Today is a nasty, cold bleak and rainy day here in Coastal Carolina. Just the kind of day you may expect in mid-February. But here it is, mid-April, and this is exactly the kind of weather we are not used to here in this beautiful area of this beautiful state. Aside from the fact that we are still being told to stay inside, a day like this makes that easy, and restrict outside activities, maintain social distancing and the like, a day like this can really dull one’s creative instinct and make a couch potato out of an active two year old.
So, what to do. I don’t have a basement to clean out and cleaning out the attic may take about 15 minutes. Floors, windows and bathrooms are worn down to nothing because of constant cleaning. So, what’s left? Yes. You guessed it…a wine party. Well, maybe not a party, but something where wine will be involved for sure. And just think, since I can’t have anyone over to share it, it’s all mine and my wife’s. This has all the makings of a great lockdown day! I normally don’t drink a chardonnay, but today is different. Time to broaden some horizons here and take a risk now that I have the time.
Centine wines are produced by Castello Banfi winery, a family owned business with vineyards in the Piedmont section of Italy and in central Italy, the Tuscany region. While the piedmont section produces mostly sparkling wines the winery in Tuscany produces many fine reds, mostly in the chianti family, and whites with a strong emphasis on flavorful vermentino. Founded in 1978 by two Italian-American brothers, John and Harry Mariani, the goal was to produce a fine, distinguished wine in a state-of-the-art winery using modern scientific methods. This approach along with an understanding of the rich soil has paid off very well in that the goal was achieved, and an entire family of excellent table wines resulted.
The wines of Banfi are born from a passion of the entire process of winemaking. No expense is spared and research into processes is ongoing but the wines remain consistent and an excellent value, which in itself continues a tradition established in Tuscany and carried through the centuries to today. Blending sauvignon blanc, pinot grigio and chardonnay in just the right amounts has produced as fine a wine as you can find in this price range, about $13. In the glass it is a pale golden color which leans toward the transparent. On the tongue there is a much richer flavor than the color would convey. Dry and well balanced acidity with notes of pear, and lime mostly, making for a very refreshing drink. Personally, whenever you can add a slightly lime flavor combined with its natural acidity you have a winner. And this is it. Enjoy it either as an aperitif or with grilled chicken or fish. Adding some citrus to your cooking will bring out the flavor of this wine even further. See, when you can produce a wine with a light color, balanced acidity and a soft bouquet you really can’t go wrong.
Awards for this wine are many:
James Suckling gave it a stunning 90 points.
Dan Berger’s International Wine Competition, 2016: Silver
Los Angeles International Wine Competition, 2016: Bronze
The TEXSOM International Wine Awards, 2016: Bronze
Dan Berger’s International Wine Competition, 2015: Bronze
The TEXSOM International Wine Awards, 2015: Bronze
So for you to say you enjoyed it puts you in some elegant company.
But, just for a moment, think back and I am referring to my opening remarks. Remember when I said it was cold and nasty here? Well, here we have a ray of sunshine on this cloudy day. Maybe I can’t share it outside with friends, but I can have a small gathering, just my wife and I, and we can share a glass while maybe watching an old black and white movie.
So, while we are cloistered in our homes, tucked into our blankets and afternoon pajamas I find there is no reason to despair. We have a good life here in the Carolinas. We enjoy our friends and are lucky enough to have some close family nearby. Add maybe some spice, like some homemade breads and cakes, a nice meal and you really have something. Now, complete the picture with a bottle of Centine Toscana, and you’ll find that the afternoon goes by pretty fast.
Please pass me some of that cheese. Fred and Ginger are about to dance and I really like this part!