Oh yes, we are! We’re talking about Sorrentino Vini MODDA’ Gragnano, which bears very little relation to that awful sweet fizzy pop so popular in the 1970s, perfect for sugar-craving youngsters brought up on a diet of Lucozade—the once scorned Lambrusco. (In fairness to Lambrusco, it has undergone something of a transformation in the 21st century, and brutal image problems should be consigned to the attic, along with the 70s frilly shirts, billowing kaftans and sizzling satin disco trousers.) So, put aside all your sparkling red preconceptions and prepare yourself for a taste revolution.
The return of Gragnano
Unavailable for several months, we are delighted to announce that the Gragnano sparkling red is back with us at Campania Wines, for good. Forget the 1970s, Gragnano originated in Campanian monasteries over 1500 years ago. It’s made from three varieties of grapes—Piedirosso, Sciascinoso and Aglianico—grown on the slopes of Mount Vesuvius, and produced in the eponymous hill-town, Gragnano, not so very far from Sorrento.
Piedirosso is a traditional Campanian red variety with a name meaning red feet, to reflect the colour at the base of the vine. Sciascinoso, another red, has large berries and clusters, which produce colourful wines best drunk within a year. Aglianico, an ancient black grape, introduced to the region by Greek settlers, is harvested as late as November or the tannin content overwhelms the wine. Quite a combination!
The taste experience
The slightly sweet tartness of Morello cherries, with a hint of wood smoke and a fresh, crisp effervescence which slices through the fattiness of meats, cheeses and oil.
A wine for many occasions
The Gragnano is such a versatile wine that it would be a brilliant addition to your wine rack, cellar or cupboard, to brighten celebratory moments or to accompany meals.
For a touch of class, why not serve slightly chilled Gragnano in champagne flutes, instead of the ubiquitous Prosecco? Then, there’s pizza. Italians don’t often drink wine with pizza—that’s a very British thing to do! Italians prefer beer or sometimes even coke, but not wine, the one exception being…Gragnano—so if you aspire to authenticity in your food and drink pairings, offer Gragnano with pizza, especially the Neapolitan variety, every time. It also works well with meats, soups and cheese.
Sorrentino Vini MODDA’ Gragnano is a joyful wine, and, at only £15 a bottle, it won’t make your wallet miserable either.
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