Friday, June 5, 2009


Each year, just around Memorial Day, our summer wines start rolling in and we revamp the wine list for the upcoming hot weather. This year is no different, but one of the labels (right) on one of our wines is very different this year. The wine I ordered was Tocai Friulano, the box it arrived in had Tocai on the side, and the wine tastes like Tocai Friulano, a light crisp white, great for seafood on the deck.

But as you can see, the word Tocai is notably absent from the label which now only states "da uve Friulano," from the Friulano grape. And there's a good reason for it. I've long believed that certain names belong to certain styles of wines from certain regions. Champagne belongs to sparkling wines of that region of France; Port belongs to fortified red wines from the Douro. And, now Tokaji belongs to Hungary, not to Friuli (Tocai Friulano) or Alsace (Tokay d'Alsace) or anywhere else. Use of the word Tokay in any of its spellings is banned except for Hungarian wines.

If you want to read more, Jancis Robinson has all the details on her web site.

But you've still got to admire Max Di Lenardo 's spirit in using the emphatic TOH! on the label, as a gentle middle finger at the European Union.

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