I felt like a white wine the other night while dining at Cafe Ino in NYC. Ino is a very simple Italian cafe and, needless to say, you really shouldn’t put all that much thought in to pairing wine with a Cacciatorini Panini. Regardless, my eye went quickly past the Trebbianos, Vermentinos and Pinot Grigios until I reached something called Bianchetta Genovese. Having never heard of this Northern Italian white — which was gently priced in the $30 range — I ordered a bottle. What the hell!
I am happy to report that I was pleasantly surprised by the good mouthfeel and acidity as well as the clean apple flavors and respectable depth. Bianchetta Genovese is a rare grape from Liguria on the coast of northern Italy. Since Liguria lies on the northern Mediterranean, fish is a big part of the diet and I could see that this particular wine would go well with fish, particularly seafood. It would also drink nicely with pesto, another specialty of the region. It paired just fine with my Panini as well and I was happy to discover a new grape that I will certainly try again. A quick check shows you can find it at Astor and Crush Wine & Spirits in New York.