What I like most about having friends for dinner (other of course than the actual `friends`) is that everyone will normally bring a different bottle of wine, meaning that we will have a lot of different things to taste.
Often not all of them will be memorable, but at least the variety can satisfy my almost pathological curiosity for wine diversity.
Last Friday a friend was coming over but, as it was only 3 of us, we tried to keep the number of bottles under control (not sure we actually managed!). We started with a quite simple Pinot Grigio from Oddbins that was showing a very delicate nose of pear and citrus fruit but was really watery in the mouth and disappeared quite quickly. Although I was not having great expectations, it still was quite disappointing.
This was followed by a much better Gruner Veltliner from Austria that had a quite distinct citrusy character of lime, lemon and Ducan grapefruit. In the mouth the acidity was surprising and the citrusy flavours intense and persistent.
Before moving to red, we decided to have a pink interlude with a Sancerre (some of you may have only heard about white Sancerre but, for your interest, this wine comes also in rose') that was very fresh but a bit monotone with its predominant aromas of pink grapefruit. Very pleasant as a light aperitif but a bit too weak to match food in my opinion.
And finally we got to red. We tried something local (for me!) and fairly priced: a red from Umbria, a region that has a lot to offer in terms of wine and so much yet to be discovered. The specific wine is a delicious example of Sangiovese, blended with international varieties, that shows a good complexity (especially for a wine of this price) of dark berries, earthy and spicy delicate notes. It has body enough to pair a rich lasagna and a good backbone of acidity to cleanse your palate after it!