As a vineyard, San Simone is a bit like Robin Williams. Now, that might sound a little strange, but hear me out. Robin Williams was an outstanding actor, as well as a hilarious stand-up comedian. Before his tragic suicide (coincidentally, three years ago this week) he starred in best comedies of the 80s, 90s and early 2000s. However, in 2002, Robin Williams delivered one of the most captivating performances of his career in Insomnia. He inhabited a psychopathic character with a chilling intensity. It was some of Williams’ finest acting work. Most importantly, it was not what people expected of the man behind Mrs Doubtfire, Flubber and Jumanji. But what does this have to do with San Simone? I’ll tell you soon, promise. Italy, San Simone is in the heart of Prosecco country. Like most Friulian wineries, they make prosecco. And it’s delicious. Their frizzante is delicate, crisp and aromatic with orchard flavours and persistent fizz. It’s with good reason that San Simone Verde is what the vineyard is best known for. But, like Robin Williams, San Simone have done some of their best work going against peoples’ expectations and making serious, still wines. The San Simone Pinot Grigio and San Simone Refosco are two lively and complex wines. They both show that there’s a whole lot more to Friuli than just prosecco. San Simone Pinot Grigio Pinot Grigio has had something of a PR problem in the recent past. Far too many people write it off as nothing more than a zippy mouth moisturiser. Perfectly pleasant on a warm summer’s day, but ultimately one-dimensional. This reputation probably came from mass produced, poor quality Pinot Grigio that followed the grape’s growth in popularity in the 90s. At Wines Direct, there’s nothing we like to do more than dispelling prejudices against unfairly maligned grapes. And that’s exactly what San Simone Pinot Grigio does. While this Pinot Grigio does have the grape’s hallmark acidity, there’s a lot more going on besides. Lime and pear flavours emerge in the glass with enough intensity to balance the fresh, crystalline acidity. The ripe citrus and orchard fruit give way to acacia and honeyed tones. San Simone Refosco is free to express itself. And express itself it does. Fresh red fruits are immediately apparent when you taste this lively, crisp red. The initial fruity bite of the wine gives way to subtly herbaceous aromas of wild brambles and raspberry thickets. The energy and flavours of the Refosco grape make this wine a good partner for pork in tomato sauces or substantial pasta dishes. One of our customers calls this a “superb Friday night wine”, and we wholeheartedly agree. With a few candles and a bottle of San Simone Refosco, and you’ll transform a supermarket pizza from drudgery into fantasy. However popular the local sparkling wine is, there’s a lot more going on in Friuli than just Prosecco. If you drop into our shops in Arnotts or Mullingar from Monday the 6th of August, you’ll be able to taste some of the other wines from the San Simone vineyards.