The Wandering Wino
Discoveries of a sophisticated and socially accepted alcoholic
I am holding a restaurant wine list yet again. This time I’m with a birthday troop at snazzy Capische? (their question mark, not mine) in the Hotel Wailea. Considering the cuisine of the restaurant it only makes sense to go Italian for the wine selections.
Venetian Pinot Grigio and Tuscan Chianti immediately pop off the wine list and scream to be ordered. I suppose it would be a slam dunk to pick such staples, but I find it to be a bit, well, lame. I’ve had enough boring ol’ Pinot Grigio for one lifetime. I’d rather taste the sexier side of Italian wine.
I spot a Villa Sparina, Gavi, Piedmont, Italy 2009 on the list and pull the trigger. People should consume this white wine a lot more often in Hawaii. It’s made with the grape cortese and tasting like a funky Sauvignon Blanc. “Lemony-orange goodness,” is the description authored by the birthday girl. A hint of almonds rounds out the wine and makes a perfect match to our Pumpkin Gnocchi pupu. Fifty-eight bucks for the bottle.
Masi ‘Campofiorin’ Rosso del Veronese, Italy 2007 is the red. This is basically the famous–yet impossible to pronounce–Valpolicella from northeastern Italy. Say it with me: “Val-poll-e-CHELL-a.” A classic blend of the grapes corvina, rondinella and molinara. Trust me, if you like Merlot, you’ll like this. Rich dark cherry flavor with a “tastes like chocolate” mouth feel, according to one reveler. Pairs up nicely with my Braised Lamb Shank entrée. Sixty bucks a bottle and also available by the glass.
The rest of our party of six digs the wines as well and my pocketbook is not punished too badly by my frequent expensive tastes. Winner, winner, gourmet Italian dinner.
The Wandering Wino is a Certified Specialist of Wine & Spirits and Advanced Sommelier. Follow the hunt @TheWineCastle on Twitter.