A Wine Lover's Weekly Guide To $10 Wines - An Italian Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay Blend

     I usually prefer single grape variety wines to blends. However, it's important to give blends a chance. Some of them such as fancy Bordeaux and Champagnes can be great. Today's wine comes from a wine producer located in the Piedmont region of northern Italy; the grapes themselves come from Sicily at the other end of the country. MGM Mondo del Vino was founded in 1991 and now produces 25 million bottles of wine as well as 4.5 million 3-liter (that's about 4 bottles) bag in boxes a year. They have vineyards in 8 regions of Italy and export to 40 countries. This particular wine does not appear on their website. It carries the not so prestigious Indicazione Geografica Tipica designation. The companion wine is a more expensive kosher blend from central Spain.

OUR WINE REVIEW POLICY All wines that we taste and review are purchased at the full retail price.

Wine Reviewed Mezzomondo Pinot Grigio Chardonnay IGT 2010 13 % alcohol about $10.

Let's start by quoting the marketing materials. "Tasting Note: Clear pale straw with subtle green highlights; melon, light citrus and soft mineral aromas; dry, medium body; crisp citrus flavors with a mineral note lasting on a medium finish. Serving Suggestion: Drink now with seafood, poultry, and baked fish." And now for my review.

At the first sips this wine offered light acidity and it was short. I started off with Japanese rice crackers that rendered it round and sweet. The initial meal centered on a stovetop chicken leg cooked in mushrooms, onions, and spicy salsa. The wine answered me with increased acidity and he wine melon. The accompanying organic whole-wheat pasta seemed to make its fruit more expressive. When paired with fresh cherries this liquid was refreshingly acidic.

The following meal centered on homemade chicken fingers dusted in a mixture of garlic powder, basil, and Middle Eastern spices. Now the blend was sweet and round but not assertive. A generous dose of Louisiana hot sauce perked this wine up. Buckwheat groats (kasha) in puff pastry (knishes) rendered the liquid nicely acidic. The lightly spicy Moroccan Matbucha salad/salsa containing tomatoes, onions, sweet red and green peppers, and tomato paste brought out the citrus inthis Italian beverage.

My final meal was a barbecued veal rib chop that I marinated in a mixture of ketchup, honey mustard, fresh ginger, fresh garlic, and black pepper. This wine responded with light acidity, and apples. It had good length. The microwaved redskin potatoes that were finished on the barbecue dulled its acidity, but the wine was still fine. When it met a barbecued Portabello mushroom things were as before, but the wine was a bit nutty.

When paired with Mediterranean Jack cheese this wine was somewhat sweet, with lots of apples and refreshing acidity. However, brushetta-covered goat's milk cheese rendered its acidity excessive, as if the apples turned green.

Final verdict. The pairings were better than expected. But I will put it towards the bottom of my buy-again list. I do plan to try another of the producer's wines soon.

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Levi Reiss authored or co-authored ten computer and Internet books, but prefers drinking fine wine. He teaches computers at an Ontario French-language community college. His global wine website www.theworldwidewine.com features a weekly review of $10 wines and a whole lot more. Visit his wine, nutrition, and health website www.wineinyourdiet.com .

Posted on 2013-10-22, By: *

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Note: The content of this article solely conveys the opinion of its author.

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