Memorial Day has passed so it is now ok to pull out the whites - white wine that is. Although lazy days on the beach under the blazing sun don't even seem a remote possibility here in New England, those days will be here before you know it. And while Italy is primarily known for its big and bold red wines (think of the killer B's - Barolo, Barbaresco, Brunello), sipping a super Tuscan in 95 degree heat in August just doesn't seem right. If your summer wine of choice is a Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio, it's time to put those bottles on hold and try something refreshing and new. Here are five fabulous Italian whites that will make you wish summer lasted all year.
Greco di Tufo (Feudi San Gregorio) - This is probably my favorite white. Greco di Tufo, along with Fiano di Avellino & Falanghina (see below) come from the Campania region (Naples). This wine is made from 100% Greco grapes (probably from Greece originally, as the name implies) and is perfect on its own but also pair beautifully with seafood or caprese salad - the ultimate in summer dishes
Falanghina (Terredora) - A little more difficult to find than Greco di Tufo, Falanghina certainly runs a close second. Of course these are great summer wines - they come from Campania, the region of the Amalfi Coast where the summer celebration has been elevated to an art form.
Fiano di Avellino (Mastroberardino) - a little more complex than the Greco and the Falanghina, this is a great wine to serve with chicken, pork or veal. Mastroberardino is one of the most renown wineries in Southern Italy.
Rorero Arneis - a great very light wine from the Piedmont region
Prosecco - by now, you may have heard that there very well may be a prosecco shortage this year. I think the producers can no longer keep up with the demand now that the bubbly is omnipresent at every single Girls' Night Out in America. This coupled with a very rainy summer/fall which has reduced the production by about 50%. What should we do? Here is my advice to you: Drink Up! Prosecco really is a perfect late afternoon aperitif. Affordable, light, crisp and really festive. If you are looking for ways to enhance your prosecco, try muddling some fruit. Raspberries will work as will strawberries but make sure you get fresh and local strawberries, not the mutant ones that taste like cardboard. Head to your farm stand and get the little ones - they have the most flavor. Mash them until the juices come out and add some of the fruit and juice to the glass of prosecco. (pomegranates in the winter, grapes in the fall also work) Buonissimo!
These wines are a perfect accompaniment to the easiest appetizer ever.
I hope your summer celebrations involve lots of friends, family and laughter. After all, isn't that what summer is all about?!
What beverage says summertime to you? Let's hear about it in the comments!