Terre Da Vino Grignolino D’Asti Rusa’

We bought this wine at a little shop in Bologna for a picnic one evening. We had to buy a corkscrew, of course, as we do on every trip. The word for corkscrew is “cavatappi” which is also the name for a pasta shape.

According to Kobrand’s Grape Reference Guide, grignolino has been planted in Piedmont in the area between Asti and Casale since the eighth century. Still confined almost entirely to hillside vineyards in the provinces of Asti and Alessandria, it has only two appellations: Grignolino d’Asti and Grignolino del Monferrato Casalese. The name of the vine is likely derived from a word in local dialect, “grignòle,” which refers to the high number of seeds in the berry. It’s apparently a difficult grape to grow and was near extinction when Charles Bode wrote his 1956 book Wines of Italy.

So what’s the wine like? The color was a lovely translucent plum color and it smelled like ripe cherries with a floral note. It tasted light and dry with a slight tannin feel on the tongue. I enjoyed this wine with cheese and bread, and would buy it again if I saw it here in Portland.

Photo by Todd Mecklem

References: Kobrand’s Grape Reference Library; Charles Bode’s Wines of Italy (1956). (No MLA, ALA, Chicago Style, or Bluebook citation used because I don’t have to. )


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