Yes, the year has changed, but not the label
Once a marketing smash, the new wine phenomenon has become more and more of a yawn in the last several years. It’s too early in the season for boring statistics, but fewer and fewer people anxiously await the third Thursday in November, once a great excuse for parties. This wine is made from unidentified grapes (never a good sign) about 200 kilometers or 125 miles northeast of Rome. Cantina Tollo has been in the wine business for more than 50 years, and won an award, The Best Wine Producer in Europe in 2010. This particular wine was grapes a scant couple of months ago. The companion wine is a French Beaujolais Nouveau Villages made by the head honcho of the New Wine movement. It costs about two-thirds more.
There were no specific marketing materials so let’s start by quoting the back label. “A wine that celebrates each year’s harvest and made with red grapes. GIOCALE is a young and fresh wine with a strawberry aroma. The taste is reminiscent of black cherry with a hint of ripe watermelon and a soft, sweet fruit finish. Do not age.” And now for my review.
At the first sips this wine was raw, tasting of dark cherries. It was too acidic, and did not have a trace of tannins. For starters I had some homemade soup containing lima beans, quinoa, onions, black pepper, and cumin. In response the Vino Novello’s acidity was dominant. I tasted dark cherries. The grease in the barbecued chicken wings with paprika dusted skin managed to tame the juice’s acidity. In response to a barbecued chicken leg the drink sweetened and lengthened. When paired with a side of commercially prepared Matabucha Salad, consisting of tomatoes, tomato paste, red peppers, and various and sundry spices the liquid offered virtually no acidity and nothing else. In response to fresh blackberries this libation was round, presenting good acidity.
My next meal started with Japanese rice crackers with lots of Wasabi peas. In response our Italian friend was fruity and thin with somewhat harsh acidity. When paired with slow-cooked round steak its acidity softened and then disappeared. The accompanying white potatoes rounded this liquid and increased its fruit. A generous slathering of Yemeni jalapeno pepper sauce on the meat transferred some of its power to my glass.
The third meal was an omelet spiced with a combination of cilantro, cumin, cayenne pepper, and caraway seeds. In response the libation seemed to have aged but was still thin and short. Sliced red bell peppers soured the juice’s acidity. The other side dish of Humus with Greek olives sweetened the wine whose acidity was now too weak. The last tasting was with fruit juice candy. And now the new wine was almost inexistent.
Final verdict. New wine, schmoo wine. I won’t be buying this one again. I should ask my drain what it thought of this bottle.Access the companion wine A 2013 Beaujolais Villages Nouveau.
Levi Reiss has authored or co-authored ten books on computers and the Internet, but to be honest, he would
rather just drink fine Italian or other wine, accompanied by the right foods. He teaches classes in computers at an Ontario
French-language community college. His wine websites include
www.theworldwidewine.com and http://www.wineinyourdiet.com
Visit his website devoted to italian travel www.travelitalytravel.com
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