Italian Summer White Wines

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  • By Kevin Lepisto
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Italian Summer White Wines

Fresh tomatoes in season, Tuscan bread salads, summer heat and inspired accompaniments: crisp, alive, refreshingly tangy Italian White Wines.

 

The summer heat is here and so is the need for crisp, refreshing white wines to quench our thirst and pair with our lighter summer fare.  Italy is famous for its bold red wines but not many people know that Italy also produces a vast variety of delightful whites (besides Pinot Grigio) that are perfect for summer quaffing.  

 

From the very north to the very south, Italian producers have greatly improved the quality of their white wines and are now producing some of the best whites in the world. 

 

The common thread with all Italian whites is they are acid-driven and meant to refresh the palate.  They are dry and vibrant with lots of fruit flavors and plenty of zingy minerality.  This of course makes them great food wines, classically with seafood dishes but they are also great with summer salads dressed with tangy vinaigrettes, chicken dishes, lighter pastas and grilled veggies. 

 

And you’ll rarely hear me say this about Italian wines, but the whites are light and fresh enough for just summer sipping on their own, no food necessary! 

 

Because Italian white wines aren’t that well known, they are still a remarkably good value, too. Plenty of amazing high quality wines can be found for under $20.  If your last impression of Italian white wine is a watery Pinot Grigio or flavorless Soave then you definitely need to visit the Italian section of the store and grab an Italian white.  I promise you’ll be pleasantly surprised!

 

Join us for our annual Panzanella Fest on Saturday August 5th where I’ll be pouring these ten refreshing Italian whites to pair with samples of Tuscany’s traditional bread and tomato salad.

 

2015 Italo Cescon Pinot Grigio, Veneto, Italy

The Cescon is one of our best selling Pinot Grigios in the store.  It’s packed with vibrant lemon and white peach flavors but is fresh with a long persistent finish.  It’s no wonder everybody loves it.  The little stick on the bottle is a vine clipping from their vineyards located in the eastern part of the Veneto region north of Treviso.  A great value!

$14.99 per bottle

 

2015 Andrea Felici  Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico Superiore, Marche, Italy

This is stunning example of the Marche regions noble Verdicchio wine.  The tiny Felici winery is located in the highest elevation of Jesi giving their wines bright and focused citrus fruit flavors with a strong vein of minerality. This father and son winery only makes two Verdicchio wines.  This wine screams for linguine and clams!

$19.99 per bottle

 

2015 La Raia Gavi, Piedmont, Italy

The Rossi Cairo family bought La Raia in 2003 and immediately began converting the winery to biodynamic farming and winemaking.  They were Demeter certified in 2007.  Maybe that is why the wine is so delicious. I was first taken by the intense citrus flower aromas of this gorgeous wine.  Then the expressive punch of bright lime and citrus flavors hit my palate and took the wine to a whole new level.  A lot of wine for the price and a classic crisp Gavi!  Gavi is traditional served in the seafood restaurants in Genoa.  A perfect match!

$16.99 per bottle

 

2015 Prà ‘Otto’ Soave Classico, Veneto, Italy

Graziano Prà is one of the leading producers in Soave and instrumental in revitalizing the region.  His wines truly represent how much the quality of Soave wine has improved in the last 20 years.  The ‘Otto’ Soave is produced from old vine Garganega grapes in the heart of the Soave region.  This is a refreshing, bright and minerally Soave with zesty green apple and unripe peach flavors and a crisp clean finish.  Great with salads, chicken and seafood.

$15.99 per bottle

 

2015 Marco Felluga Pinot Grigio, Friuli, Italy

The Felluga family has a long history of winemaking in the Friuli region of Italy and their vineyards are located in the Collio hills where only white wines are produced.  Friuli is located in the northeast corner of Italy on the borders of Slovenia and Austria.  This Pinot Grigio delivers all the citrus flower aromas, bright fruit flavors and minerality you want but in an extremely elegant manner.  A definite notch above most other Pinot Grigio wines.

$16.99 per bottle

 

2015 Zenato Lugana San Benedetto, Veneto, Italy

Lugana is a small, relatively unknown, wine region on the southern tip of Lake Garda in northern Italy. Lugana produces highly aromatic and easy drinking white wines made from the Trebbiano di Lugana grape.  This lovely dry wine is a great summer sipper and aperitif wine. It’s light and fresh but layered with citrus and stone fruits that charms your palate with each sip.  Be prepared to fall in love with Lugana wine! 

$15.99 per bottle

 

2016 Argiolas ‘Costalomino’ Vermentino di Sardegna, Sardinia, Italy

Argiolas is the leading producer of wines in Sardinia and located in the warm southern tip of the island.  Vermentino from this area tends to be a little fuller then wines produced in the cooler northern tip of the island.  This medium bodied wine is vibrant and fresh with bright stone fruits and herbal notes.  Classically paired with seafood. Sea urchin pasta anyone?   A super value at this price.

$11.99 per bottle

 

2015 Cantina del Taburno Falanghina del Sannio, Campania, Italy

Falanghina is an ancient grape native to the Campania region of Italy and is a great value wine to discover.  This is a juicy, highly fragrant wine with scents of white citrus flowers and flavors of melon, pineapple and zesty citrus. The crisp minerality and bright acidity keep it fresh and light but it still packs a punch. 

$15.99 per bottle

 

2015 Masseria Furfante Bombino Bianco, Puglia, Italy

Bombino Bianco is an indigenous grape to Southern Italy and mostly grown in the Coastal regions of Puglia.  This Bombino white wine is highly aromatic with citrus flowers and stone fruits and the wine is bright and easy drinking with plenty of fruit and some light herbal notes to add a touch of complexity.    A delightful wine!

$11.99 per bottle

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