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Liters to love all summer long

A Greek rosé and an Italian red share more in common than just 1-liter packaging.

Liters to love.Ellen Bhang

If you frequently pop into your neighborhood wine shop, chances are good you have spied a number of plus-size beauties on shop shelves.

One-liter bottles — each offering two glass pours more than the standard 750 ml — are winning the hearts of imbibers, especially those seeking everyday refreshment in a format other than a jug or bag-in-box. You yourself might have plucked one off a display at random, then realized the heftier-than-usual vessel in your hands offered more glou-glou for your buck. If you loved what was inside, it’s likely you are now a liter-lover for life.

At first glance, a larger format would seem to be the only thing uniting a Greek rosé and an Italian red. But the two share more in common than size. Neither tastes overmanipulated nor cosmetically enhanced, and each hails from a specific landscape rather than an anonymous factory. All credit for such deliciousness goes to hardworking families with deep roots in their respective winegrowing regions.

Leave it to a family of agronomists to make a quotidian pour full of character. The Troupis family cultivates native grapes on 17 acres of estate vineyards in Mantinia, located in Peloponnese, the peninsula of southern Greece that resembles a hand outstretched into the sea. With vines growing at elevations of more than 2,000 feet, Mantinia is one of the country’s cooler climate growing regions, a situation that promotes slow ripening and preserves refreshing acidity.


Today, Tasos Troupis and his children cultivate grapes with the same care they lavished on vine cuttings and fruit-bearing trees at the family’s nursery back in the 1970s. To make a rosé called “Thunder,” they take pink-skinned moschofilero — a vigorous, highly aromatic variety — and allow a portion of the must to mingle with grape skins for 24 hours, resulting in a finished product with a salmony hue and a wisp of texture.


The 200-plus families that grow grapes for a line of wines called Ercole hope you’ll remember that Italy’s Piemonte is more than nebbiolo. They invite you to shift your gaze northeast of the Langhe to the hilly landscape of Monferrato, situated within the provinces of Asti and Alessandria. Here, they plant the bright-with-acid barbera grape as the raw material for beloved everyday reds.

To make Ercole, a proprietary brand of Minnesota importer The Piedmont Guy, these farmers contribute grapes to one of Monferrato’s most stalwart cooperatives. (And if you think co-ops only turn out unremarkable bulk wine, you’re in for a pleasant surprise: You only need to taste this rosso to surmise that grapes were soundly ripe and expertly handled.) Cocconato d’Asti-based enologist Luigi Dezzani, the third generation of a venerable winemaking company that bears his family name, is key to the leadership guiding production.

Both wines are wonderfully picnic-friendly, sturdy enough to transport in an ice chest nestled up next to the potato salad and sack of cherries. Low-tannin barbera emerges from cold temperatures without tasting like a mouthful of roughage, and moschofilero’s perfumed nature persists, even chilled. Of course, it wouldn’t hurt to take a moment to let aromatics bloom in your Solo cup. Your friends will scarcely notice. They’ll be too busy passing around these big beautiful bottles.

Troupis Winery “Thunder” Moschofilero 2021 Exuberant notes of peaches and rose petals express themselves on the nose and palate, along with perky acidity, saline, and a hint of texture. 12 percent ABV. Distributed by Vineyard Road. $17-$20 for 1 liter. At The Wine & Cheese Cask, Somerville, 617-623-8656; Mayhew Wine Shop, Fort Point, 857-239-9366.


Ercole Barbera del Monferrato 2020 Scents of ripe cherries and leafiness lead to a bright and lively palate of tart red fruit, with a whisper of ferrous meatiness beneath. 12.5 percent ABV. Distributed by Vineyard Road. $15-$17 for 1 liter. At Craft and Cru, Milton, 617-322-1163; Love Child, South Boston.

Ellen Bhang can be reached at bytheglass@globe.com