Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Folonari Pink Pinot Grigio – Italian Pinot Grigio with a Screw Cap

I am a wine traditionalist. I have my prejudices. My opinions are based on my experience. I am biased:

Italian wines are the best in the world.
Blended wines are not as good as those made with a single vine.
Wine bottles should have natural corks.
Antique traditions produce better wine than industrially pumped contemporary methods.
Fresh food cooked at home is better than any food in a restaurant.
I do not like sweet wines.
Wine should not be pink.

When Italian Wine Guy wrote about this pink wine I was skeptical. The name and label obviously designed to be trendy. The wine is pink, perhaps to play on the rose’ concept. Rose’ means blended and sweet. Where’s the cork? What is this, soda pop?

John the Baptist of Italian Wine insisted. A bottle of Folonari Pink Pinot Grigio 2005 made it into my cooler and into my glass. This is not a blend! The pink color is residual of the grape skin. Pinot Grigio is not a clear grape instead it is called grey. Often Pinot Grigio is considered Ramato, meaning copper colored. You could say this wine is more sunburned than tanned, fortunately the producer did not use Copertone additives. Folonari Pink Pinot Grigio is not sweet. It does maintain a hint of sweetness in the finish but it is pleasant making this a perfect anytime wine. My final concern is the screw cap. My views on this have changed over the last few years here in the US.

In Italy, rarely would I find a corked bottle of wine. This is when the cork sours and modifies the taste of the wine. In the US I have had an unpleasant experience with the lower cost wines. It could be due to the shipping and warehousing procedures or that the wine may be exposed to extreme temperature changes. Cork is a natural element and as all living things suffers extremes. I began looking for wines with the composite corks on the lower end to reduce the effects of shipping. The screw cap is another way to do the same thing and while the experience of unscrewing the cap is not the same as popping the cork the resulting wine retains its quality.

All said, this wine is a good wine to have in the arsenal of entertaining. It can be consumed with or without food making it a perfect before dinner Aperitif. It has good flavor without any dominating characteristics. This means it will be palatable for most people. Most women will find the label attractive, even enticing. The price/quality ratio is very good making this something worth trying.


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Blogger Jas said...

Hi David,
Very educational post for me. I myself don't know a lot about wine. Since I'm planning a trip to Italy later this year, I thought it would be a good idea to learn about their drinks. I hear wines are cheaper than water and soft drinks at restaurants. Is it true? and why is that? I assume it would take less to make soft drinks than wines.

10:04 AM

Blogger Travel Italy said...

Jas That is an excellent question. While bottled water is a bit less expensive than wine, wine is less expensive than soda pop. It is a question of culture. Local wines in restaurants are often made by a local farmer and come directly to the restaurant without middlemen. Just about every region of Italy produces its own wine. they are usually very good and balance local recipes.

Additionally the restaurants do not mark-up the wines like restaurants in other countries do because, for an Italian, a dinner without wine is not dinner.

These two factors, available quality supply and an informed consumer keep prices reasonable.

It does cost less to make soft drinks but there are many people along the way who have to make money off of these sugar water drinks.

10:20 AM

Anonymous iwg said...

i told you so

did you get your helium car yet?

12:41 PM

Blogger Travel Italy said...

IWG Wouldn't that make me have a high pitched voice!

12:59 PM

Blogger Lexcen said...

Many times I've experienced "corked" wine. That's why I don't object to the screw top. You can blame Australians for that invention.

2:54 PM

Blogger Travel Italy said...

Lexcen I think the cork has its place. Somehow I think it is an important part of the aging process. There are numerous advances in the bottle closure including a glass "tappo". I am not sure that I would ever buy a Sassicaia with a screw top but for the $10-20 bottle that transit across the ocean this may be a good solution.

2:58 PM

Blogger Tracie B. said...

oh come on dave, you don't really believe that wine shouldn't be pink, do you? what the the hell's wrong with a good rosato?

anyway, being a woman, i totally wouldn't have given this wine a second thought if the label hadn't been all pink with a blond wearing pink while walking her pink poodle. 'cause you know, speaking for women, that's what we look for.

4:23 PM

Blogger Travel Italy said...

Tracie b. You have been in the warm lands of Napoli for some time. The new fad is to present yourself as your inner image and associate with other who do the same... [checked out any mommy blogs lately!]

The warm sea breeze has forever corrupted your view of the world. I understand.

4:45 PM

Blogger Tracie B. said...

david, you know know i was just giving you a hard time :)

it's SO much fun!

1:14 AM

Blogger Travel Italy said...

Tracie b. You must admit, you will never see the world in the same way again and I'll bet you have gained a greater appreciation for Steven Segal ;)

10:32 AM


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