My recent article, Five Fabulous Italian White Wines That Aren't Pinot Grigio, had such a great response, I'm back with a second round. Take your palate on an Italian adventure and sip your way out of a Pinot Grigio rut with one of these stellar white wines.
Banfi "Principessa Gavia" Gavi 2016 DOCG ($17)
Who can resist a beautiful wine inspired by a romantic Italian legend? Once upon a time Princess Gavia followed her heart and eloped with a guard in her father's court. The King was not too thrilled with his darling daughter marrying a commoner but eventually all was forgiven. In Gavia's honor, the king named the town of Gavi and its wonderful white wine after his romantically rebellious daughter. I think Principessa Gavia would be absolutely impressed by the lovely wine Banfi has named after her. Elegant, dry, and crisp with vivacious green apple and citrus flavors, this delicious expression of Gavi has zesty acidity and a finish that lingers like a long lace train on a royal wedding dress.
Fontana Candida Frascati DOC 2015 ($12.95)
Grapes: Malvasia Bianca di Candia, Trebbiano Toscano, Malvasia del Lazio
Born in the Roman hills, Frascati is an ancient wine that was known as "the wine of popes and of the people." It may no longer flow from the fountains of Rome, as it was reported during 17th century Papal elections, but bottles of Frascati certainly flow freely in Roman restaurants. Refreshing and zesty, this dry Frascati from renowned producer Fontana Candida is a great expression of this quintessentially Roman wine. Flavors of peach and almonds are balanced by great acidity and texture.
Alta Mora Etna Bianco DOC 2015 ($24.99)
What could be hotter than a white wine produced from grapes grown on the slopes of an active volcano? The Cusumano family grows the indigenous Carricante grape in the volcanic souls of Mt. Etna to produce their Etna Bianco. A sultry white wine with pronounced minerality and herbal flavors, Alta Mora Etna Bianco is a sophisticated sip that reveals more and more character as it opens in the glass.
Puiatti Vuj Friulano 2016 ($20.99)
Region: Friuli-Venezia Giulia
Renowned for their pristine white wines that never spend time in oak, a sip of Puiatti rocks your palate with the full essence of the grape. Vuj (which means eye) captures the charms of Friulano, an exceptionally flavorful and aromatic white grape that thrives in Italy's northeastern Friuli region. Quite savory with mellow hints of herbs and a lingering finish, Vuj has plenty of personality that keeps you coming back for another sip.
Feudi di San Gregorio Fiano di Avellino DOCG 2015 ($24.99)
Yummy isn't a technical term but this luscious wine from the Campania region in the south of Italy proves that yumminess and elegance aren't mutually exclusive. Absolutely exuberant with pretty flavors of peach and chamomile, this stellar Fiano has impressive balance and lip-smacking minerality.