#SnoothPVA: White Wines of Italy

Hello Friends,

Italy is one of the oldest wine-producing regions in the world. It is also one of the world’s largest wine producers. The ancient Greeks called southern Italy, Enotria, which means 'the land of wines.' From the northern tip to the southern toe of this boot-shaped country, this is very much still applicable today. With twenty wine regions, an uncountable number of wine producers, a myriad of wine styles, and over a thousand grape varieties planted, for some, the topic of Italian wine can be an intimidating endeavor. And I have not even begun to talk about how confusing some of the wine labels can be.

#SnoothPVA White Wines of Italy

Why even bother, right? Well, in a (very tiny) nutshell, here is why. Italy is an extremely diverse region with a wide variety of wines that are made in a broad range of styles. There's something for every palate! Many Italian wines, both white and red, have a pleasing food-friendly nature about them and are also reasonably priced – so no breaking the piggy bank to sip well. Even for someone well-versed in Italian wines; this diversified wine region provides an opportunity to “think outside the box" and possibly find a new favorite. Like with just about anything you take up in life, the more you learn and know about the subject, the more likely you are to enjoy and appreciate it. This holds true for wine too – especially wine regions that may initially come off as difficult to understand.

Giuseppe Capuano (l) and Gregory Dal Piaz (r)

Following a wonderful Ribera del Duero luncheon, I had an opportunity to attend a ‘White Wine of Italy Master Class.’ This event, a part of Snooth’s inaugural "People's Voice Wine Awards," was led by Giuseppe Capuano of Vias Imports Ltd. and Snooth's editor-in-chief, Gregory Dal Piaz. Clearly, we didn’t have time to cover all the country’s wines. Instead, we worked our way from north to south tasting select white wines from several different provinces. Below are short reviews of a few wines (some new to me) I enjoyed (or found interesting) during this informative event. The three common characteristics I found in all of the white wines we tasted were balance, [moderate] complexity, and food-friendliness. These wines, while delightful on their own, beg to be shared with friends, family, good conversation, and a delicious meal. In closing, please check out the links below and see what other wine writers who attended this event are saying. Cheers!

Keeping w/ the Italian theme I dined at Eatly. #Yum

Strasserhof 2011 Kerner Valle Isarco DOC (SRP $26.99): This is an interesting wine (in a good way) that comes from the Isarco Valley -- Italy's northernmost region. This was my first experience with the Kerner variety; a grape that’s a cross between Riesling and Trollinger. This wine shows nice floral notes and an inviting [sweet holiday baking] spice component with stone fruit and citrus peel aromas and flavors that are complemented by a lovely mineral acidity. Overall, a delightful, moderately complex wine that’s extremely food-friendly.

Nuraghe Crabioni 2011 Vermentino di Sardegna DOC (SRP $20.99): This wine hails from the island of Sardinia which lies in the central Mediterranean. Moderately complex aromas of lemon zest and melon with hints of fennel, ginger, and a touch of salinity give way to balanced flavors and a fresh acidity that persists through to the medium-length finish. Overall, an intriguing wine with a soft texture that offers nice complexity and satisfaction at the $20 “sweet-spot” price point. 

Terredora Terre di Dora 2011 Fiano di Avellino DOCG (SRP $23.99): Avellino is a DOCG within the Campania region of the southwestern portion of Italy. While this wine is probably not for everyone, this selection was one of the more interesting of the twelve wines tasted. It’s fully flavored with (very) restrained fruit and a generous amount of up-front (and throughout) mineral, earth, floral components, soy, spice notes, a mild nuttiness, and something that I likened to pungent cheese rind. On the palate, it’s soft and fairly round with middling acidity and a medium length finish. Overall, this is an interesting wine that may appeal to those who do not mind the fruit being the opening act for the more earth-and-mineral focused headlining band.    

Read what these bloggers are saying about the White Wines of Italy :

The V.I.P Table writes "A Regional Tour of Italian Whites"

The Reverse Wine Snob writes  "Exploring the White Wines of Italy"

Happy Sipping, my friends!

Have a question about this post? Feel free to drop me an e-mail at myvinespot@yahoo.com or hit me up on Facebook or Twitter. Stay tuned ...more to come. Happy Sipping, my friends! Disclosure: This trip was provided by Snooth. Thoughts are my own.

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