Imbibing Italian Whites Before Summer’s End

Sadly, the Italian white with which most people are familiar is Pinot Grigio, which is truly a shame. I’m sure I can be proved wrong (although I am often guilty of making sweeping generalizations about varietals and regions, ahem, Aussie Shiraz!), but the vast majority of Italian Pinot Grigio is bland and forgettable. Refreshing, perhaps, but forgettable. But before I go on a diatribe (but I do strongly encourage everyone to focus on Pinot Gris from Alsace and Oregon!), I want to turn to some lovely whites coming out of Italy instead. I recently discovered the 2009 Vivi Falanghina, from the Amalfi Coast, which I ordered for about $14 from Wine Express ($.99 shipping!). It reminds me of a less grapefruit-y Sauvignon Blanc, with pleasant lemon and lime notes. It paired quite nicely with the somewhat acidic Caponata with Kalamata Olives and Asiago Cheese (left).
Another exciting discovery is the 2008 Zuani Vigne Bianco ($21.99) from Collio in the Friuli-Venezia-Giulia region. (Yep, it’s never easy in Italy.) I’m not sure what the white blend contains, but it has good body and a nice golden color, with some light oak and tropical notes on the nose. The palate is a bit more citrusy, with good acidity.
And last but not least, also from Friuli, is the eponymous varietal Friulano (formerly known as Tocai Friulano), but those silly Hungarians got annoyed that Italy was trying to steal Tokaj’s thunder. The 2008 Bastianich Friulano ($16.99) is medium-bodied and refreshing, with some lemon curd and grapefruit coming through. All three of these wines are great for sipping but can also stand up to veggie, chicken, and creamy pasta dishes. For me, summer now means Viva Italia!

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One Response

  1. It’s great to know that you have enjoyed our VIVI Falanghina wine. Wine making requires a huge effort and receiving such a positive feedback is a great reward for us!

    Thank you so much!
    Ivo

    Find us on: http://www.facebook.com/viviwine

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