My “wine-out” posts are short reviews of wines I’m currently enjoying. Find out what a “wine-out” means here.
One of my favorite discoveries this summer (thanks to my husband, Carter, who found it at our wonderful Oakland store the Wine Mine) is a little-known Italian white made from the Pecorino grape. I’ve always associated that term with cheese, but apparently pecora just means “sheep” in Italian. And according to Kim Hudson in the Wine Spectator, “in days of yore, the beasts especially favored the vines during their grazing sorties.” My wine merchant didn’t mention the sheep’s taste for the grapes, but he told me it’s a wine the shepherds used to drink.
The producer of the particular wine I’ve been drinking is called Ciù Ciù (pronounced choo-choo) and their “Merlettaie” is 100% Pecorino, grown on the steep slopes of the Piceno Appenines in Italy’s Marche region.
I love this wine for its lovely combination of crisp minerality and ripeness. It’s medium-bodied and refreshing without being overly acidic, and it has a faint herbaceous quality that makes me think of sun-drenched, sheep-nibbled Italian hillsides. I’ve paired it with all kinds of summer meals, and served it at a small dinner party last week with a farro salad featuring roasted cherry tomatoes from my garden, which it complemented beautifully. And at only $14 a bottle it’s a great value. Try some if you can find it!