Nifo Sarrapochiello Falanghina del Sannio ($12.99--was $14.99)
From the producer:
"Rooted in Campania for three generations, the winery Nifo Sarrapochiello is located in Ponte, a small town in the Sannio, a pleasant place, already existing in Roman times, which owes its name to the presence of an imposing "pontem lapideum" on which the Via Latina passed that connected Rome to Benevento and thanks to which the Romans supplied themselves with wine and grapes of the highest quality.
Winemaker for passion and cultural heritage is the young owner, Lorenzo Nifo Sarrapochiello, who has decided to combine respect for tradition and scientific innovation, in order to ensure the company the high quality standards that have always been pursued. In fact, since 1998, the Nifo Sarrapochiello grapes are grown and treated with the organic farming method ( bioagricert control organism ). After a strictly manual harvest, the grapes are transformed with production standards that protect the environment and the health of the consumer: this results in perfumed wines, intensely aromatic and with a great personality.
Pale straw-yellow wine with aromas of pear, banana, aromatic herbs, yellow flowers and sweet spices. Taste is very delicate and elegant, persistent. A perfect match with fish steaks, white meat and aged cheese."
Falanghina is one of Italy's better known whites, and is an ancient varietal. This wine is a must with seafood, though it would go well with poultry and pork. Elegant, long finish with ripe fruit undertones.
Cantine Monfort Terre del Föhn Marzemino ($12.99)
From the producer:
"The Marzemino grape occupies a prominent place in the wine growing world in Trentino thanks to its excellent quality. The origins of the vine are lost in history but it is likely that it comes from Marzemin, a village in Carinthia. Currently Marzemino is cultivated in particular on the right bank of the river Adige and, especially in the foothills of Nomi, Pomarolo, Isera and Mori. In the Vallagarina the variety has found ideal soil and climate conditions which lend it its unmistakable organoleptic characteristics. To distinguish it from other similar wines it is called 'Marzemino Gentile' where 'gentile' (gentle) is justified by the matchless delicacy of the wine.
WINE MAKING METHOD
Brief red wine fermentation on the skins, malolactic fermentation and refining in stainless steel vats. Brief ageing in bottle.
Colour: bright ruby red .
Bouquet: delicately fruity (fruits of the forest) with floral notes of sweet violet
Palate: dry, harmonious, pleasing for its fruity notes and slight almond finish.
First courses with meat sauces, white meats, poultry, cheeses.
This wine is famous for its fruity taste. It is an indigenous wine mentioned in the Opera 'Don Giovanni' of Mozart."
I'm really into indigenous grapes and wines that are off the beaten path, so for me this is a really compelling one. It drinks a bit like a Pinot Noir in that it's light-bodied and brightly fruit-forward. I think at $12.99 it's a great alternative to Pinot, but it also stands on its own as a cool climate red. Organic.