For our first wine tasting this summer we chose a brand that is new to us, Italian White Blend from the Custoza region. We both really liked this wine! Possibly the best white wine we’ve tasted in years, other than Champagne of course. Spoiler alert, we will absolutely buy this again and again.
We found this exceptional wine at our hands down absolute favorite place to buy wine in Virginia, Chain Bridge Cellars. At Chain Bridge Cellars they keep track of your likes and dislikes, so our guy was sure we would like this, and he was right. Added bonus is the price. This treat, normally $14, was on sale for $10.
The wine is a blend of seven different grapes with the largest amount coming from the Garganega grape (40%), which is fermented first before the other grapes are added. Aged in steel gives the wine a purity because it does not absorb any flavor from the barrel, unlike aging in oak barrels. It also means I didn’t get a headache or a stuffy nose. It’s also lower in alcohol at 12.5%, so we were able to enjoy the wine without needing a nap after.
Chain Bridge Cellar’s has a lovely description of both the region in which this wine is made and how it is made. Here is a link to their page with the description. https://www.cbcwine.com/wines/Remo-Farina-Bianco-Di-Custoza-2020-w27489577f#
White is meant to be served cold, which not only makes it refreshing on a warm day but brings out it’s layers of flavor. We found this blend to be full bodied without being too dense or cloyingly sweet. It is balanced with a delicious mineralization and soft aroma. Not too sweet, not too tart, not too thin, it’s just right. It is delicious from the first sip to the last. The flavor does not change. It is also lower in alcohol at 12.5% For me this means not only can I skip the antihistamine as it’s not aged in Oak, and no added sulfites, but I can enjoy a second glass. We recommend this wine for an alternative to a sweet Chardonnay, a crisp Pinot Grigio, or any light Rose’.
If it was up to me, I would use whichever glass suits my mood. Mae however, has done all the homework on which glass to use for what wine and why it works. She’s our wine glass whisperer. For kicks and giggles, I talked her into putting a theory or two to test so we used this wine tasting to test glasses as well. I pulled out a few of my favorites, what I thought were white wine glasses, with smaller bowls and smaller stems. Mae’s theory was that the different shaped bowls would effect the flavor of white wine, like it does for red wine. I we chose four different glasses.
These two crystal glasses are by Mikasa. Both have flared bowls, but the one on the left has a much wider flare, creating a very wide opening. The more air in the bowl, the more the wine can breath and that’s not what you want with white wine. Unlike a big bowl which lets the air circulate in your red wine so the flavor can expand, a smaller bowl is used for the white because you don’t want the flavor to expand. An added benefit is the layered design on the base of the bowls, where your warm hand holds the glass, insulating the glass and helping your wine to stay cold to the last drop.
Drum roll please – our results found there to be no change in flavor between the larger opening and the smaller, but the wine did stay cold longer with the smaller glass on the right. This is likely because it is not only smaller, but also because it has thicker overlay on the base of the bowl. Colder white wine does taste better.
These next two glasses I chose because they’re really pretty, and with their gold trim, I think they’ve got a glitzy retro vibe. Mae liked them because they are heavier crystal with shorter stems, which keeps the wine colder longer. Also, she said the shorter glass means you don’t lose flavor. Both of these glasses kept the wine equally cold and delicious to the last drop. The slight flare didn’t effect the flavor at all. So, if you like a little flare, go for it. You can find these glasses in our shop.
and Finally . . . The Snacks
Mae is also our go to expert on what to eat with our wine. Raiding my cabinets she chose certain foods to bring out the flavor of the wine or compliment the wine. Spicy compliments sweet wine. It cuts the sweetness even as the sweetness softens the heat in spicy food. Cheese also pairs well with white wine, especially this wine. As this wine is a blend, it didn’t lean to far in any direction. So the cheese rules for wine are flexible for this one. The fat and flavor in an aged sharp cheddar works great here.
As our afternoon wine time was impromptu, we had to work with what we found in the cabinet that was spicy and/or cheesy. We had fiery hot Hu crackers – dry, thin and full of kick. Jalapeno cheese puffs and a spicy cheesy Eliote spread. We also tried some fresh made Tzatziki on a whim. Everything is made with natural ingredients so there was no confusing where the flavor was coming from. The winner here was the Jalapeno cheese puffs, the loser was the Tzatziki. The fiery crackers were too hot and because they were dry and they needed one of the dips. They tasted better with the Tzatziki which made them not right for the wine. We couldn’t let the Eliote go to waste so we dipped our cheese puffs in it. That paired perfectly with our blended cold white wine on a warm summer afternoon.
Enjoy the warm days with a cool glass. Cheers!