Rocca Bastia Pinot Grigio, 2010 Veneto

Rocca Bas-tee-ah.  I was saying Rocca BAS-tee-ah for a while there.  But I don’t think anyone heard me, so it matters not.  It’s been a while since I took on an Italian white, and my extreme fondness for white wine does not generally extend to Pinot Grigio… but THIS is a really pleasant surprise!  An excellent value, and a really stunning level of complexity for its… wait for it… $9 PRICETAG!  Yipeeeee!

So, what’s to like about this lil guy?  Well, I just gave you one reason- it’s $9!  But I’d rather throw $9 out the window than spend $9 on a crappy bottle of wine- so when I share my excitement over it’s price, it’s because I have deemed that it is worthy enough to be hailed as a truly delicious bottle of wine, not just a decent cheap bottle of wine that you won’t want to spit out.  You dig?  Good.

I can hear servers and bartenders all accross America heaving a collective sigh as the ladies at his or her table announce “I’ll take a glass of the Pinot Grigio.”  Heavy hearted, they ring the order in and secretly suspect that these broads are the type who just want something in their hand to sip on, and they couldn’t give a hoot what it tastes like or anything about it.  They fight the desire to pour some water into it and see if they notice.  They prepare themselves for the separate checks that will certainly be forthcoming, even though everyone’s bill comes to exactly the same amount.  Does that sound like your stereotypical Pinot Grigio drinker?  Yup.

Unfortunately, Pinot Grigio in the restaurant world is sort of a sad story.  It can be marked up more than it should be, because the owner knows it will sell regardless.  Wine retailers probably stock Santa Margherita somewhat begrudgingly, knowing that it will sell no matter how hard they try to get people to branch out.  It’s sort of like casting a really smokin’ hot blonde in a summer blockbuster movie.  Even if she’s not particularly charming or even beautiful, the fact that she’s wearing Daisy Dukes and a cut off white t-shirt will ensure that people see the movie.  But that’s the way it goes, I guess.

Before I get too verbose, let’s move on to the actual WINE.  The reason I like it is because it is perfectly balanced between light fruit, citrus, minerality and a nice flowery finish.  And perfect acidity to make it thirst-quenching and sublime for hot weather.   Tart notes of green apple, lime, and a sweet hint of honeysuckle.  The finish is longer than expected, and it’s clean and minerally.  I don’t ask for much more than this.  Don’t be boring and innocuous- show me some liveliness!  Show me some zest!  that’s what this wine has.  A friendly, lively zestiness.  It must have had fun hanging out in the bottle or during fermentation, because it’s really pretty pumped to be alive.  It arrives in your glass with enthusiasm.  You didn’t think that was possible in a simple little bottle of Pinot Grigio, did you?  well, give it a shot, because I ain’t makin’ this up.

TONIGHT, May 25th from 5-7 at Cellar, I will be introduced to this wine’s step-sibling, the Rocca Bastia Soave, as well as a few other Italian whites, which I’m pretty excited about.  If you’d like, you may meet them too!   Also known as a wine tasting, this meet & greet will cost you something like $7 and will definitely cool you off after the thermometer hits a fantastic 99 degrees today.  AWESOME.  Not.  Come to think of it… this would also be perfect to throw in the car with you on your way to the lake or the beach this Memorial Day weekend… why yes, it would.  Just sayin’.

Can’t make the tasting?  We have plenty of the Rocca Bastia in stock at Cellar for $9 a bottle.  It’s also available as part of our $90 Mystery Case.  Whuck??  never heard of a Mystery Case?  Get to it.  Oh, you don’t know what “whuck” means?  You poor thing.  You haven’t discovered Rants from Mommyland yet.  You need to get on that, too.  I don’t even have children and I’ve been staying up late laughing til I cry.  That’s all I got, thanks for reading and happy almost Memorial Day!

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