castello banfi san angelo pinot grigio, 2010, italy

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COST: $16-18

WHAT: This is a beautiful, easy-to-approach wine. It's good any time, but it is even better for sipping during the warmth of summer. It's fresh and clean, with a pale yellow straw color.

The bouquet is full of fresh fruit, especially pear, banana, peach, anise and honey. The taste also is full of lush fruit, balanced with crisp citrus notes. This is not a lightweight Pinot Grigio whose taste disappears with food. It is rich and full- bodied, with a long finish.

While much Pinot Grigio comes from cool northern Italy, this elegant wine is from Tuscany, and it reflects the warmer growing conditions. After a temperature-controlled fermentation, the wine is stored at a low temperature, leaving a light, natural effervescence. The wine is bottled a few months after harvest, before the new year.

Serve it chilled and drink it young.

WINERY: The San Angelo comes from the beautiful family-owned Castello Banfi estate in Tuscany. It is part of the Banfi Vintners empire based in New York.

The company was founded in 1919 by John Mariani Sr., grandfather of the current owners. It is the oldest U.S. wine importer to remain in continuous, uninterrupted business and to be managed by the same family.

Mariani named the company after an aunt, Teodolinda Banfi, a woman of eclectic tastes who handled his early education and influenced his views of fine wines. Today Banfi is known for producing healthier, more organic wines that are lower in sulfites and histamines.

Banfi Vintners is the sole U.S. importer of the Mariani family's internationally renowned wine estates in Italy: Castello Banfi of Montalcino, Tuscany, and Vigne Regali Cellars of Strevi, Piedmont. They also import many other wines.

The Castello Banfi vineyard estate in Montalcino, Tuscany, has four times been named "International Winery of the Year" and nine times "Italian Winery of The Year" at the International Enological Concourse in Verona.

GOES WITH: I had this wine with chicken in a cream sauce, which I thought might overpower the wine, but it was a good match. The fruit and citrus cut through the cream and brought out great flavors in the grilled chicken.

It also would go well with grilled vegetables, pasta primavera and a wide range of seafood. I also can see myself sipping it by itself as I sit outside on the porch this summer. It's a pleasant picture.

WINE EVENTS

Thursday

Wine and tapas tasting, 5 p.m., Veritas at La Maison on Telfair, 404 Telfair St.; taste four wines and three tapas, $19.99

Wine tasting , 5-8 p.m., Wine World, 133 Georgia Ave., North Augusta; $5 with rebate on purchase on one bottle of the featured wines

FRIDAY

Blues, Brews and Barbecue, 6-9:30 p.m., Columbia County Government Complex on Ronald Reagan Drive, Evans. Last of three weekly concerts. Shane's Rib Shack supplies the BBQ, and the band will be Tommy OD and the Survivors.

Tasting, 4:30-6:30 p.m., Vineyard Wine Market, 4414 Evans to Locks Road

SATURDAY

Tasting, 1-6 p.m., Vineyard Wine Market, 4414 Evans to Locks Road

MAY 4

Wine tasting, 6-8 p.m., Bee's Knees, 211 10th St.; $15 plus tax and tip for wines and appetizers. Call Ninth Street Wine Market for reservations, (706) 724-1442.

MAY 6

Wine tasting, 5-8 p.m., Wine World, 133 Georgia Ave., North Augusta; $5 with rebate on purchase on one bottle of the featured wines

MAY 13

Beer tasting, 5-8 p.m., Wine World, 133 Georgia Ave., North Augusta; $5 with rebate on the purchase of 6 bottles of the featured beers

MAY 14

Wine tasting, 1-6 p.m., Vineyard Wine Market, 4414 Evans to Locks Road, featuring Lowcountry boil by Events 2020, cost determined by selection; music provided by Old Man Crazy.

Wine tasting, 6:30 p.m., in the garden of Mary Alice and Bear Woodrum, presented by the Savannah River chapter of the Tasters Guild, $20 members, $26 others. Prepaid reservations only, available at Wine World, 133 Georgia Ave., North Augusta


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