Wine of the week: Scaia Garganega Chardonnay 2015

ScaiaThe Scaia garganega chardonnay is an Italian white wine blend that shows how great cheap wine can be

The idea that we’re only supposed to drink chardonnay, cabernet sauvignon, and merlot bores me past any adjective I can think of. There are literally tens of thousands of wines in the world; why do our betters in the Winestream Media limit us to the same wines made from the same half dozen or so grapes?

Which is just one reason why I like the Scaia ($10, purchased, 12.5%), an Italian white blend made with chardonnay and garganega, the grape used to make lots of cheap and indifferent Soave. This is hardly a combination the marketing department would think of – Italian chardonnay, at best, is passable and mostly irrelevant, while garganega doesn’t get much respect, even in Italy.

But in the Scaia, they’re like two of the best ballet dancers in the world working with an even better choreographer. The grapes compensate for each other’s shortcomings, so that fruitiness of the chardonnay (green apple, pear?) offsets the tartness of the garganega, while the latter’s minerality and lemon fruit fills in the holes in the chardonnay.

Highly recommended – an example of what great cheap wine can be when the producer cares about quality and value. Drink this chilled with any white wine dish and specially grilled seafood. And don’t be surprised to see it in the 2018 $10 Hall of Fame.