One of my first impressions of Frascati was the awfulness of the local wine. But with time, it grew on me, along with Italian drinking habits like mixing it half-and-half with water. In time I also learned that you can get much better wines direct from some of the tiny local producers than from the Frascati trattorias. Still rough, but interesting! Drinking wine there was pot luck, and somewhat analagous to rough west-country scrumpy in the UK. Except that scrumpy tends to be much more sanitised these days, as do the wines exported from the Frascati area to the UK.
The main local grape there was the Trebbiano. If you look it up in the wine literature, you’ll see it’s widely rubbished: its main virtue is that it grows well in central-Italian conditions, and produces wine in large quantities. No great surprises there.
I’ve just indulged in a Trebbiano-Chardonnay blend, from near Bologna. It worked really well: the characteristic trebbiano taste of central Italy was very clear, while the chardonnay takes off the rough edge without making it bland. I thoroughly enjoyed it, much more than Frascati wine, or indeed its close cousin Orvieto (which I like a little better as a brand).
Is this genuinely a very nice wine? Or is it hitting tastebuds of nostalgia? If so it’s a strange nostalgia. Hmmm, must try some more Trebbiano blends/variants over the summer.
[footnote for readers who didn’t know me at the time: I lived in the Frascati area near Rome from 1992 to 1998]