Arneis is my favorite Italian white wine. Until recently I had all but given up – Verdicchio and Trebbiano weren’t getting it done for me. They seemed rather bland – and I veered away from Pinot Grigio quite some time ago.
A couple years ago I arranged an evening meal at a great Italian restaurant in San Diego for our board of directors. We opened with a selection of cheeses and seafood appetizers. Upon recommendation of the manager, I went with an eye-opening Arneis.
Arneis is full-bodied and dry in style with a perfumed aroma of melon, pears and almonds. It is mostly grown in the Piemonte region of northwest Italy. The best come from the rolling hills of Roero.
I like Arneis because has the same striking power as a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, but in a distinctly Italian way. It matches beautifully with seafood or can be drunk by itself as an aperitif.
I encountered the Valdinera Roero Arneis at the Wine Affair fundraising, which benefits the Northwest Ohio Kidney Foundation. It’s made available locally through Bowling Green Beverage. This was my favorite white of the evening – and there were plenty of others from which to choose.
The Valdinera estate is located near the city of Alba and has been farmed by the Careglio family for four generations. They use no artificial fertilizer, herbicide or pesticide. The grapes are finished in steel tanks so the bright flavors are unmasked by oak.
The Valdinera Arneis is light and crisp with a tingle of minerality. There are flavors of peach laced with hints of honey.
At $16.99, this is unique and flavorful white. Experience Arneis instead of Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay for a change of pace with your next chicken or fish entrée.