Beyond Pinot Grigio: Interesting Italian White Wine
Have you limited your Italian white wines to Pinot Grigio? Italy has a rich history of grapes brought by ancient peoples: the Greeks, the Etruscans, and the Romans. It has more native grape varieties, more types of wine, and more distinctive winemaking practices than just about any other place on earth.
There are currently over 17 DOC/DOCG (top quality) white wines produced in Italy, many of which are delightfully balanced, quenchable and definitely affordable. Great for this Summer’s Zoom Happy Hours!
So, put down that Pinot Grigio and instead, try one of these wonderful Italian white wines!
The majority of Fruliano wine is grown in Friuli, located in the northeastern corner of Italy. The Alps protect the area from harsh northern winds, and the nearby sea has a moderating Mediterranean influence.
Food Pairings: Prosciutto San Danielle, roast cod or halibut, mac & cheese. Pan-fried white fish with lemon butter and capers, Roast chicken with thyme-infused stuffing
Soave is a dry white Italian wine from the Veneto region in northeast Italy, principally around the city of Verona.
Most Soave wine is dry, still wine. But, winemakers can also make a sparkling spumante style wine. The sweet passito Recioto style dessert wine comes from drying the grapes before pressing the juice.
The Garganega grape is the primary component of Soave. It is a late-ripening variety with a thick skin that can withstand mist (prevalent in this corner of Italy) better than some of the thinner skin varieties.
Medium bodied and refined, this wine often displays notes of green apple, baked pear, stone, minerals, nutmeg, and thyme.
Food Pairing: This is a great wine to serve with your ‘cocktail hour’ as it is refreshing enough to stand on it’s own. But, it is also fabulous paired with Veal Scaloppini, Fettuccine Alfredo, Dover Sole, Roast Chicken.
Gavi, is a DOCG (top quality growing area) situated in the southern part of the Piedmont, in northwestern Italy. Winemakers use Cortese, an Italian ‘local grape’ to produce this light and fruity style white wine.
Gavi is Piedmont’s white jewel in the crown. Its vineyards are mainly found in the hills of 13 communes in the province of Alessandria. Those wines that state Gavi di Gavi on their label can do so only if their fruit comes from vineyards in the township of Gavi.
Gavi is a wine that reflects its terroir. It is noted for its bone-dry character and crisp, flinty and fresh acidity, coming from the mineral-rich soils of the area. The bouquet is particularly floral, offering delicate aromas of white flowers, lemons, green apples and honeydew. It also often shows hints of almonds on the finish.
Food Pairing: Gavi is generally considered an excellent partner to seafood.
Greco di Tufo
Greco di Tufo is a DOCG of the Campania wine region in southern Italy. It produces the region’s most prestigious white wine, made predominantly from the Greco grape variety. It’s believed that the Greco grape was introduced to Campania by the ancient people from Thessaly in Greece. The name Tufo comes from one of the villages that produce the wine and the type of rock on which the village was built (ash ejected during a volcanic eruption).
The Greco di Tufo vines grow at a fairly high altitude of 1300 – 1600 ft. The cooler temperatures at this altitude allow grapes to enjoy the summer sunshine without overheating. As a result, grapes ripen without losing too much acidity.
Greco di Tufo wines stand out thanks to the unique characteristics of the sulfur and rich volcanic soils. These lend the wine its perfume and mineral complexity. These refreshing, crisp white wines are known for notes of lemons, pears, toasted almonds and a lingering mineral finish.
Food Pairing: We suggest that you pair these wines with Buffalo mozzarella and tomatoes, grilled fish with lemon and olive oil, or fried calamari.
We love these wines so much that we decided to focus on them in our August Virtual Wine Tasting. Click here to register and join us on August 12! Make sure to have your favorite seafood on hand to pair along with us!