As a retail wine guy, one of the mantras of the business (and grocery in general) is “Stack it high and watch it fly.” For any beverage (beer/wine/cider/soda/water) the other old saw is “If it’s cold, it’s sold.” You don’t see red wine a lot, if ever, in the cooler, though. That’s changing, as more people are wisely chilling their reds. So kudos to Dandelion Wine, who actually had a bottle of Prà Morandina Valpolicella in their dedicated rosé fridge. (Yes, you have to love this shop.)
Prà is a superstar producer of Soave, the great white wine of the Veneto made primarily from the Garganega grape. When this wine popped up on my Instagram feed. I had two thoughts as my scrolling came to a screeching halt:
- Wowzers! Look at this unicorn label, so cool.
- Wait, Prà makes red wines, too?!?
Valpolicella also hails from the Veneto, and it’s a blend of grapes usually Corvina-forward. Let’s take a closer look at this wine.
Prà Morandina Valpolicella 2017
Price of this wine hovers around twenty bucks. It’s a blend of Corvina, Corvinone, Rondinella, and Oseleta from a vineyard planted in 2001. The grapes are lightly dried for 20 days, which I found surprising because it has no dried fruit characteristics. This wine is the opposite of Amarone, folks. It ferments in stainless steel then spends a few months in oak casks. The winery suggests serving the Morandina “slightly cooled” and advises enjoying a glass with “nibbles and salami.” I’ll double-down on the first part and say drink it COLD. Especially if you dare drink red wine on a NYC day like this one where it’s going to be 90 and humid.
If you are looking for a wine comp, importer Polaner Selections has some good thoughts. “Think fresh, crunchy, Cru Beaujolais-like fruit with a bright, chalky core,” advises their website. It’s only 12.5% alcohol as well. One of the most purely pleasurable red wines I’ve drank in a while. Highly recommended. And people are going to flip over the label. This is truly a unicorn wine. Very pleasurable to drink sans accompaniment. But better with company.