I mentioned in a previous post that Italy is like my Achilles heel when it comes to wine knowledge, so lately I’ve been making an effort to drink more Italian wine. (Ok, that was just an excuse to drink more in general.)
A couple of weeks ago, Lily and I met up with Rachael Leach from Swig.co.uk, where she treated us to an array of wines from their catalogue and we got significantly tipsy… Only after we had done all the professional interview stuff of course.
Afterwards, I took our little cohort to Passione Vino, a magnificent independent Italian wine shop and tasting room on Leonard Street in Shoreditch. Here we sat down and enjoyed a couple more bottles of wine and, in my intoxicated state, put all my trust in Mickey (one of the owners) to recommend me a good bottle to take back to Sheffield with me.
He did, I bought it and, two nights ago, I opened it.
It was a very cold Thursday night… ‘The Beast From The East’ was in full swing and instead of opting for a hearty red to ‘warm me up’ I decided to open up the Aurora, 2015 Offida Pecorino.
I briefly remember that this bottle cost me around £30 which is an insane amount of money to spend on one bottle, especially as I’m not long out of my overdraft (after spending nearly five years in it) so I was praying for this wine to be good. Crossing my fingers for it to be worth the amount of money that I could have spent on petrol for my 2004 Ford C-Max.
It was superb.
This particular wine is a ‘vin biologique’, or biodynamic wine if you’re not a pretentious twat like me, and it had all the characteristics of a good biodynamic wine. The nose had that strong earthy tone to it that a lot of natural wines carry. I often liken this smell to hay bails. After the initial scent and a bit of time breathing, the fruity flavours of this wine start to shine through. I don’t want to use the original buzz words like ‘citrus’ etc, as I feel the fruit aromas in this were a bit richer and deeper, like a red apple or even pomegranates.
The look of this wine was intriguing too. It had a slight green tinge to it and there were either tartrate crystals in it (where tartaric acid and potassium bind together, which is something that occurs naturally) or just bits of sediment, as I’m guessing with it being biodynamic there hasn’t been much filtration, if any. Anyway it looked beautiful. It was pale, but as mentioned, it had a beautiful and subtle tinge of green.
Upon tasting, it didn’t disappoint. Pecorino is the grape name and Offida is the place it’s from, a small town in the province of Marche, on the eastern edge of central Italy. A well known wine from this region is Verdicchio and, to be honest, the Pecorino that I had was somewhat similar. It had a lovely subtle aroma and there was a slight hint of acidity to it, despite remaining very crisp and dry.
I drank this on its own while watching the new season of ‘Queer Eye’ on Netflix, which was a winning combination. If you have the money to spare and want to try a lesser known white wine then I would definitely recommend this. Get in touch with the guys from Passione Vino and they will hook you up.