CLASSIC pasta white wine of Campania









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world class wine from the foot of Mount Vesuvius  .

We have "taken it back" during the course of's life, regarding Italian whites. Now we want to move forward! -- and recognize three brilliant and wonderful whites from Campania, grown in the shadow of Mt. Vesuvius.

The three, pictured above in appropriately a sunlit setting, are Greco di Tufo, Fiano and Falanghina. They have been called the noble whites of Italy.

For those of us who think the celebrated whites of the north are still over-rated, and mostly over-priced, here, in these three, one can find not only value but superb taste.

Greco di Tufo, our first great discovery from this region, comes from the Greco bianco grape. And Fiano di Avellino, comes from the Fiano grape (of course). Both of these grape varieties came to Italy from Greece in about the seventh century B.C. Falanghina is an aromatic variety of grape that comes from the small villages near the volcano.

Campania's place in the wine spectrum started in the 80's, and blossomed, literally, in the nineties. And they have continued to take market from the average pinot grigio as "the Italian wine of the table." The small producers have followed the lead of the big names, like Mastrobernardino, started taking greater care in growing and then they started bottling, and exporting, the wines themselves. Terredore di Paola and Feudi San Gregorio are the other big guys in wines of the area.

Greco di Tufa is a solid, balanced white with great acidity and also a basic earthiness. It does get better after two years or so in the bottle, but young is fine also.

Fiano is more mineral, and fuller, softer and riper than Greco, and has been identified with a subtle, waxy texture, according to wine writer Miochael Apstein, of the Chronicle, who is responsible for bringing these wines to the attention of wine lovers in this country.

Falanghina is the newest of the three, but has a rapidly growing following. It is lively and refreshing, a touch floral, but carries a high acidity. It is a great white for many foods.

Reds . . .

Worth mentioning also, is the rightfully growing popularity of the reds of Campania: the Taurasi, a DOCG wine, and other wonderful wines from the Aglianico grape.





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