Posted by: tomciocco | June 13, 2008

TAKING DELIGHT IN THE “LOCAL”

When food is the topic, there’s lots of talk these days about eating “local”, ranked by some even above the previously unassailable foodie shibboleth “organic”. Though there’s way too much “greenwashing” going on with these sorts of things, as long as you’re practical and sensible, eating and drinking as organic/local as possible is undoubtedly best course to follow.

So now I’m about to write about a white wine made in coastal northeastern Italy, and I know that at least some of you are wondering how I’m gonna make this connection…Ready? OK, Colle dei Bardellini Pigato 2006 is not local to where I’m now sitting, and the same probably goes for you as well. That said, this is a “local product” per eccellenza. The Pigato grape variety comes from Liguria, and is found nowhere else, period, full stop. Pigato is FROM Liguria as Tasmanian Devils are from their island, and Joshua Trees are from their namesake town. It is the knowledge and courage of top importers and retailers that allow all of us to vicariously travel to Liguria for an evening by climbing into this bottle. Products like this allow us to enjoy what had previously only been available by actually being seated in a simple wooden chair gazing over the white curtains of a simple seafood restaurant onto the Ligurian Sea…Let’s look at it on the flipside – what’s ANTI-LOCAL is a New Jerseyan eating Mexican blueberries in July, or a Thai eating bananas from the south america -Whack and double whack.

This is not what one would term a “versatile” wine, but not because it’s SOOOO strange, but rather because it’s a little odd on many levels. It’s unlikely to win hardly anyone’s derby for “house white”, but it is THE match for pastas dressed with the exceedingly-difficult-to-match sauce pesto alla genovese (a Ligurian sauce – big surprise, eh?) and almost any fish preparation. We had it with fettuccine with a very simple sauce of cream and many minced herbs, and fried fish (Spanish mackerel again – if you don’t already know mackerel, introduce yourself) with an olive, sultana, and pinoli, etc. sauce I concocted. It danced beautifully with both. And to the notes…

Colle dei Bardellini Pigato 2006

Medium gold color. Sunny nose of almond, yellow cherries, hay, mineral, and a splash of cream. The palate shows clean and “sweet” grapefruit and pineapple notes with a balancing brineyness underpinning. The mouthfeel is quite luscious but still fresh. Finishes with a long bitter citrus flavor.

TOM CIOCCO

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