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For the noonday: Italian Pinot Grigio blends

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If you like a big glass of unsweetened iced tea plus a spritz of lemon wedge with lunch, an Italian “Super Veneto” may be the right fit for you. Pinot Grigio - Verduzzo blends are an Italian alternative wine to chase down a mid-day repast for many people, especially at seafood restaurants.

Granted, when compared to wines that we have grown accustomed to enjoying with dinner, these Italian white blends may seem a bit watered down, but with light lunch fare, they’re perfect. This is especially true with a fresh salad or small seafood plate. Even a tuna sandwich will liven up when paired with one of these.

Sometimes Italian whites can be a bit acidic, but the Super Venetos are tamed down a bit. They are unobtrusive and friendly. Hailing from the Veneto region, many of the local vintners pride themselves in their blending techniques that soften and add complexity. These winemakers have perfected the art of creating a lineup the compliments all types of food, especially those with a Med flair.

Masi’s “Masianco” is an excellent example of this type of wine, full of character but budget-friendly. It can be found with minimal searching online and is typically offered for under $15.

Setting Masianco apart from other Italian Pinot Grigio wines from the Veneto region, this one greets you with a subtle bouquet of raisin toast, baking spices, and lilac that really do upstage that iced tea with a light luncheon.

Its body goes right to the back of the tongue with enjoyable acidity, fresh citrus and more spice, quite a long finish for a white wine. The lower alcohol levels will also keep that afternoon open for whatever else awaits!

To cool off on warm days, serve from the fridge after an hour or so (45-50 degrees). Quaff it easy, allow it to gradually warm up, and more flavors will come to the forefront.

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