Garganega is a white grape mostly found in the Veneto region in northeastern Italy, and the predominant grape in the smaller Soave region there. Recently we headed down to Chinatown to have a (huge) dinner to drink through a bunch of wine from Soave:
Garganega can throw off a lot of lemon and white florals. It’s pretty mild, very refreshing, great with fish. In Soave, they mostly just use Garganega grapes but a little Pinot Bianco, Trebbiano di Soave (Verdicchio), and Chardonnay are also put into blends sometimes.
It was hyper-popular in the 70s – the most famous being Soave Bolla in the US, whose label has really gotten a cool modern update. But then Soave wound up being mass-produced and pretty lackluster so there was a big backlash. Now they’ve upped their quality in the past decade or so by focusing more on Garganega, and it’s actually a great light wine option for summer.
A few other fun facts:
- In 1931, Soave became the first declared wine region (along with Chianti) in Italy.
- Soave accounts for 4% of all Italian wine and has 60 Crus.
- Only one of the wines out of the 6 we tasted was over $20, so it’s a really affordable option.
- It’s also good with BBQ Pringles. We did a huge Soave dinner in Chinatown and had tons of fish, but the star pairing of the night was this duck bun and BBQ Pringle situation.
Here were my two faves from the dinner tasting:
And after the dinner, we got little fun packages sent to us for Pringles/Soave fun at home.