It's grape harvest time in Sardinia. Let's discover the wine routes, in an all-to-sip enogastronomical itinerary.
“All roads lead to Rome” they say, in memory of the imperial lustrums of the Eternal City. In Sardinia, instead, all roads seem to lead… to wine!
The Sardinian folkloric and gastronomic tradition is particularly linked to wine, a symbol of cumbidu (invitation) and conviviality, between the sacred and the profane. Just think that about 28,000 hectares of the island are now dedicated to viticulture.
It seems that the generous sun and the fragrant sea wind give Sardinian wines a particular magic, and each production area has different alchemies.
So why not experience Sardinia through a wine itinerary and events dedicated to it?
Indeed, also this year, Salude&Trigu's calendar, a kermesse dedicated to the folklore and traditions of Northern Sardinia, is full of events dedicated to food and wine.
Here are, then, some ideas for a real sommelier's journey in 5 stages, to discover the best Sardinian wines. Shall we start?
First Stop: Vermentino, romantic dinner with the prince of the sea
The itinerary begins with him, the award-winning Vermentino di Gallura DOCG, adorned with many honors and especially loved in summer: what's better than a glass of fresh white wine at sunset, sided by some nice fish delicacies?
Choose it for the happy-hour; with its greenish and golden reflections and the intense floral scent, it is a white wine to be paired with fish dishes, such as seafood first courses, baked fish and citrus carpaccio. But trust me, it will amaze you even with sweet and delicate cheeses.
Do not miss the opportunity to taste it on the occasion of Benvenuto Vermentino, a tasting and music festival in Olbia, and numerous other reviews dedicated to him in time of harvest, such as the Vermentino Literary Prize, and many more tastings in all production areas.
Second stop: a fragrant Monica with friends
A stroll among the villages of Northern Sardinia, between food and wine festivals and astrotourism, the time will come for a carefree break, with a cheerful and undemanding wine.
The Monica vine seems to be found only in Sardinia, but did you know it came from Spain? It has established itself well in the hilly and limestone areas of the island, and has never left it.
Purplish red, delicate and soft, it has aromas of the undergrowth and aftertaste of blackberry and cherry, with a slight hint of almond. It looks like a perfume to wear, so be careful with this sweetness: it can go to your head!
Perfect accompaniment for a relaxed moment, sitting and chatting with friends on summer evenings.
From the festival of Zichi (bread in broth) in Bonorva to the Festival of Su Trinta ‘e Sant’Andria in November in Ozieri, you will have more than one chance to taste it.
And if you want an effervescent twist, there is also a sparkling version: Monica di Sardegna Frizzante DOC.
Third stage: a balsamic Cagnulari
In the waiting of a nice concert of Jazz Alguer, ora while walking around Alghero during the Saint Miquel celebrations, nothing better than a glass of Cagnulari for a divine pre-dinner in front of a tagliere of cold cuts, cheeses, jams and carasau bread.
Well structured and balsamic wine, with a bright ruby color. Elegant olfactory sensation with its scent of wild berries, at its best in limestone-clayey areas.
Perfect to combine with traditional dishes, aged cheeses, red meats, but also snails dishes and other delicacies.
The ideal companion for an unforgettable gourmet evening.
Fourth stage: Cannonau, a hundred years old!
Probably the most famous of Sardinian wines, it is an ancient endemic vine of the island, of which grape seeds dated over 3200 years ago have been found!
Deep red with violet reflections, full-bodied, elected elixir of long life and omnipresent (in moderate doses) in the diet of centenarians. Cannonau is changeable, depending on the production area: it varies from floral to liqueur, hot and spicy… it is worth tasting several and there will be no shortage of opportunities to do so.
For example, in October there's San Francesco Feast in Florinas, while in November and December, in Usini, there's Ajò a Ippuntare, an event dedicated to oils, wine and typical foods. Here, in addition to the Cagnulari typical of the area, you can taste a delicious Cannonau.
Fifth stage: end of meal with Moscato, floral sweetness
If at the end of a lavish lunch in a farmhouse you managed to find space for the delicious Sardinian desserts, you will remember their flavor accompanied by that of a nice sip of Moscato. This passito wine, with a floral and sweetish aroma, blends perfectly with the confectionery tradition of Sardinia, rich in dried fruit, nuts, raisins and candied fruit.
This is a vine that loves the sunny hills kissed by the sea wind, such as those of Romangia or Gallura; in fact, Moscato di Tempio and Moscato di Sorso and Sennori are famous. It's so famous, there is a kermesse all dedicated to the Moscato DOC, in July.
If you are planning to attend the Festival of Itinerant Tourism in Sorso, between treks and hikes, allow yourself a relaxing break. Enjoy it at the end of a meal, sipped lazily in anticipation of the pennica.
In short, the wine routes are truly endless. So, if you decide to make a trip to Sardinia this fall, don't miss the events dedicated to wine. Throughout the season, the island will be celebrating the grape harvest.
Choose your wines and remember: don't drink and drive.