Grape 45: Tai Rosso

Grape Controversy
Grape or no grape? There’s some controversy regarding Tai Rosso. Certain authorities argue that Tai Rosso is exactly the same as Grenache. Certain other authorities argue that it’s a relative of Grenache.

Style all its own
One thing they agree on is that the Tai Rosso style is completely different. You would never guess you’re drinking Grenache. This wine is a light, fruity wine that has more to do with a hot tub and a summer night than with Spanish guitars and heavy chorizo. Light, light and light are how you’d describe the wine – light color, light body, light taste on the tongue.

Outdoors with the Bears
This last weekend there were no hot tubs with the wine but nobody really cared. The Zapatos treated a select few to outdoorsy goodness, complete with black bears and (tame?) skinny dips. One of the afternoons involved hard-core chilling – in the sun, on the porch, with the grill – and Tai Rosso arrived to fill an unknown void.

Only in Italy… and Jersey
Finding Tai Rosso planted in the ground involves a long journey. Ticket to Rome, train to the northeast of Italy, obligatory Romeo & Juliet stop in Verona and then just east of Verona – Tai Rosso. For over 700 years, the grape’s been grown in the region. Fortunately, some importers in Jersey have made it much easier and the wine’s now available in that favorite state of the 50. So, save the flight money, rent the Romeo & Juliet movie (1968 Zeffirelli preferably) and grab that bottle off the nearest PATH exit.

Detail Up!
Tai Rosso Rezzadore 2009 by Colli Berici from Lonigo, Veneto Italy

Taste
Light red, chilled, taste of black cherries. Few tannins – excellent for the outdoors

Random Googles:
* Tai Rosso used to be called Tocai Rosso – then Hungary complained about the similarity to their famous wine and bam – Tai Rosso. No word from Thailand whether they will complain.
* Tai Rosso is one of the grapes that show up in the Italian DOC of Colli Berici, a wine region first recognized in 1973
* One of the Top 10 undiscovered wines of Northeastern Italy in 2011 (sidebar – pretty narrow criteria, no?)

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