Pecorino for less than €8 – and it’s a wine, not a cheese

John Wilson’s wines for the weekend: Pecorino and Aglianico, Italian gems from Tesco

John Wilson’s wines for the weekend: Tesco Finest Aglianico and Pecorino

John Wilson’s wines for the weekend: Tesco Finest Aglianico and Pecorino

 

This weekend, push your wine-drinking boundaries and consider two lesser-known Italian grape varieties with great potential: Pecorino (like the cheese) and Aglianico. Both are from Tesco’s Finest range.

Pecorino 2017, Terre di Chieti, Abruzzo
13%, €7.80
Pecorino, which has been grown along the eastern coast of Italy for centuries, almost died out in the 1980s, as the yields were too low. Now it is very much back in fashion. The wine tastes nothing like the cheese. Pecora is Italian for sheep, and bunches of Pecorino grapes are said to resemble a sheep’s head. The wine is light, with refreshing pear and peach fruits and a crisp, dry finish. Perfect served chilled with grilled sea bass or summery salads.

Aglianico 2015, Irpinia DOC
13.5%, €12
Aglianico is revered by Italian wine enthusiasts as one of the greatest red grapes of all. Grown in the volcanic soils around Naples (as this one is), it produces deeply coloured, rich, full-bodied wines. The expensive versions (costing €50 or more) are very dry and tannic and last forever. This more affordable version is far more approachable – rich, powerful, rounded dark fruits with a touch of spice. Try it with roasted red meats, beef stew or hard cheeses.

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