With the warm weather heading this way, a few words about white wines from Italy. Where I live, the next five months will be warm and warmer. Red wine can just be too heavy, as a daily regimen. Vegetables are coming to the table; lighter foods are appearing as well. I am turning to white wines.
A few lately have come across the table.
Marco de Bartoli Grappoli del Grillo
This wine appeared on the table right before a dish of pesce crudo with grapefruit and wild greens. This Sicilian Grillo, from one of the great Marsala producers, is a bouquet of freshness. I was parched when this wine was poured into my glass, and I was blessed with a benediction of flavors, hinting at “someday when I grow up I’m gonna be a Marsala.” Not a chance, this wine has famous grandparents, but it’s a thong and flip flop sandal set wine.
Bruno Giacosa Arneis
“I’m going to order this wine because I don’t get Arneis.” was what my colleague at lunch confessed. What he meant, he elaborated, was that there is no defining style for this variety. I agree. I've had the Ceretto and the Pio Cesare recently in Piedmont and they were polar opposites. The Giacosa entry matched up well with fare served recently at the Landmarc in Tribeca. We had it with a fois gras terrine, followed by a grilled half chicken with mashed chickpeas and arugula. The wine is a sexy-delicate quaff, but paired with food it slipped into something a little more comfortable. Not just a one-night-stand kind of wine, more of a long-weekend fling. Very nice with the food, and on a wine list priced slightly above retail to encourage experimentation.
Falesco Est! Est!! Est!!!
Coming off a recent death march of a road trip, I headed straight from the airport to a reception. The last thing I wanted to do was drink wine. Water was what I needed and lots of it. But there was this little tray of white wine being passed around and I couldn’t be the speaker at a wine event only drinking water. I was pleasantly surprised when this wine splashed onto my palate. I wasn’t expecting much substance, what I got was a lingering memory of a delicate, understated wine with a striking aroma of sweet lilies. The flavor was a brisk jump into a fresh stream of nectarines and unripe green apples, sweet and tart not sinking to the bottom, floating down the course in an inner tube of contentment.
All Hail Texas Grapegrowers
If you want something else, a shameless plug for the trials and tribulations of extreme winemaking in Texas. Kim Pierce has written a fascinating article about a place that makes me want to go and see what they're are doing up in the High Plains, 4,000 feet above sea level. Check it out.
And, as they say in the Bronx, “Chin-tann” y'all. I'm heading to the Met.