Food & Drink » Winesipper

Spring into Italian Whites

Crisp, clean and food friendly

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I've read that Italy produces twice as much red wine as white (it's on the Internet so it must be true) but, according to Italy's National Institute of Statistics, white wine production edged out red in 2015. You will probably find twice as many reds in most wine shops, but Italy also has a world of outstanding whites. Nothing against the grape, but for this tasting we decided to explore beyond the oh-so-popular Pinot Grigios.

2014 Azienda Agricola Pieropan Soave Classico, $20

From the Veneto region in northeast Italy, this is a blend of Soave's principal grape, Garganega and Trebbiano. Lovely aromas of melon and lime are colored by touches of ginger, fresh herb and mineral. The flavors are a mix of ripe peach and pear, balanced by tangy lemon, lime and orange, with a touch of white pepper on the finish.

2014 Riofavara Mizzica Moscato di Noto, $18

From the southernmost corner of Sicily, this Moscato is unusual in that it is fermented bone dry. There's a juicy blast of lychee nut on the nose, along with plush apricot, pear, floral honeysuckle, lime and coriander. A lush richness marks the palate as well, offering ripe stone fruit flavors and a hit of citrus zest on the chalky finish.

2014 Terredora di Paolo Falanghina Irpinia, $17

Falanghina is a grape variety native to Campania in southern Italy. Here, it opens with floral quince, pear and pineapple, along with hints of tarragon and mineral. In the mouth it is lean and lively, filled with bright citrus flavors that turn ripe and rich on the finish. Definitely a food friendly entry.