The gods are watching. Possibly as a result of my various meanderings about wines sealed under screw-caps, today those on Olympus, in cooperation with a local public relations firm, sent me a bottle of rose wine under a crown cap – precisely the same kind as is used to seal bottles of (pardon my vulgarity) Coca Cola, Pepsi Cola and Diet Sprite. To add demi-godly insult to injury, the 375 ml. bottle even came with its own designer straw so that after popping the bottle open one would sip as daintily as one likes through that plastic accoutrement. Looking at the bottle, the wine struck me as what I considered the color of "baby blanket pink" and, if I was not laughing before that, I was certainly laughing afterwards.
Critics, curmudgeons or not, have an obligation to their readers so into the regular refrigerator went the bottle (I would not have dreamed of such a creation entering my wine cellar) and after six hours of chilling, the thing was opened and tasted. And, believe it or not, after that transferred to wine glasses to be consumed and actually enjoyed, in this case with crackers and some young kashkeval cheese. A gimmick for sure, but by heaven, a cute one and fun wine to drink, crown cap or not. My tasting note follows.
Mionetto, Il Rose, Veneto, n.v.: Coming in a bottle with a crown cap and provided with a straw gives the first clue that no-one will or should ever take this wine seriously. Made from Raboso grapes (a red variety indigenous to Veneto, usually providing a coarse, tannic wine) blended with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot and with short skin contact before fermentation, the wine in the bottle has a too- too cute, too-too pink color but once poured into glasses looks more normal for a rose. What surprises is that this off-dry, lightly frizzante wine is an absolute summertime delight, light- to medium-bodied, with not at all offensive sweetness set off nicely by acidity and showing crisp and refreshing aromas and flavors of blueberries, peaches and apples. As I say, nothing serious, but when it comes to summertime quaffing at a reasonable 10.5% alcohol level, this one is fun. Drink up. Score 86. (Tasted but not blind 25 Jul 2008)
At this time, to the best of my knowledge this wine is available in Israel only at the bar-restaurant Pier 23 in the Tel Aviv Port where it sells for a reasonable NIS 32 for the 375 ml. bottle.