Now everyday (even February 29th) is dedicated to at least one grape variety.
Of course, as the world’s favourite black grape, Cabernet Sauvignon hardly needs the extra recognition that may come its way.
Some of the lesser-known varieties though will gratefully accept any chance to get their name out there.
All of which brings me to today, October 18th, which has been designated as international “Arneis” day.
I for one, am definitely not going to pass up a chance to highlight one of my favourite Italian white grape varieties.
Native to Northeast Italy, this grape variety is notoriously difficult to grow, a fact which is reflected in the meaning of its name in the local Piemontese dialect, its closest direct translation to English is “little rascal”.
When put in the right hands however, this little rascal produces wines that can be similar to Viognier in weight and to Pinot Blanc in terms of flavour and aroma.
His family estate has been producing wine in this region since 1880 and Matteo passionately dedicates his time to making wine that is a true expression of the vineyard, and of the grapes from which it was made.
In his Ascheri Langhe Arneis (€16.99), there is a real sense of the vineyard as the delicious, ripe peachy fruit is underpinned by fine minerality.
To see it at its best, pair it with delicate white fish or shellfish dishes.