Here's complete disclosure: I'm in Spain, where I'm drinking liters of great wine, yet I just spent half an hour searching through my tasting notes for an Italian wine I liked recently.
Why? My advertising deal with Wine Chateau (check out the display ad on the upper right), gives my readers a shipping discount, but the Internet wine discounter chooses the words the discount links to. This month, those words are "Italian wine."
I can write anything I want -- I could go easily go into a dissertation on Rueda -- but the words "Italian wine" would look pretty strange in an article discussing the relative merits of Verdejo, Viura and Sauvignon Blanc (Hint: Get the Verdejo. More on that later.)
Fortunately, last month I tried Inama's Soaves and was favorably surprised by what Stefano Inama is doing in a region I had long associated with relatively characterless whites.
I first opened his Inama Soave Classico 2008 ($17) when I was having a big platter of sashimi but felt like wine rather than sake. It didn't disappoint: it was crisp and lively, with good stone fruit, and was a great palate cleanser.
He also makes an Inama Vigneti di Foscarino Soave Classico 2007 ($26) from old Garganega vines on top of Mount Foscarino that's intense, with aromas of pineapple and gravel, and flavors of pungent passion fruit, a medium-weight mouthfeel, and vibrant acidity. This wine surprised me, as I didn't think Soave got this intense; shows what I know about Soave. I'm glad I didn't open this wine with sashimi. I had it with clam pasta, and it was just fine.
Both wines are available from Wine Chateau, and my readers get a shipping discount on any wines at all, whether or not it's Italian wine - Get 1/2 off shipping of 6 or more bottles with coupon code "blake29".
As the cool counter-cultural bands I used to see at bars around my university said, don't forget to tip your waitress.
(Further disclosure, courtesy of the FTC: The wines arrived as free samples, unexpected and unrequested. But I'm not getting any compensation for writing any of this, other than keeping my advertiser -- who really does have good prices -- happy. If you think even big newspapers don't do that these days, I've got some mortgage-based securities I'd like to sell you.)