Monday, July 29, 2019

Centanni 2017 Passerina, Offida DOCG

passerinaWhen I’m in the mood for a refreshing wine, I usually grab a glass of chilled Passerina. Said no one. Ever.

Wine Century Club Territory

After seemingly years of waiting, I finally got my certificate stating that I am indeed a member of the Wine Century Club. The main requirement is that you taste a minimum of 100 different grape varieties. You have to record the variety, the wine and the date.

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In my tastings, I’ve tasted many usual grapes. Everything from Assyrtiko to Zweigelt. I never, however, have sampled Passerina. I’ve also never said, “Honey, it’s been a long day. Do we have a chilled bottle of Passerina?”

Maybe that should change. As we discovered, it makes an enjoyable wine. It also is a great way to check off another obscure grape on your Wine Century Club credentials.

Final Hurrah From Invino

We are big supporters of local wine shops, for many reasons. Your local megalithic grocery store doesn’t need your wine purchase to stay in business. Your local wine merchant just might. Your local wine shop will also have more interesting selections and knowledgeable staff.

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That being said, I do purchase wine online as well. There are some great deals to be had on wines not available in my home town. Over the past decade or more, my favorite online site has been Invino. Recently I decided it was time to stock up on everyday white wines. Amongst my shipment from Invino, I picked up two bottles of the Centanni Passerina at a mere $8.99 each. (As a footnote, Invino has recently morphed into the thoroughly disappointing Cellar Thief online site.)

Puzzling Italian White

This Passerina is from the Offida DOCG within the Le Marche wine region of Italy. Le Marche is in central-east Italy, bordering the Adriatic Sea. Le Marche wines and beautiful and expressive. Verdicchio is Marche’s top white grape but Passerina was previously off my radar. It has small berries, often seedless.

The flavor profiles of popular white wines like Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc are well known to Americans including us. Passerina, on the other hand, takes time and several sips to decipher.

There isn’t a forest of oak like some Chardonnay. The acidity isn’t off the charts as in zippier Sauvignon Blanc. Instead this is a mellower experience.

The Centanni is a subtle, delicate wine. The flavors are fresh, indicating stainless steel finishing. Notes of flower blossoms and herbs help create a distinct and enjoyable sipping experience.

Pair it with tapas or shellfish. Keep it simple – intense flavors or fancy sauces could muddle the smooth clean notes of the wine.

It’s an enjoyable bottle. If you see it, don’t pass on the Passerina.

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