In this ongoing series, we feature various bottles produced at our property in Temecula alongside food pairing suggestions. Welcome—we hope you enjoy this installment of “Pairing with Ponte”.
Our 2019 Pastorello is a medium-bodied white wine made from the noble Pecorino variety. A small pale grape, it hails from the foothills of the Marche (pronounced mar-KAY) region in central Italy. Shepherds grew this grape high up in the hills around sheep grazing meadows, so we’ve named the wine in their honor, Pastorello, Italian for “Little Shepherd”.
This vintage features delicious lush notes of granny smith apple and mango, kiwi, fresh passion fruit, and a hint of sea salt. On the nose, you’ll detect white peach, Asian pear, and jasmine. Why not pour yourself a glass, and read on to learn more?
The Pecorino Grape
Ok, for starters, there is a cheese made from sheep’s milk that shares this grape’s name. The Pecorino grape grows in the Lazio, Abruzzo, Umbria, Tuscany and Le Marche regions of Italy. It thrives in high altitudes and has a very high sugar content. The root of the word Pecorino comes from “pecora” which is Italian for sheep. It’s said that this grape was thusly named in homage to the fluffy critters who enjoyed this vine’s fruit and foliage.
Although it’s considered a difficult grape, Pecorino has been vinified in Italy for centuries. It pretty much disappeared until a producer by the name of Guido Cocci Grifoni re-introduced the varietal in the 1980s. The story goes that Mr. Grifoni re-discovered Pecorino growing on a small vineyard owned by an 80-year-old man while visiting the eastern Italian coast. He brought some seeds home and started his own Pecorino vines, later campaigning to establish Pecorino as a DOCG wine. (“Denominazione di origine controllata”. More on this designation to come in another article.) This finicky varietal is now experiencing a resurgence on the wine scene, thankfully.
When it comes to pairing Pecorino, we suggest creamy pasta dishes, risotto, fried olives, grilled shrimp, and calamari. And yes, it pairs very well with a slice of tart Pecorino cheese. Served chilled, its acidity is a refreshing counterpart to most savory dishes. Pop open a bottle or two and elevate an upcoming happy hour with our Ponte fried olives. Buon appetito!
Ponte Fried Olive Recipe
- 2 dozen green olives (pitted, rinsed, dried)
- 1 large egg
- 3/4 cup Italian breadcrumbs
- 3 oz bleu cheese
- 2 cups vegetable oil
- Stuff the olives with the bleu cheese.
- Set the flour, egg, and breadcrumbs in 3 separate bowls.
- Roll the olives in flour, dip in egg, then into the breadcrumbs. Refrigerate until ready to fry.
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan until hot. Fry the olives in small batched for about 1 minute at a time. Use a slotted spoon to carefully transfer your cooked olives to a paper towel-lined plate and serve warm.
Visit us for some of the best Temecula wine tasting soon, and be sure to sign up for our newsletter. Better yet, join our wine club and take advantage of our member benefits today. Our knowledgeable staff is ready to help you enjoy wine tasting at our facility. Pairing with Ponte is a fun, easy, way to impress your guests—give our pairing suggestions a whirl and stay tuned for our next post.