Italy is both the world’s largest producer of wine and home to hundreds, possibly thousands, of native grape varieties. It’s no wonder that many of the names of the grapes are unfamiliar. Just one example is refosco dal peduncolo rosso, which is primarily grown in northeast Italy. It’s compared below with a barbera del Monferrato from the northwestern region of Piedmont. Although different in style, both are high acid red wines that would go well with pizza and pasta with tomato sauce.
Matteo Braidot 2017 Refosco dal Peduncolo Rosso, Trevenezie, Italy
Bought • Parker’s Table, 7118 Oakland Avenue, in August for $12.99
Description • This wine comes from a Friuli estate that has been owned by the Braidot family since 1870. A member of the ancient Refoschi group of grapes, refosco dal peduncolo rosso, which translates to "refosco with the red stems" is considered the best of the bunch. If you prefer a lighter-bodied red with low tannins for a summer dinner, give this wine a try. It’s soft, fruity and a little spicy with a bit of a tang. It’s a versatile, very easy-to drink wine that’s best enjoyed with a slight chill.
Scarpetta 2017 Barbera del Monferrato, Italy
Bought • Parker’s Table, 7118 Oakland Avenue, in August for $14.99
Description • A medium-to-full bodied red with firm tannins, this is a very flavorful barbera wine that has lots of character. It’s a well-balanced red that tastes of black cherries and peppery spice with a touch of herbs. It’s produced for Scarpetta, a venture co-owned by highly regarded chef Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson. Formerly of St. Louis, he is the son of two prominent Washington University School of Medicine surgeons, Dr. Susan Mackinnon and Dr. G. Alexander Patterson.