Wine of the Week
Chase down this little rascal
Reviewed by Wes Marshall, Fri., Sept. 30, 2011
Arneis, the Almost Extinct Italian White
Traditionally, Arneis had a supporting role used solely to soften the tough red Nebbiolo wines of Piedmont. The grape was almost extinct until the 1980s, when a few winemakers started to make the wine to sell locally. Because it has very low acidity, it takes great care to balance its flavors, but the intense peach and floral aromas warrant the effort. Arneis is ideal for Texans who like to sip wine casually as a social lubricant, especially during our nice weather in the fall and spring. Pour it at refrigerator temperature – then, as it slowly warms in the glass, the aromas become more and more concentrated. Arneis is ideal with a lightly sauced white fish.
Ceretto's Blange ($17-18) is one of the best versions, and it's also easy to come by. If you want to try Arneis at its best, look for Bruno Giacosa's version ($35). The Jacuzzi family (yes, that Jacuzzi family) also makes a nice version in California that runs about $14. All three wines can be found at or ordered from local fine wine shops.
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