Attems Cupra Ramato

Cost: $18-20

What: A few weeks ago a friend asked if I had ever heard of orange wine. I never had, until now.

The Cupra Ramato is a Pinot Grigio in which the juice remains in contact with the grape skins for 36 hours, giving the wine a distinctive coppery color. Ramato means coppery. To some people the copper color looks orange. Most Pinot Grigio is fermented without the skins and has a yellow-green color.

Cupra Ramato continues a tradition dating back hundreds of years, when Pinot Grigio was referred to by this term in contracts in the Republic of Venice. Novelty aside, this is a very good wine at a fair price.

It opens with a rich, fruity floral bouquet leading to flavors of cherry, strawberry, apricot and some hint of minerals. The layers of flavor keep opening up as the wine warms in the glass. There is a long, pleasant aftertaste.

Attems Cupra Ramato with fried chicken wings, baked potato, onion rings and salad.

And at 12.5% alcohol, you can comfortably drink a lot of it. Most of the wine is fermented in stainless steel vats, but 15% spends four months in barriques, two months in steel and one month in the bottle. Then it is all blended together to make an outstanding wine.

Winery: The Attems family has been making wine in Italy’s renowned Collio wine region in the northeastern part of the country for more than 900 years. In 1106 the Bishop of Salisbury gave the family an estate for the purpose of cultivating vines and making wine.

For generations Attems has been the pre-eminent name in wine production in the area of Collio known as Friuli-Venezia Giulia, an area between the Alps and the Adriatic Sea. The temperate microclimate and soil are perfect for growing Pinot Grigio and Sauvignon Blanc.

In 1964 Douglas Attems founded the Wine Consortium of Collio, which he lead as president until 1999. In 2000 Attems joined with one of the most famous families in Italian wine, Marchesi de Frescobaldi.

The estate grows several varieties of grapes: Ribolla Gialla, Friuliano, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, Pinot Bianco, Chardonnay, Merlot and Picolit.

Goes with: Teri and I had this wine with fried chicken wings, onions rings and a tossed salad. The food and wine complemented each other nicely.

I think it works as an aperitif, or with all kinds of grilled fish or chicken. The winery also recommends pairing it with fatty fish or with delicate or vegetable-based antipasti,

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