Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Vitiano Verdicchio Vermentino 2008

The Rolling Stones gave us some very good advice once, about getting what we need in the event the thing we want is unavailable.  I almost never ask a restaurant to sell me a wine by the glass when their wine list clearly shows it to be offered by the bottle only.  This once, I made an exception.  I didn't see what I wanted, and I ended up getting exactly what I needed.

A recent Sunday lunch took us to a reliable old standby, Il Fornaio in Beverly Hills.  They have a pretty fine assortment of wines on their list, and I felt the moment called for a glass of a nice Italian white.  What better place for that?  I was hoping to find a Vermentino.  I don't know if it's a standard look, but their wine list had only one Italian white offered by the glass.  A Pinot Grigio.  It simply wasn't what I wanted.  I went to the bartender - who was holding an already opened bottle of wine in his hands - and told him I was hoping for a glass of an Italian white with a little more appeal.  He said, "How about this one?," holding the bottle up in front of him.  He even poured me a taste.  I was sold.

Vitiano's 50/50 Umbrian blend of Verdicchio and Vermentino was an excellent choice, even though I can't take credit for choosing it.  I can't even give the bartender credit - he was just trying to sell another glass of the wine he was already holding in his hands.  However it transpired, it was alright with me.

Its beautiful golden color is a perfect complement to a sunny Sunday lunch.  There's a wonderful nose laden with minerals, citrus and honeyed pears.  The taste is lush and mouth-filling, like pear juice.  A fresh minerality comes through, too, which offers the enjoyable situation of drinking a wine that's both crisp and soft.  So you can actually, sometimes, get what you want and what you need.