A Rediscovered Indigenous White Wine.
Pecorino, the wine not the cheese, is the first varietal indigenous to Abruzzo to make to consumers the world over. Since I’ve moved to Abruzzo at the beginning o the millennium it has gone from an unknown to a sought-after bottle, especially for before dinner drinks and for fish dinners. Wisconsin writer and poet Gillian Nevers has written a guest-post here about finding a pleasant bottle in a Madison restaurant (http://wp.me/pfkhI-53).
Italy has over 350 indigenous varietals (an Italian-language website, http://www.amordivino.net/, has catalogued about 250 of them), according to some sources the largest variety in the world. Many of them, like Abruzzo’s pecorino, are living a sort of renaissance as family owned wine producers and local cooperatives are dragging many of them out of obscurity and consumers are looking for new experiences and getting local by rediscovering wines and gastronomical traditions near where they live.
Cococciola, a white varietal, is following in the footsteps of its better known and more easily pronounced cousin. The bottle we opened the other night, and that I finished yesterday during a light lunch of mozzarella and datterini tomatoes, is darker in color than pecorino, more yellow with a hint of rust. Our bottle, Cococciola Sesto 2006 from Dora Marchese had a thick mineral taste which I enjoyed. It also had a fun hint of the same liquor-like flavor associated with drier vin santos and late-harvest whites, but it disappeared a bit too much towards that back of the mouth. Much of this is probably because it was a four-year-old white.
The Dora Sarchese vineyard it came from is, I am told, one of Abruzzo’s rising wine stars. It is family run estate near Ortona. Cococciola Sesto is one of the first of their labels that I’ve been able to try so far. One of the next on my list – if only for the name, is going to have to be Rosè Osè. They also produce their own branded olive oil, marmalade, fruits bottled in their own syrup, sauces, and other toppings.
– Joshua Lawrence
For those of you reading this on Facebook or elsewhere, it was first published on carbonara.wordpress.com
So many things to try, so little time.