Try something different tonight: 8/24/18

2016 Pra ‘Otto’

Soave Classico

Veneto, IT

Regular Price $21.99

Sale Price $16.99

I’m old enough to remember when Soave was a thing. I remember the Soave Bolla commercials from the 70’s and 80’s. I mean, everybody drank Soave! It was class personified. And then…it all but vanished, left in the dust by Pinot Grigio.

What the hell happened? Did American tastes change? Did the wine get bad? (Video killed the radio star!)

Kinda both. Quality Soave was, in its hay-day, medium bodied and lush, sort of like a lean chardonnay, but with a bitter almond finish. Mass produced Soave was dull and lean and still with a bitter almond finish. Bigger, riper, richer, oakier and sweeter American chardonnays arrived and the public liked them. Then lean, crisp, simple and lemony Pinot Grigio grabbed the folks that didn’t like (or couldn’t afford) the more expensive Chardonnay. Soave was toast.

In today’s wine world, one can find crisp, clean, unoaked, refreshing (still with bitter almond) Soave made of 100% Gargenega (like this one) or many other variations on the theme…some matured in oak, some blended with other (Chardonnay!). Some are good, others not so much.

This is one of the good ones. Fresh and refreshing (there’s that word again), nutty and floral rather than excessively fruity, it’s more complex than many  Pinot Grigios and (still) less expensive and more food friendly than many Chardonnays.