Detox Wines for January Drinking

 


The holidays are over, but the wine celebrations never end – in our corner of the internet at least. January calls for easy-breezy wines that pair well with holiday detox fare. I drank a lot of deep, sticky tannins in December. They paired well with the rich, unctuous dishes going around the table. But it’s time to set those wines aside and focus on something light-footed and bright.

I’ve always detected a distinct chamomile note in these wines. Fresh squeezed lemons aren’t far behind. Unsalted almonds, flash-roasted in a dry cast iron pan, complete the experience.

Garganega is the grape, a native of the Veneto. Soave is the region, also in the Veneto. But it’s a bit more complicated than that…
Soave DOC, established in 1968, is the largest DOC appellation in Italy. Look for bottles labeled Classico to zero in on quality. Like Chianti Classico, Soave Classico is the region’s original historic production zone. It’s a hilly area, and the rich volcanic soil imparts generous mineral notes to the wines.

Next, find a bottle labeled Soave Superiore DOCG. The label was established in 2001 to showcase grapes grown in hilly, less fertile areas at lower yields. Most Superiore wines are produced in the Classico region. Some producers add the word Classico to the label, too. But for most, Classico is implied. Garganega must comprise 70% of DOCG wines. Pinot Bianco, Chardonnay and Trebbiano fill in the rest.

The wines are fairly inexpensive, but I’ve seen a wide range of prices across retailers. I’m talking a five to eight-dollar difference. As always, do a price check. Here are four favorites from a recent tasting, most of which should be easy to find.

Inama Vigneti di Foscarino Soave Classico 2016

Lovely floral notes of dried chamomile and sunflower with soft lemon and papaya. Lovely palate of spice and bold acidity, zesty lemon and grapefruit flavors with a beeswax core and a hint of eucalyptus, crisp golden raisins and fresh pear, with a nutty finish.

Tenute di Corte Giacobbe Vigneto Runcata Soave Superiore 2016

Herbed and leafy aromas of basil and lime leaf with fruit notes of grapefruit, lemon and dark rye toast. Crisp acidity and bold fruit flavors on the palate with notes of golden berries and tart lime and kiwi, fresh melon and green apple towards the creamy almond finish.
91 pts

Monte Carbonare Soave Classico 2016

Light lemon-tangerine aromas with crisp melon notes and floral spice. Nicely spiced and quite zesty on the palate with bright acidity, melon and lemon fruit notes and a dry, dusty and oaky finish with strong notes of tart citrus and waxy, floral notes.

i Stefanini Monte di Fice Soave Superiore Classico 2017

Tart and fresh tropical fruit aromas of mango and melon with some golden berries and lemon and a touch of dried earth. Zesty minerality and tart citrus notes of lemon and grapefruit with persimmon and light pumpkin notes. This is a bit floral and quite fresh, bursting with acidity on the mid palate before yielding to a crisp, light almond finish.

My full list of top picks is located here.

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