This month and next, Whole Foods Markets has the spotlight on Italian wines at great prices. Get the details on the wines and the April virtual tasting event on Twitter here.
You can go to hashtag #WFMWine to see how much fun we had on the first one.
Today we sample one of those wines.
Thursday March 13, 7:00-8:00 p.m. CT:
Banfi Principessa Gavia Gavi Ruffino Orvieto Classico Gran Passione Rosso Donnafugata Sedàra Thursday April 10, 7:00-8:00 p.m. CT:
Presto Prosecco Caposaldo Pinot Grigio Monrosso Chianti Verrazzano Rosso
Ruffino Orvieto Classico $10.99
Cousins Ilario and Leopoldo Ruffino founded the Tuscan winery that bears their name in 1870. Within a decade or so, they had made a name for themselves in the wine world with their wines made using grapes sourced from local farmers. They have had some famous fans. The Duke of Aosta named Ruffino the official wine supplier to the royal Italian court. Composer Giuseppe Verdi wrote a 19th-century letter to the winemakers - a complaint that the wine he ordered was late in arriving. It's a good thing for the Ruffinos that Verdi didn't have Yelp at his disposal. "That damn Verdi again! What's the opera this time?" The winery has weathered the decades well, good vintages and bad, even recovering from the destruction of its cellars in a WWII bomb attack.
Orvieto Classico was named for the beautiful Umbrian city from which its grapes are sourced. Those grapes are a treasure trove of Italian white wine fruit: 40% Grechetto, 20% Procanico and 40% other white varietals, like Verdello and Canaiolo Bianco. The wine is produced entirely in stainless steel vats and comes in at an easy-drinking 12% abv. It is bottled under an easy-opening screw cap.
The straw-tinted wine shows wet rocks, white flowers and lemon peel on the nose. It's not an overpowering aroma, but it's not too subtle, either. A sip brings crisp apple, limes and more minerals up front with a fantastic acidity that tingles the tongue. Afterward, a slightly nutty, savory note is left behind
On Twitter, kudos were given by @ClearLakeWine for the Orvieto's "great acidity," along with a pairing suggestion: "Not surprisingly, the Orvieto Classico [is] fantastic with good parmesan." @WineFoodTravel tweeted, "Wow, the Orvieto Classico is definitely a great summer wine. Goes great with scallops. #Yum." #YumIndeed.