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Senior editor MaryAnn Worobiec has been with Wine Spectator since 1997. She is the lead taster for Australia and New Zealand wines and California Sauvignon Blanc and "other" whites.
MaryAnn Worobiec

An Agreeable White with a Most Agreeable Lunch

Bastianich Sauvignon Venezia-Giulia "B" 2009

MaryAnn Worobiec
Posted: June 8, 2011

It’s becoming a delicious habit: For the third consecutive trip to Las Vegas, I headed straight to chef Mario Batali’s Enoteca Otto Pizzeria (née Enoteca San Marco) in the Venetian for a bite to eat after checking into my hotel.

This time I was in town for Wine Spectator's 2011 Grand Tour tasting, and I knew that there would be more than 200 tempting wines for me to sample that evening. With a goal to fuel up, I ordered a Margherita pizza and a side of radishes bagna cauda. Bagna cauda translates to "warm bath," referring to the warm olive oil, garlic and anchovies that gave the radishes a wonderful savory element.

I wanted a glass of a refreshing white to complement my food and limber up my palate for the evening, so I picked the Bastianich Sauvignon Venezia-Giulia "B" 2009. It was a good value at $14 for a 250ml pour (a bottle at retail goes for about $17). I enjoyed a 2008 Friulano from the same producer at Otto this past November, and I liked this 2009 Sauvignon Blanc too, though its citrus flavors were a bit lacking in intensity.

That was solved as soon as I paired the wine with the radishes. Suddenly, the herbal and lemony flavors, light body and bright acidity were a good contrast to the oily umami notes from the bagna cauda. I rated the wine 84 points, non-blind. Though I tried many terrific wines later that evening at the Grand Tour, I’m going to remember the simple pleasure of a crisp white with a dish that complements it well. No doubt I will be back at Enoteca Otto the next time I’m in Vegas.

WineSpectator.com members: Read the original blind-tasting review for Bastianich Sauvignon Venezia-Giulia "B" 2009 (81, $17).

• Plus, get scores and tasting notes for more recently rated whites from Italy's Friuli/Venezia-Giulia region.

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