The dog days of summer have officially arrived. The mercury is peaking and winemakers around the northern hemisphere are beginning preparations for harvest, which seems to come slightly earlier every year. If you’re anything like me, you probably wish you were on an island somewhere sipping something very cold.
This year, even the Tour de France began on an island. In honor of the race’s 100th edition its route touched Corsican shores for the first time in history, thrusting this forgotten isle into the spotlight. Previously known only to history buffs as the birthplace of Napoleon – rather than a destination for tourism (and the source of amazing wine) – many people began planning next year’s vacation.
Corsica and its neighbor Sardinia both have torrid histories, as different from each other as they are from their respective nations. The two islands have unique cultures and landscapes, and their idiosyncrasies impart on their wines a wildness that I have always found to be incredibly compelling. These are not quite the tropical isles you may be picturing: Corsica is densely forested; Sardinia, further south, is drier and more rugged. Flying overhead brings to mind a woodland that sprouted granite teeth.
Sardinia has seeped gradually into the American wine consciousness over the past decade, but Corsica is now poised to explode on the scene thanks in large part to the passion and dedication of one purveyor: Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant. The three Corsican wines in this collection were provided by Kermit’s San Diego representative – my friend Kate MacWilliamson – as were this month’s food pairing suggestions. Kate’s palate is as exceptional as she is lovely, and her enthusiasm for these wines is matched only by her knowledge of them.
The six bottles in this collection represent two islands and three different grape varieties: Vermentino (white), Sciacarellu (rosé), and Cannanau (red). All of them are sure to surprise you. Even if you weren’t able to venture as far from home this summer as you had hoped, this month Le Metro takes you on a true adventure.
Aaron Epstein, Curator