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2015 13 April


...The Gavi I drank with that boyfriend was Principessa Gavia, a wine of romance with a romantic tale of its own.

The label was Delft blue and adorned with a cameo portrait of a princess who, according to the legend on the back label, was an actual sixth-century royal who fell in love and ran away with a non-nobleman. The local white wine that they drank while in hiding was later named Gavi in her honor.

Principessa was reasonably priced and distinctively packaged, and we drank it whenever we could. It was available but not ubiquitous, just the right formula for a favorite wine. Easy to drink, crisp and bright, it was also kind of unchallenging—without a great deal of flavor, like Pinot Grigio...

...But with spring comes a reawakening that can stir memories of the past. I was curious how Gavi had fared while I was busy drinking just about everything else. And so I went looking for a few bottles, including Principessa, of course.

It turned out to be quite easy to locate. Principessa was in wine shops everywhere and even in grocery stores. But the bottle was different— slimmed down from its squat flagon shape to a standard Bordeaux-style bottle. The cameo of the princess seemed smaller as well—even less blue. My favorite wine was now indistinguishable from all the others on the shelf. But out of loyalty and curiosity, I bought a bottle, along with nine bottles of other Gavis to see how Gavi tasted a couple of decades on...

...In fact, the Principessa wasn’t watery at all but quaffable and bright, with good acidity—and well-priced at $14. A fairly light body makes it a better aperitif wine than a companion for food...



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