Lou on Wine: The Italian Grape That Almost Went Extinct

Get some <i>schioppettino</i> in your glass, stat

As you go East on the Autostrada from Venice, you spot signs in Friulian. The dialect is close to Italian but with the orthography of Slovenian—a reminder that you’re not in Kansas, or what we think of as Italy. The country’s northeast corner is a hotbed of off-kilter grapes like schioppettino, a red variety first documented in the 13th century that became nearly extinct by the 1970s. The Rapuzzi family grasped the importance of schioppettino and it is because of them that we still have this magnificent grape today. The Rapuzzis’ schioppettino is dry, medium-bodied, and mesmerizingly aromatic, with the seductive perfume of fresh berries. It’s subtle and has a seemingly limitless ability to bloom in your glass.

Food pairing: duck carnitas at Cacao Mexicatessen.

Available at: Wally’s, Westwood, wallyswine.com; $60