Spring’s Wines

Sip-April-16-gian-marcosGiani Respinto picks five spring favorites at GianMarco Wine.

By Jan Walsh

Photography by Beau Gustafson

GianMarco’s Restaurant is a popular destination for both foodies and wine lovers. The restaurant offers wine in servings of three ounces, six ounces, and quantino, and by the bottle. The wine list is also known for its depth and competitive pricing.

Restaurant patrons often want to find the same wines served in the restaurant for their at-home drinking pleasures. And wisely, Giani Respinto recognized this not just as a frequent request, but as an ongoing need, and fulfilled it. In late 2011, the restaurant expanded its wine program to include a separate wine bar and retail shop—GianMarco Wine.

Located behind GianMarco’s Restaurant on Broadway in Homewood, GianMarco Wine opens at 5:00 p.m., Monday through Saturdays. No reservations are taken, so we arrive early. The bar and the candle lit barrel tables inside and on the porch fill quickly. Soon, there is standing room only. No cocktails or beer are served here, only wine and the restaurant’s dinner menu. Some dinner guests come over from the restaurant to browse and select wine from the retail racks to have it served at their tables. Others enjoy a bottle at their tables and at the Wine Bar—for the retail shop price. And some people stop in to buy a bottle to take home.

Tonight Respinto picks five spring wines for my tasting: Lambrusco, Roero Arneis, Rosé, white Pinot Noir, and red Pinot Noir. Cleto Chiarli Lambrusco Grasparossa di Castelvetro is blackish purple in color with delicate effervescence. It is well-structured with fine tannins and boasts notes of plum, black cherry, cassis, and graphite. Bruno Giacosa Roero Arneis 2013 is golden in color and full in body yet crisp and light on the palate. It offers notes of lemon, peach, apricot, and citrus. If you are still drinking Pinot Grigio, you need to discover this wine. Soter Vineyards North Valley Willamette Valley Rosé 2014 is pink in color with notes of cranberry, cherry, blueberry, and honeysuckle. This fruit-forward rosé is calling the names of Pinot Noir lovers, as this grape shines through. Left Coast Cellars White Pinot Noir 2014 is light gold in color with notes of pear, peach, and green apple with a crisp minerality. The wine’s vineyard is situated on a historic apple and pear orchard, dating to Oregon’s first American settlers, and it shows in every sip. Foxen Pinot Noir Santa Maria Valley 2013 is garnet in color with flavors of cherry, strawberry, cinnamon, and clove. If you are ready to move from big winter reds to a lighter wine for summer, this is the wine. •

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