Wine Time

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.

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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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Jeremy Parzen writes about wine and modern civilization for the Houston Press. A wine trade marketing consultant by day, he is also an adjunct professor at the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Piedmont, Italy. He spends his free time writing and recording music with his daughters and wife in Houston.
Contact: Jeremy Parzen