I had this wine at The Gorbals, in Downtown LA (1/2 price wine at Happy Hour!) Like the cheap-o I am, I chose it because it was the cheapest white on the menu, but I was excited by the fact that it was a varietal I’d never heard of. Tocai – sounds like George Takai. Anyway, that’s what I was thinking.
The brand was Quattro Mani, so I assumed it was Italian. A quick google search on the varietal showed that most Tocai we find here in the US is, indeed, Italian. It’s even mentioned in GQ as one of Northern Italy’s shining stars. Tocai is actually one of the most planted and most drunk varietals throughout the Northern Italian region of Friuli.
That was all great, until further research proved the name was misleading.
The Quattro Mani Tocai is actually…Slovenian. And the bottle itself brands the wine phonetically: Toh-Kai. Well, then.
I was super pleased to find out though, that it is even more affordable in stores than in the bar (shocking, I know.) Looks like this wine is fairly widely available for around $10, and at least one blogger found it for $9 at Costco. I will be running out to my nearest Costco soon to give that a shot.
As for the wine itself — I found it unlike anything I’d tasted before, but enjoyable. It’s definitely a talking point wine that I would love to bring to a dinner party just to compare notes with other tasters. Peachy/herbal aromas with a little sweetness on the palate but not too much. Honestly, there was too much going on there for my rather amateur palate to pick up on, but I loved the challenge.
I’m not the only one who likes it.
A quick search for press reviews turned up a 91 pt rating by Robert Parker, and some great reviews from Food & Wine magazine which named it one of 100 Wines to Drink Right Now in Oct 2010 and did a profile on the winemaker Aleš Kristančič and his winery Movia.
According to Kristančič, Hemingway drank a lot of Movian wine. So there you go.
Big recommendation. 6 STARS!