Pecorino – Terre di Chieti
For my wife, Alison and me, a real treat is to go out for a meal to our local Italian restaurant, the award-winning Osteria in North Berwick. To accompany our recent meal we chose a Pecorino wine, a grape we were hitherto unfamiliar with. I was accused of getting confused with the well-known Italian, sheep’s milk cheese! The owner soundly recommended the wine and, following the meal, we both decided that it would remain a firm favourite amongst our many preferred Italian white wines.
Having carried out some research into this grape variety, I was interested to note that it produces rather low yields in the region where it prevails (by comparison with the Trebbiano grape), which rather unsurprisingly makes it less popular among winegrowers. However, because of its ability to ripen early and its complex aromatic “nose”, it has earned a continued presence in the vineyards of the Abbruzzo and Marche regions. My recommendation is chosen with availability in mind and may be purchased from Tesco. There are a number of fine Pecorino wines available from alternative supermarkets and also from the splendid emporium for Italian food and wine, www.valvonacrolla.co.uk, but I have not yet tasted them.
When tasting a wine I am often surprised or captivated by its colour and this was very much the case with my first experience with the Pecorino grape. Its straw-yellow colour suggested some aging but this was not the case as it was a relatively young wine. The floral bouquet suggests acacia and jasmine while the first taste hints of pear, and citrus flavours. I picked out something less easy to determine with my first tasteing and that may have been a suggestion of licorice. Although I have not yet accompanied this wine with the Pecorino cheese, I am led to believe that this works really well as an accompaniment. I have to say that a match with local seafood was quite special and I would whole-heartedly recommend this combination.