Illustration by Anna Vu (@goodwinecrapdrawing)

Volume 32: The Skinny Edition

Valli Unite
2020
Rosé and the Beast
Dolcetto, Barbera, Cortese, Favorita, Moscato, Malvasia
Piedmont, Italy

You can almost feel how much fun they had making this wine just by the quirky label. This is a rosé frizzante wine, not made like your typical Pet Nat. All the grapes are hand-picked in September. After a bit of maceration, all the grapes were pressed and fermented together in stainless steel until March the following year. Most Italian bubbles differ from Pet Nat, as they add a concentrated grape must just before bottling to referment the wine in the bottle with the added sugar and yeast. Pet Nat is bottled when it still has enough sugar in the wine to continue the fermentation in the bottle without anything added. For this one, they let it ferment until June, and then it is disgorged. It's a beautiful strawberry lemonade or maybe a beast, with a little funk and some nice licorice notes. Enjoy it with a Vietnamese fruitier noodle dish or in the park with cake.

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Valdisole
2017
Pnoi
Nebbiolo
Piedmont, Italy

This is Barolo how it was originally consumed. Back in the day, they used only a short maceration time on Nebbiolo, as there was no easy way to deal with the astringency of the tannins. Only later, when long barrel aging was introduced, Barolo tasted like the wine sold today. Poi means spirit in Greek, and this is what they wanted to capture. After the short maceration, the wine is aged for 9 months in three parts: one third in chestnut, one third in clay, and the last third in oak barrels. It is then blended and spends another three months in the bottle. The outcome is a masterpiece so light with rose and violet aroma but warming with caramel and nuttiness. This continues in the mouth with small salted cherries and popcorn. With its sweet kick and smaller bottle size, it can be easily consumed without food or with some sweeter pastry.

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Glow Glow
2020
Weiss
Scheurebe, Bacchus, Müller-Thurgau
Nahe, Germany

This is a very German white. It might even convince your grandma to drink more natural wine. The grapes were picked all fairly early at the end of the summer and then left destemmed overnight to macerate separately. After pressing them in the morning, the juice went directly into big wooden barrels to finish fermentation for roughly half a year until March. All three grape varieties are very aromatic and have an excellent phenol structure, which helps bring out a good grip. As the Glow Glow “Hauswein,” this kicks off a perfect summer day even when it rains. Lots of floral aromas like elderflower are mixed with apple and lemon to make you finally take a sip of this tropical sherbet powder with a herbal finish. Pauline recommends a fennel and orange salad, but with its low alcohol, you might be done with this bottle faster than you can prep the food.

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