Pelaverga is a rare red grape from the Piedmont region of northwestern Italy. This grape makes beautiful and aromatic wines reminiscent of Pinot Noir. The wines are elegant enough to rival Burgundy, but are relatively unknown and hard to come by.
This week's sip is the Verduno Basadone from Castello di Verduno. Many wineries have what we call a "flagship wine," which is essentially a wine that defines the producer and their story. In this case, you could call Castello di Verduno the flagship wine of the Pelaverga grape variety. This producer was the first to plant an entire vineyard dedicated to Pelaverga, and they are credited with saving the grape from eradication.
This wine is defined by red fruit- cherry, red currant, cranberry, and raspberry. Like many Burgundian reds, there is also an earthy component reminiscent of mushroom and dried herbs. While many red wines from Piedmont are defined by power and structure, this is a wine defined by its delicateness.
If you're looking for a red wine to start off the night, this is an excellent option. Think lighter fare for this aromatic, fruit-forward red. A classic charcuterie board will do the trick, as will grilled chicken, stuffed mushrooms, and vegetable-driven appetizers.