Wine Whine: Waiter, Please Don't Chill My White Wine (Too Much)!
Photo by Jeremy Parzen.

Wine Whine: Waiter, Please Don't Chill My White Wine (Too Much)!

You can imagine how thrilled I was when I discovered one of my favorite northern Italian white wines on the list the other night at Giacomo's Cibo e Vino on Westheimer: The 2010 Anas-Cëtta (Nascetta) by Cogno for under $40. (The name of this rare grape is Nascetta, pronounced nah-SHEHT-tah. Originally, winemaker Valter Fissore called it Anas-Cëtta to avoid a legal issue by using a dialectal inflection of the grape's name and in the end, the proprietary name stuck.)

The Cogno Nascetta is a structured white, with nuanced aroma, great depth in flavor, and some tannic structure that make it a truly noble expression of winemaking in Piedmont, a region known solely for its red wines.

But when served too cold, the wine won't reveal its character.

My preference would be serve it "cellar" temperature, i.e., around 55° or 56° Fahrenheit, allowing it to "open up" on the table in the bottle and evolve in the glass.

After opening the bottle and pouring me a tasting sip, our excellent server disappeared only to reappear with an ice bucket. And she was very polite when I told her that our party didn't need it.

Chilling it in ice water would have been equivalent to pouring it down the drain. Wine is a living, breathing entity just like us: Would you take an ice bath before making love? No, I didn't think so.

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