One of the great joys of Italian wine is also why Italian wine is so frustrating. There are too many wines and too many regions and too much to understand, but the thrill of finding a wine completely by accident makes up for all of the aggravation.
That’s what happened with the Lageder ($10, purchased, available at Jimmy’s). It’s an Italian white wine made with a German grape, pinot blanc, that is more popular in France than it is in Germany – but in Alsace, a region of France that used to be part of Germany. And if that wasn’t complicated enough, this wine is made by a fifth-generation Italian producer that comes the country’s far northeast, which is almost in Austria (as you can tell by Lageder, which sounds more German than Italian).
With a story like that, how could I not buy the wine? Best yet, the Lageder rewarded me for the decision. It didn’t taste like I expected it to – none of that Italian minerality or bracing acidity. It was a more subtle wine, fresh and clean but with a bit of richness to go with some apple fruit. In this, it was more Alsatian than Italian, though I paired it with my annual spaghetti carbonara dinner and it was exactly what the spaghetti needed.