When it comes to uncorking a delicious bottle of vino for dinner, pulling away from full-bodied reds and rich buttery whites tells us Spring is almost here. These two lighter-style wines from Attems in Friuili, Italy are perfect for the change of season!
Attems is a name synonymous with the Friuli Venezia Giulia wine region in northeast Italy. Home to the iconic Dolomite Alps, the region is also famous for producing quaffable and relaxed white wines. The history of viticulture in the picturesque region of Collio is dominated by the Attems winemaking dynasty dating back to an astonishing 1106. And in 1964, Count Douglas Attems founded the Collio Wine Consortium, the first in the Friuli region.
Owned by the Frescobaldi family since the year 2000, Attems connects a rich history with distinctiveness and innovation.
Here are two crisp, thirst-quenching wines that we think are perfect as aperitifs, or accompanying the first picnic of the season, or with a dinner of lighter fare such as sushi or pasta with seafood and poultry.
Sauvignon Blanc has been a popular wine for some time now, and appears like summer in a glass with its pale color and greenish tint. But this is not your brash antipodean Sauvignon Blanc overloaded with tropical fruits and green pepper; nor is it your delicate French white wine with white blossoms and stone fruit. This wine has more classic and complex aromas: the verdant smells of tomato leaf, kiwi fruit and verbena followed by white grapefruit and bread crust and a finish of mint and lime. Those juicy notes means this wine is incredibly versatile and pairs well with a variety of summer foods as well as by itself, for example on a breezy day at the beach.
Food pairing suggestion: We tried this with sushi as an appetizer followed by a Thai green curry with chicken, tofu and kaffir lime leaf. It was simply delicious!
At first glance, this Pinot Grigio Ramato looks just like a rosé, judging by the very pretty color. But this wine is a ramato (the word translates from the Italian roughly to “coppery”) and certainly it does display a typical rosé hue of the pale salmon/rose gold variety and it does have some round, sweet notes of lychee and candied strawberries.
But this wine has a lot more going on than your typical summer rosé—on the nose, notes of ripe stone fruit such as yellow peaches or nectarines and some raspberry and sour cherry, too. On the finish there is a perfect balance between freshness and acidity with flavors of gooseberry and citrus rind.
Food pairing suggestion: We liked this ramato with a burrata salad appetizer followed by shrimp in a vodka sauce with spaghetti. It would also go well with young cheeses, nuts and and fruit.
Some of the complex freshness of both wines is the result of the varied growing season in Friuili in 2021, resulting in vines that had both a higher acidity and sugar in the fruit and more intense color in the skins. The vineyard is 60 meters above sea level and composed of sandstone, which was lifted from the ocean floor about 50 million years ago, with clay and pebbles, and rich, well-drained alluvial soils adding to the terroir. The grapes were hand harvested in late August and the first weeks of September.
Find out more about the elegant Attems wines here.