Red, White & Pink Wine Blues
I payed my wines, I payed my glas
I payed my share of taxes too
Now I cant buy my baby food
Ive got the red, white, pink wine blues
(inspired by Hank Williams, Jr.)
Writing and communicating about wines creates possibilities – it gets you to meet people, to visit new places, enjoy food but not least to try lots and lots of wine. Through the #winelover community we also have a good platform to share and find these experiences outside our own circle – so don’t forget to tag posts, photos and tweets with #winelover.
In February, I visited Bardolino for the vintage tasting of Bardolino, Chiaretto and Custoza; Anteprima Bardolino – A Preview Tasting of Bardolino and Bardolino Chiaretto from the 2013 vintage. I tasted about 120-140 wines from about 60 wineries and I visited five wineries. During this trip I saw the beauty of lake Garda and its surroundings and met some great people and had lots of good wine.
I do travel quite a bit, it is fun to go to the big well known wine regions but it is really rewarding to come to areas which are a little outside of my knowledge zone. Regarding Bardolino, Chiaretto and Custoza – I’ve tried a few but not many and I didn’t know much about the area. So this was a kind of a taste adventure and exploring trip for me. As a bonus I also met a group of German journalists, bloggers and communicators and an American and a Danish one – all good people. Always good to meet new friends 🙂 and #winelover-s.
As Bardolino was quite new to me I thought it might be so for you as well, therefore I thought I’d share this with you even though it was not a #winelover event. Talking with my fellow travellers on this trip I learned that the wines have changed in a positive direction the last few years. The tastings and the visits revealed some really good wine makers, some very interesting wines but also showed that there are a lot of quite ordinary wines, not bad but not fantastic either, i.e. there is still work to be done if you look to the whole of Bardolino.
There are three main wines; Bardolino (red wine), Chiaretto Bardolino (rosé; still and sparkling) and Custoza (white wine; still and sparkling). A good thing is that they in general are low in alcohol and quite light in flavor – which makes them great for the summer.
The red wines are cuvées, in general they are quite light and low in alcohol. The main grape is Corvina. Usual blending grapes are Corvinone and Molinara, other grapes are Rossignol, Barbera, Sangiovese, Garganega, Marzemino, Merlot and Cabernet sauvignon. Flavor wise they have plenty of red fruit, some green herbs and lots of pepper. They have a good acidity and a nice minerality in the finish. A comparison with Beaujolais is not a bad one when it comes to the style of the wines, but they do differ in taste – Bardolino generally have a warmer fruit more towards cherries, is a little more rustic and have different herbs than the Beaujolais wines.
The pink wines, the Chiaretto, goes from elegant wines, slightly aromatic, good acidity, subtle fruit with a touch of minerality to candy sweet ones. The grapes are the same as for Bardolino. Chiarettos that are elegant and light are the best ones, while I find the sweet ones are a bit to lemonade alike.
The white wines have good fruit that tend to go toward the exotic fruits or yellow apple flavors, many have a really nice acidity, quite a lot of herbs, aromatic notes and lots of minerality. The wines are normally cuveées made on Trebbiano, Garganega and Friulano, but they might also include Bianca fernanda, Malvasia bianca, Riesling italico, Pinot bianco and Chardonnay. I like the style and the best shows great potential.
As a bonus I also got to taste some vintage wines, mainly whites – and yes there are possibilities here, several of these wines really showed off – some of these wines were really good! Another thing to consider is 100 % grape wines – tried a few 100 % Corvina wines that was really nice, but don’t overdo the new oak!
The area is a tourist area and much of the wines are made for the tourist market, which is not bad for local business, these wines will probably not catch your attention. But there are those who should such as:
Another interesting winemaker to keep an eye out for is Giovanna Tantini, she makes a sublime Chiaretto and a very good Bardolino.
If or when you go to Bardolino I have to mention a fantastic small wine bar, with a great cellar: Enoteca Il Giardino delle Esperidi. This is the #winelover place to go to. Lots of new and old wines to enjoy, from the area and other italian areas and from the rest of the world. A lovely bar, a great hostess in Susanna Tezzon and according to my friends also a great place to eat.
For me I will continue to follow Bardolino into the future. There is great potential and some wines are all ready very good and others are knocking on the #winelover door!
So until next time – salute!
Magnus Reuterdahl is a Swedish wine communicator that normally blogs and writes in Swedish on Magnus Reuterdahl’s vinblogg (http://vinotinto.wordpress.com) and for DinVinguide.se (http://www.dinvinguide.se/hwar-fjortonde-dag/).
The Viking way is the #winelover way – demand good wine! 🙂