Soave Revisited: Not Your Grandfather’s White Wine

White Wine glasesFor decades the name Soave was nearly synonymous with white wine from Italy, much like the word Chablis doubled as a catch word for any white wine made in America.  And to make matters worse, a hand full of Italian producers monopolized the market for Soave – a beautiful, personality filled white wine from northern Italy of charm and grace in its pure form.  Unfortunately, these industrialized giants homogenized the Soave they produced, reducing it to the lowest common denominator.  The result was oceans of eviscerated, innocuous white wine, whose only attribute was that it was squeaky clean, so clean in fact that it was grossly devoid of character and flavor.

Fortunately, a number of small grower/producers survived and others have joined them to restore Soave to its proper place among the top echelon of Italian white wines.  Some of my favorite Soave producers are Gini and Tamellini, though Anselmi (who prefers not to use the name Soave in protest to past and present abuses), Inama and a number of other artisan producers make world class Soave as well.  What I enjoy most is the delicacy and purity of authentic, carefully crafted Soave.  No other white wine appears as ethereal as genuine Soave, yet real Soave is capable of captivating the mind as well as the palate, which is something your Grandfather’s Soave could never do.