Edgy aroma

Not the easiest varietal to pronounce, so make sure you don’t have a mouth full of spaghetti when you ask someone to pass the Guglielmo Grignolino, a sassy red wine that will spice up any summertime repast, pasta or no.

This is an unusual grape in California, and it’s not that common in Italy, either. Known for its light color, high tannin and abundant acidity, it hails from the Monferrato region of Piedmont, home of the Guglielmo family’s ancestors, where Nebbiolo is “the bomb.”

Heitz Cellars and Guglielmo are among the few wineries that make this summer-perfect red in California. Less than 50 acres of it exist statewide.

Guglielmo Winery makes both rosé and red wine out of the variety. Winemaker George Guglielmo says they planted seven acres of it on their estate in the mid-1970s. Grignolino means “little pips” or seeds: The abundant seeds contribute to its tannic profile, making it an ideal food companion.

The 2017 Guglielmo Grignolino Rosé exhibits tea rose and apricot aromas and is earthy, with crisp apple and tart acidity. It received a bronze medal at the Experience Rosé competition and would pair well with chicken curry. The 2016 Grignolino red is vivacious and edgy with attractive floral aromas. On the palate, it exudes raspberry, cranberry and baking spices, making it a perfect complement to turkey burgers topped with apricot cranberry chutney or spaghetti with feta and olives.

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