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Wine Advisor Express:
Wine and food: Simple gifts

Sometimes, as the artist said, "less is more," and some of the most delicious meals are also the simplest. One of our favorite simple dinners is a treat we discovered in Alba in Northwestern Italy and have enjoyed many times at home: A bowl of steaming spaghetti or other pasta, dressed in butter and finely chopped fresh sage, and nothing more.

So what do you drink with a meal like this? Something white, something Italian, something herbal to play up to the aromas of the sage. I generally look to Northeastern Italy for a match, and I've never found a better companion than the delightful white from the Veneto that we enjoyed with it last night:

Due Uve Bertani 2000 Veneto "Due Uve" ($11.99)
This pale straw-colored wine from the Veneto region near Verona offers intriguing aromas, delicate floral and herbal scents backed by a pleasant whiff of green olives. Crisp, citric and tart, it shows lemon and tangerine flavors at first, opening up into ripe peaches as it warms in the glass. A blend of Pinot Grigio and Sauvignon Blanc in equal proportions ("Due Uve" means "Two Grapes"), it's one of the most interesting white wines I've found in this price range. Its herbal freshness made it a stunning partner with the sage-and-butter pasta. U.S. importer: Palm Bay Imports Inc., Boca Raton, Fla.

WEB LINKS: The producer's Website, in Italian and English, is at, with a fact sheet on Due Uve at

The U.S. importer's site is, with a Due Uve information page at

FOOTNOTE: If you remember my July 30 article about trying to lose weight without giving up wine, you may have asked yourself, "what's this guy doing eating pasta covered with butter?" It's worth taking a moment to note that moderation is the key to any sensible lifestyle plan: Three ounces (about 90 grams) of pasta and one ounce (30 grams) of butter make a 400-calorie main dish, and the sage adds virtually nothing but flavor. Serve it with a light salad as a meatless meal, and you can have your butter and eat it too. End of sermon.

Express Notes:
California Wine Club

The California Wine Club is celebrating California's Rolling Blackouts by "pulling the plug" on all case prices! In its last wine sale before the Holidays, California Wine Club is offering wines up to 67% OFF (45% OFF on Signature Series Wines) including half, full and mixed cases. Stocks are limited, and these wines will go fast. Order early by phone 1-800-777-4443, through the website at or E-mail at

This is Wine Advisor Express, daily edition of The 30 Second Wine Advisor, distributed Tuesdays through Fridays. For archives of previous articles, and to read more about wine, visit Wine Lovers' Page,

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Thursday, Aug. 30, 2001
Copyright 2001 by Robin Garr. All rights reserved.

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