Last year at the Wine Bloggers Conference in Santa Rose, I had my first taste of Lugana wine from the Lake Garda region of northern Italy — and I was in love, and I wanted to spend more time with my new crush so I suggested we feature Lugana in 2018 in our Italian Food Wine Travel group — and here we are today! See what everyone came up with by scrolling down.
In the invite and preview posts, I outlined some basic information about this luxurious white wine made from the Turbiania grape grown on morainic soils — vineyards planted on top of deposits left by receding glaciers during previous Ice Ages. The minerals in the soils, particularly when farmed biodynamically and organically, provide an elegant and unusual mouthfeel in the wines that changes radically with age: older wines from Lugana have the most outrageous and wonderful mouthfeel of any wine I’ve ever experienced almost like your entire mouth is enveloped in the softest down.
For the preview post, Sue and I paired a biodynamic wine from Lugana with grilled fish and peach tacos. Fish is a natural food to pair with Lugana — and we were thrilled to find that it worked well with the subtle and not so subtle Mexican spices we used for seasoning.
But for today’s post, we decided on something more typically Italian that we’ve been wanting to make for awhile: chicken piccata in the instant pot.
We really love this wine and we think it should be on every restaurant’s list — especially Italian ones!
Serve in a tulip shaped glass for best aromatics and delivery to your palate.
2016 – Pasini San Giovani Il Lugana D.O.C -13.5% alcohol SRP under $15
Sample provided for my review consideration
In the 1940s, the Pasinis opened a tavern where they could sell wine — and a few generations later, the family is still selling wine! According to their website, “Pasini San Giovanni was founded by Andrea Pasini in 1958 and is still run today by the family, now at the third generation of winemakers. Its every bottle reflects all the goodness of the Garda region, thanks to the 36 hectares of vineyards owned between Valtènesi and Lugana, on Brescia’s side of Lake Garda. Backed by a photovoltaic system since 2009 and by a carbon footprint measurement project, the winery and the entire business is ever more geared to achieving full sustainability.”
The wine’s name link the family name, Pasini, with the name of the place in which the San Giovanni farmhouse stands, known as Località San Giovanni, after the Church of San Giovanni situated in Palude, close to Puegnago.
The winery practices organic farming, or what they prefer to call, ecological farming, seeking to reduce pollution, improve soil structure, and restore biodiversity, in order to promote “a harmonious, healthy, and balanced ecosystem.” I would love to try their traditionally made sparkling wine!
The squat bottle is fun! I want to save it and put a candle in it.
Color: Buttercup, a beautiful golden quality.
Nose: Clean, grasses, minerals, piney. It has an earthen, dirt smell. Granitic moraine with silt on top. Not soil or loam, mineral -rich earthen smell.
Palate: As we have discovered in the past, this wine is so much about the wonderful mouthfeel. It clings to the palate, there is a beautiful long lingering finish. Acidic up front, rounded as it goes mid-palate, this is a nice refreshing wine, with a complex mouthfeel.
Pairing: The wine loves the freshness of the tomato arugula salad. It was great with the chicken piccata. So good with the lemon sauce bringing us to believe that this would be fabulous with a light fish, lobster, or crab with lemon butter. So good!
It looks like it retails for around 10 euros — under $15.
For more: http://www.pasinisangiovanni.it/en/vino_bianco.php?nome=Lugana
2014 – Fraccaroli- Denominazione di Origine Controllata – Riserva – 13% alcohol
Sample provided for my review consideration
The winery was founded in 1912; if you can read Italian, you can learn more at their website.
Color: Golden buttercup
Nose: Petrol, banana, honey tone, particularly in the tulip glass, almost like mead.
Palate: Creamy mouthfeel of banana also, it seems that the older this wine gets, the creamier it gets, it hangs on to the palate, fresh pine or menthol, like a pine forest, the pine is subtle, but there. The longer the bottle was opened, more of the flavors of rich black licorice and fennel came shining through.
Pairing: This was great with the caprese salad, the licorice notes of the basil really came through when enjoying it with this wine. It played well with the arugula, bringing out a fennel quality in the wine. Loved the lemony creaminess of the piccata.
I felt that the aged Lugana handled the complexities of the meal better than the 2016. Sue liked both with the meal, the brightness of the meal, the tomato and arugula as well as the lemon sauce seemed fresher and brighter, while the aged lugana was mellower with the meal. I found a lovely umami with the meal and the wine. Sue found a new richness, but felt both wines were brilliant in their own way.
The tech sheet I was sent was in Italian and the only part of it I really understood is their suggestion to use a tulip shaped glass. We experimented with different glass shapes and found the advice solid!
My best guess is it retails for around $20.
Please join us for our twitter chat Sat Oct 6 from 8-9am Pacific Time using these hashtags
#Lugana #LakeGarda #VinoLuganaDOC #ItalianFWT
with posts and discussion by the following bloggers on these topics:
- Marcia at Joy of Wine: Lugana is “Not just Another Italian Grape”
- Jane at Always Ravenous: “Crab Herb Crusted Chilean Sea Bass and Lugana Wine”
- Wendy from A Day In The Life On The Farm:”Seared shrimp and wild mushroom Risotto with Lugana wine”
- Camilla from Culinary Adventures With Camilla: “Turbiana Grapes and Tuna Tacos”
- Jill at L’Occasion :“Lugana: An Italian White Wine For All Seasons”
- Jen at Vino Travels: “Love for the Wines of Lugana”
- Katarina at Grapevine Adventures: “3 Lugana DOC Producers in Comparison at #italianfwt”
- Lisa at The Wine Chef: “Seafood Pasta With Tomatoes, Garlic And Lugana White Wine”
- Li of The Wining Hour: “Lugana Loves Lake Garda”
- Rupal the Syrah Queen: “Exploring Lugana – Italy’s Elegant White Wines.”
- Lynn at Savor the Harvest: “Change It Up With Lugana DOC and Turbiana”
- Susannah at Avvinare: “Lugana Love“
- Gwendolyn at Wine Predator with “Fall for Lugana and Chicken Piccata
So do you think you will fall for Lugana too? It’s definitely a wine I’d consider taking home to Thanksgiving dinner!