A drinking game in Sardinia

“Find the oldest vintage rosé”


Noticing the poor stock rotation in the local supermarket led to my invention of this little game (and the winner was. . . . 2007! from the highly regarded Cantina Mesa).


I also noticed this example of sophisticated Italian label design:





I stocked up with a few Ichnusa beers, a local brand with the Sardinian flag as its label.


Under Three Flags, from left to right: Catalan, Italian and Sardinian flags



In La Bifora restaurant on the first evening, we tried two offerings from La Macchia, a Sardinian brand: a fruity Vermouth Bianco, and a Bitter, a touch stronger than Campari at 28%, which also had a pleasantly fruity character.



Macchia aperitivi


The quintessential white grape in Sardinia is Vermentino. One of the best known is Aragosta, named after the Sardinian Rock Lobster.  It’s produced by Cantina Santa Maria La Palma, who also make this  pretty pale pink Cannonau (Grenache) with the same label.

We bought this from the little grocer shop in the Mercato Civico.


Aragosta, the perfect holiday pink



Also from Santa Maria La Palma is this “Akenta” Vermentino Extra Dry Spumante 2016. Vermentino works well with bubbles, this had flavours of stone fruits like white peach and greengage; it’s soft, with gentle acidity.



Akenta Extra Dry


Vermentino Spumante. Who knew?


“Abbaia” 2016, Colli del Limbara I.G.T. was an oddity from Cantina del Vermentino. As far as I could understand from the shop’s owner, he described it as being made from Nebbiolo, which apparently is grown on Sardinia, although a search described it as a “rare red blend” of Cannonau and Monica di Sardegna (ubiquitous red Sardinian varietals) with Pascale and Malaga. Perhaps he said “tastes like Nebbiolo”, it proved to be savoury and light, with pleasant acidity, and was refreshing when lightly chilled.


Nebbiolo? Si o No?


This was another oddity, a three year old rosé made from Nieddera, a grape new to me (it’s possibly a variation of Carignano).


Vintage 2015, hence the orange colour.

This rosé still tasted fresh, despite its age, and was perfectly pleasant to drink



“Zenti Arrubia”


Most of the wines pictured came from Enoteca Lu Baril. It’s the kind of back street wine shop where you take 2 litre plastic bottles to have them filled from steel tanks that smell of vinegar, but the bottles we bought were good recommendations, and inexpensive, mostly around €8.


Enoteca Lu Baril, Via Canepa 13.

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