I know wine can be intimidating. Unless you are immersed in this world and are forced to learn (and taste) many different varietals and vintages, the whole thing can be overwhelming. Then, when you cross the Atlantic or head to the Southern Hemisphere and you are bombarded with weird varietals and wines named after the region they are from rather than the grape they are made from. It can make your head spin – and make you beeline towards the other side of the wine shop labeled “California Chardonnay”.

Do not get me wrong – many of the best wines I have had are from the California wine country. I love a big hearty Napa Valley Cabernet or a robust red meritage from Dry Creek. Pinot Noir from the Russian River and big, balanced Chardonnay. I have really become a fan of reds from the Columbia Valley, and while that area may still seem to evoke the response ” oh, I didn’t realize Washington was making so much wine!” from some, it is an easier transition to get someone to try a wine labeled “Cabernet Sauvignon” from Columbia Valley, Washington than getting them to try Spanish Rioja or Picoul from Southern France.

I get it. It is confusing and most of us don’t want to add to the stresses of our day by having to study up on the wine we are serving for dinner. But for some of us, this is part of what is so cool about wine. There is such a huge wine world out there, and wine being made from every corner of the world, all completely different based on the climate, the soil, and the culture of those making the wine. Those differences are what makes tasting wine so exciting.

We enjoy a good deal of wine at home and decided that it was time to expand our own palates. Each week we will taste a new wine from a different region of the world and post our thoughts. It may not be up your alley, but it may be something new you would be interested in trying.

Our first wine is the 2009 Fattori Danieli Soave (Veneto, Italy ). I love Italian white wines – I think they are exciting and refreshing and unique and pair so well with various foods. They also tend to not be heavily oaked, if at all.

This wine is made from 100% Garganega grapes which are the predominant varietal used to produce Soave. (Trebbiano di Soave, Chardonnay and Pinot Bianco may also be used.) The grapes are the same for Soave DOC, Soave Classico DOC, and Soave Superiore DOCG.

So how was the wine?!

Pretty delicious! Medium bodied with a crisp, dry finish. I got some apple and pear on both the nose and palate, and kind of a nuttiness, like almonds, on the palate that kind of balanced out the fruit. This is definitely not a thin, watery white. I would recommend this to lovers of un oaked Chardonnay or those that enjoy Sauvignon Blanc and want a wine with a bit more weight.