A Wine Lover’s Weekly Guide To $10 Wine – An Orvieto Classico From Umbria

In the heart of a relatively mild Eastern Canadian winter my thoughts inevitably turn to Italy and of course Italian wine. This is hardly the first time that I am reviewing Italian whites. In fact sometimes I’m a real fan of these products. If memory serves me correctly, I haven’t reviewed an Umbrian white for several years. Today’s offering comes from the well-known Tuscany (Umbria’s western neighbor) Ruffino winery. They have been in the business since the 70s, the 1870s and presently own seven Tuscan vineyards, but none in Umbria whose pedestrian Trebbiano and Malvasia grapes as well as several local varieties fill this bottle. It’s a popular wine made since the 50s that carries the more or less coveted DOC appellation. If you are lucky enough in the neighborhood make sure to visit the beautiful hilltop city of Orvieto with its intriguing underground. Our companion wine is a Sicilian single-variety white that costs nearly 50% more while sporting a lower-level appellation.

OUR WINE REVIEW POLICY All wines that we taste and review are purchased at the full retail price.

Wine Reviewed
Ruffino Orvieto Classico 2010 12 % alcohol about $10.

We can start by quoting the marketing materials. “Tasting Note: Pale straw color; citrus and apple fruit aromas and flavors; light-bodied, clean and crisp a hint of almond in the finish. Serving Suggestion: Serve chilled as an aperitif or with deep-fried calamari.” And now for my review.

At the first sips this wine was lovely and elegant. It was mouth filling. Slightly sweet. Japanese rice and peanut crackers intensified the citrus. The initial meal centered on Kube, ground beef in ground bulgar and semolina jackets swimming in a Swiss Chard sauce. The libation came back with slightly harsh, citrusy acidity. I felt that the citrus fruit wasn’t completely ripe. On the other hand the wine presented a pleasant sweetness. Dousing Louisiana hot sauce on the Kube managed to tame the Orvieto’s acidity. A few squares of bittersweet Swiss chocolate nearly extinguished this wine.

My next meal consisted of boxed Baked Ziti Siciliano that I embellished with lots of grated Parmesan cheese. Our central Italian friend was thin and appley, offering light sweetness. Chocolate nut macaroons (coconut cookies) at first intensified the libation that soon settled down.

The final meal centered on an omelet that I perked up with tarragon, cumin, and garlic powder. The drink was now sweet tasting of light, not very acidic apples. When paired with zesty guacamole, the wine stepped up to meet the spices. It became somewhat smoky upon encountering fresh blueberries. Homemade sesame seed cookies containing carob chips rendered the wine slightly acidic. But there wasn’t much there.

Final verdict. Do you have to guess? I won’t be buying this wine again. It was too weak without being subtle or delicate or…

Levi Reiss has authored or co-authored ten computer and Internet books, but definitely prefers drinking fine wine. He teaches computer classes at an Ontario French-language community college. His global wine website www.theworldwidewine.com features a weekly review of $10 wines. Visit his Italian wine website www.theitalianwineconnection.com .

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Comments are closed.