Strange Grapes…Great Wine!


The wine for the evening contained a grape I’ve not had before, nor had I ever heard of it. But then, that’s not surprising given the enormous variety of grapes on the market. I picked the wine to drink that night mainly for the fact that it came in a 500mL bottle and Matt had gone out to dinner with some friends, so I wanted a bottle I could drink on my own in case he didn’t want a glass when he got home!

The wine was a 2005 Vare Ribolla Gialla. I purchased this bottle from WineQ for $24.99 (free shipping because I spent over $35!), it had a real cork closure, and clocked in at 14.5% alcohol by volume. I gather that Ribolla Gialla grape is grown mostly in Friuli, Italy, and Slovenia and Vare Vineyards is the only US winery producing a Ribolla Gialla wine! Vare Vineyards is a small (less than 500 cases!) production family owned operation in Napa.

On the nose I got spice, lemon, lime, and a touch of oak. The wine smelled like it had great acidity. In the mouth I found sharp citrus at the front of the palate, which translated to lots of lime and lemon. Spice was prevalent throughout the wine, with a creamy mouthfeel in the mid and back palate as it warmed a bit. Overall, the wine was dry, smooth, and delicious. I was happy to add a new grape to my line up, and much look forward to the Bianco I have from Vare waiting for me in the cellar.

I drank this on its own, but I think it would be great with my parmasean encrusted tilapia, or with some of the fresh crab we’ve been feasting on this summer!