Pala Assoluto @Pizzeria Mozza, Newport Beach

Pala’s Assoluto, paired with Pizzeria Mozza’s legendary Caramel Budino.

I learn so much by working in the US market with Italian winemakers.  On my most recent tour with Fabio Angius, of Pala Winery in Sardegna, I learned to love Nasco.

Nasco is a rare indigenous grape from the island, traditionally grown in every backyard garden.  The grapes are used for a sweet wine, which was then traditionally offered to friends as a gesture of warm Sardinian hospitality.

Fabio, Joanie & Ryan @Mozza Newport Beach

Pala winery makes an updated version of Nasco, leaving the grapes to hang on the vines for an extra month before harvesting.  There is no botrytis or noble rot, only the natural sweetening of the island sun.  The wine is rich and honeyed on the nose and  a beautiful clear, pale yellow in the glass.  On the palate it is immediately savory- balancing that natural sweetness with salty seawater, capers, and thyme.  Pala’s Nasco is called “Assoluto”, meaning, “absolute”.

…and it’s absolutely Sardegna.