The ultimate beach wine was born in a mountain garden. It sounds far-fetched, contradictory even, but the Mezzacorona Delisa Pinot Grigio Rosé is that wine. It’s the ultimate transplant, fiercely fresh on account of its homeland, but practically made for an afternoon at the coast.
Perhaps that’s no surprise, given that this particular rosé hails from the famed Alto Adige region of northern Italy. These highlands are known to produce wines so bright they can light up the night sky, so floral they can hardly be contained in the glass. These qualities make for a wine that travels very well, particularly out from under a roof and into the great outdoors. The Delisa Rosé is the sort of wine that turns an outing into a vacation.
We all know the grape but perhaps not the details of this particular style. Pinot Grigio, arguably Italy’s most famous white wine, is actually made from a grape with dusty purple or pink skins. Most of us would never know as the fruit is so often immediately pressed, leaving the relatively colorless juice to ferment and go to bottle, sometimes with some aging in between. This ever-so-pink wine, however, benefits from a bit of skin contact, which adds not only a touch of color, but added aromatics and texture. Slightly delaying the grape pressing is a subtle early winemaking move that leads to those beachy flavors in the glass.
Some extra TLC in the cellar leads to a coral pink wine that stands out in front of the pack. A cool fermentation and some extended skin contact lead to a bit more structure and length on the palate, while still offering maximum refreshment — think wild mountain flowers, plump pink grapefruit practically falling from the branch, and a dynamic acidity that energizes the entire wine. Red fruit, citrus, and peach notes round out this flavorful rosé, which is blessed with a hint of brininess.
We can’t help but think that part of the wine’s attractive personality is due to the nature it was brought up in. Italy has no shortage of picturesque wine-growing regions but Alto Adige may just top the list. Here, vineyards scatter among the foothills beneath the towering Dolomites, the dramatic limestone fortresses that watch over this beautiful Alpine land. This northern pocket of the nation has long produced wines that are bracingly fresh, crisp, and blooming with energy. Tempered by a one-two punch of a high-elevation setting and cool evening temperatures, the grapes from the Dolimiti IGT retain their charming acidity levels and yield wines that are palate-awakening on their own and often even better with food.
Forget about the Pinot Grigio you thought you knew. The name is actually a reference to the grape’s characteristic “gray” skins. The Delisa takes full advantage of this pigment. When ripe, usually in early September in Alto Adige, the grape clusters are an eye-catching dusty purple or pinkish-lavender hue. That characteristic rubs off in this particular wine and it’s more interesting because of it.
All these characteristics and more make Mezzacorona Delisa Pinot Grigio Rosé a go-to wine for spring and summer. The longest days of the year are for being outside, in good company and scenery. Part of that good company is a wine built for the journey, whether it’s an impromptu picnic in the sand, firing up the grill on your deck, or an evening hangout under the stars.
Even as the largest raindrops of May and June drum away on your roof, if sipping Mezzacorona Delisa Pinot Grigio Rosé, it’s easy to imagine that roof is a terra cotta one and you’re somewhere in the Mediterranean. Enjoying this wine is a way to experience a sort of spiritual vacation, wherever on the planet you actually may be.
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This article is sponsored by Mezzacorona Delisa.