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Grapes ready to be harvested at a vineyard on September 25, 2021 in the countryside of Cisternino, Italy. .Photo by Janos Chiala/Getty Images)

It’s Wine Wednesday and digging through my stash last night I came across three wines that are easier to drink the pronounce. Take my advice, skip the pronunciation drink the wine. Unfortunately, when people can’t pronounce things on a menu or store shelve, they tend to bypass them, missing fantastic opportunities.

Italian Wine

Gruner Veltliner

Gruner Veltliner from Alto Adige in northern Italy

There is a gem of a region in northern Italy named Alto Adige (al·tow aa·dee·jay). Wines from here have names that sound more like those from it’s bordering countries of Austria and Switzerland. It’s cold here.

If you like pinot grigio, look for those from this region. They are typically outstanding. So are the rieslings and Gruner Veltliner (GROON-er VELT-leen-er).

Cantina Valle Isarco makes a Gruner Veltliner that has a touch of sweetness, juicy, like biting into a ripe a stone fruit on a hot day while retaining nice acidity. It’s great with salty foods, soft cheese, and fish. It comes in under $20.


Wine from Portugal

Monte Velho White

From Herdade do Esporao in Portugal, Monte Velho White is a blend of Portuguese grapes.

From Portugal, Herdade do Esporão Monte Velho. Pronounced “MON-tay VELL-yo”, meaning “old mound,” referencing a high point on the property, capped by the ancient fort depicted on the labels.

From Alentejo (a·luhn·tay·how), a region that specializes in red wines, this one is a blend of white grapes with names unfamiliar to many; Antao Vaz, Roupeiro, and Perrum. Just know that the combo works brilliantly.

It’s a vegan wine that has some light tropical notes but still has a bit of weight to it. It made me think of a lighter style marsanne/roussanne blend from southern France, two more grapes not to be timid of. It’s a great value at $12

French Wine

Domaine Brusset Cairanne

From the Rhone Valley is Domaine Brusset Les Travers Cairanne

Speaking of the Rhone Valley, there is this beautiful region called Cairanne that produces some delicious wines. Red Rhone blends famously include Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre. Cairanne grows lots of Grenache.

2019 Domaine Brusset Les Travers Cairanne, not only has those three grapes but also a touch of carignan. It’s medium bodied, not to big for summer, with blackberry, raspberry, and also slightly rustic, brambly characteristics. It’s in the $30 range and worth it.

Skip the pronunciation, drink the wine for Wine Wednesday. Find more off the beaten path wines here.