much experience with Pinot Grigio/Pinot Gris. My first review of a Pinot Grigio was singelhandedly the worst wine I had tasted in the early days of this blog Bandit Pinot Grigio. Pinot Grigio/Gris is yet another mutation of the Pinot Noir grape, and well, I am partial to genetic mutations, since I am one myself (Polycystic Kidney Disease).  I am looking forward to trying more of this dry white wine in the future.

'tis the season for decorations to start coming out!!!  Christmas in this house comes with a warning label:

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