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23 May, 2014

This week, we have mostly been feeling surprised. Surprised and delighted to discover that Sangiovese goes brilliantly with beans on toast; surprised and mildly annoyed that our brewers have better hair than us (see below); and surprised at people’s surprise at UKIP’s rags to riches story. When you’re stuck with a political class that is hiding in the safety of mediocrity, scared to say boo to a goose, a man with a plan and a gob to go with it starts looking strangely So, although we take no stock in UKIP, they have inspired us to put our fingers up to the middle-ground and offer up a few surprises of our own…


…Not in a Morrissey way, you’ll be relieved to hear. No, our first two surprises are Italian white wines. We’ll tell you for why: Italian reds have a superb reputation, conjuring thoughts of Chianti and Barolo and innovative ‘IGT’ de-classified bargains. Italian whites tend to conjure images of Pinot Grigio. Not to bely this grape’s capacity for charm, but, if we’re talking in terms of Miliband brothers, Italian white has a reputation that is definitely more Ed than Dave. So, today, we turn firstly to Tannu (£8.50), an organic white from the western coast of Sicily which shows another side to bell’Italia. Made with the indigenous Grillo grape and topped up with 30% Chardonnay, it has all the zing of a lemon drizzle cake, with the gleefully bone-dry charm of Jack Dee.

Pehhcora pecorino wine oddbins

For our second stereotype-smashing Italian white, we head up the mainland coast to Abruzzo. It is here that we find Pehhcora (web exclusive, £8.75), which is made from the Pecorino grape (not from Pecorino cheese – it’s not that out there). All peaches and mangoes, with bold spices, cleansing minerals and a dreamy, creamy palate, it’s more akin to Austrian Grüner Veltliner than many Italian whites. If you were hungry for a Conservative party-based analogy, you could say that mass-produced Pinot Grigio is like our PR-rich, substance-poor PM, David Cameron, while Pehhcora would be the equivalent of the substance-rich, PR-poor Ken Clarke. Anyway, perhaps this talk of traversing the Italian coastline is leaving you resentful of the glowing box in front of you and the cursedly fickle weather. Perhaps, we’ll wager, you’re thinking of using some of that holiday allowance…

The Listing at Oddbins