Sunday, March 1, 2015

Snapshot of the Day -Otto Uve, Grotta Del Sole (Na)

When I pour a glass of Gragnano, I immediately think of the Martusciello family.    They were the ones who introduced me to this wine several years ago during a visit to their winery, Grotta del Sole.  Gragnano has always been  known as an easy sparkling wine.  Its vibrant purple color with that distinctive dark pinkish sizzling schuma (foam) on top is its trademark.   Colorful, light, fragrant, the perfect pair for pizza.
I was curious, then, when I learned that the winery had decided to tweak this wine that the family has been producing since the 90s and release it under new name.
After a recent visit to their winery and a few glasses later, It was clear.
Sometimes to move ahead you have to take a step back.
Otto Uve, translated as eight grapes.  A homage, Salvatore Martusciello informed me, to the eight grapes that were used in the past to produce the wine.  Red grapes from vineyards in Gragnano and  Pimonte on the Sorrento Peninsula.  Three I was already familiar with...Aglianico, Piedirosso, and Sciascinoso. But there are others...Olivella, Supprezza, Castagnara, Sauca, and Surbegna. That unforgettable foam is still there, but a deeper purple/almost ruby color stares at you from the glass. So a meatier Gragnano complete with a pleasantly light amount of sediment at the bottom of the bottle reminding one that the wine's flavor has not been filtered out. Still the perfect pair for pizza? Sure. Today's pizzas need a light but flavorful wine to stand up to the gourmet wave that has swept not only Campania, but Italy as well. But why limit it to pizza? I paired Otto Uve with a baked pasta dish with a meaty tomato sauce. I paired it with a hearty bowl of chili con carne in front of the fireplace one chilly evening last week.
Sometimes to move ahead you have to take a step back...

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