Our wine for this week is a Pecorino from Barone di Valforte in Abruzzo, Italy. No, that's not a misspelling. The Pecorino grape is a legendary story in the wine world of a variety that has been brought back from the brink of extinction. Not too long ago, just a few vines were discovered in a nearly wild state in a narrow canyon in Italy's Marche region. Clippings were cut, and identified as the historic Pecorino grape, which until then has been assumed extinct. A few producers took the initiative to re-establish this missing piece of local Abruzzese viticultural history.
Why call the grape Pecorino? In Italian "pecora" means sheep and this grape variety was once a favorite snack of the sheep that were often driven through the vineyard lands on their way to lower pastures.
The wine is aged in 100% stainless steel to best capture the pure essence of the grape. Big fruity aromas of peach, mango and candied rose petals, Pecorino is a full bodied wine with moderate and balanced acidity. Flavors of yellow fruits, wild sage, white ginger, white pepper and a hint of almonds and hazelnuts make for a long, full mineral-rich mouth.
The second Pecorino in this fantastic pairing is Pecorino Romano Fulvi. This sheep's milk cheese comes from the Rome countryside. Tangy, firm and coated in black wax it is aged for at least 10 months. The richness of the whole milk helps produce a cheese that is not quite as salty as other Pecorino Romano's you may have had in the past. Flavors are floral, nutty and sweet milk with a slight saltiness that makes this a beautiful cheese for snacking, a great addition to a cheese board or perfect grated in your favorite dish!
-Jamie & Agela