Some months back, Anne spotted a post on one of her LinkedIn groups – someone was looking for a distributor here in the U.S. for some wines from Sardinia – the island off the west coast of Italy and south of Corsica. It seemed like kind of a perfect OddBallGrape situation – there just isn’t that much Sardinian wine available outside of Sardinia. So we checked in and bought a couple bottles from Nuovi Poderi Cantina – at least, that’s the name on both bottles.
The first, Taja, was a vermentino, a white grape that has a small following here in California. The label on the red Oje read cannonau – which Michael found out was actually the Sardinian name for grenache. Which isn’t that unusual. Many of the grapes used in making wine have different names in different parts of the world. Cannonau is grenache is garnacha… you get the idea.
Unfortunately, the experiment was a greater success than we thought because we can’t find Mike’s tasting notes to save our lives. The Oje definitely had the rich fruitiness of the grenache, while the Taja vermentino had good acids. Both, like most European wines, are made to go with food. We did something with shrimp for Taja and a nice red meat sauce and pasta with the Oje.
Neither are currently available in the U.S. yet – at least, as far as we know they aren’t. Anne did find one restaurant that had some Sardinian wines buried on its massive wine list, and freaked the sommelier because she’d actually heard about wine from Sardinia. So why bother writing about them?
Well, wine is about the experience, after all. And one of the great joys of wine is finding something truly rare. The next time you find something really off the beaten path, go ahead and try it. Google the name of the grape on your mobile device. Better yet, come back here and post about it. It’s only wine – and when you think about it, how many bad movies have you coughed up $15 (including popcorn) for without fussing about it? And a bad movie also takes two hours out of your life. At least, you can usually return a bad bottle of wine. Definitely turns the risk factor way down, don’t you think?