Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Lost in the Beer Fridge: Gaetano d'Aquino Pinot Grigio delle Venezie, 2004

My son is master of the beer fridge; I rarely go near it. But on a cleaning binge in the basement recently, I discovered not only beer but a lone bottle of wine in the car fridge. Unfortunately, it was not Chateau Latour, but Gaetano d'Aquino's Pinot Grigio delle Venezie, a Trader Joe's bargain at $3.99 a bottle (or less). This bottle apparently had been misplaced at the time of my daughter's wedding and had been sitting untouched--lost in the beer fridge--for five years.

The label, still as old-fashioned as it was in 2005, describes the wine as "light gold in color with a full, dry flavor and pleasingly bitter aftertaste." And when the bottle was opened, that was exactly what was found. I would now call the color "medium light gold" because it has darkened slightly, but the flavor was even fuller and dryer than it was in its youth. And there was still plenty of zip and life in the pleasingly bitter finish. It took awhile for the aromas to open up--subtle flowers and ripe pears--and flavors also broadened and gained complexity as the wine aired in the glass. This is now a very substantial Pinot Grigio, all the better for the five years it spent conversing with beer.

The lesson: d'Aquino Pinot Grigio is well worth the $3.99 you'll pay at Trader Joe's or even the $5.99 you'll pay for the slightly updated label (same wine) at Cost Plus World Market. It drinks well young and will keep for several years. I wouldn't say the same for Two Buck Chuck.

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