Italy is renowned for its world-class wines, and while red wines like Chianti and Barolo often steal the spotlight, the country also produces exceptional white wines. Two of Italy’s lesser-known white wines that deserve recognition are Vermentino and Friulano. These wines offer unique flavors and characteristics that are worth exploring for any wine enthusiast.
The Versatility of Vermentino
Vermentino is a white grape variety that thrives in various regions of Italy, including Sardinia, Liguria, and Tuscany. This grape is known for producing wines that are crisp, refreshing, and aromatic. Vermentino wines often have flavors of citrus fruits, green apple, and a hint of minerality. They are typically dry, making them an excellent choice for seafood dishes, salads, and light appetizers.
One notable aspect of Vermentino wines is their versatility. They can range in style from light and easy-drinking to more complex and age-worthy. Some Vermentino wines undergo oak aging, which adds richness and complexity to the wine.
The Perfect Pair: Vermentino and Seafood
Vermentino’s bright acidity and citrusy flavors make it a perfect pairing for seafood dishes. Whether it’s a plate of fresh oysters, grilled fish, or a seafood pasta, Vermentino’s crisp and refreshing qualities complement the flavors of the sea. The wine’s acidity cuts through the richness of the seafood, enhancing the overall dining experience.
If you’re looking for a Vermentino wine to try, consider the Vermentino di Sardegna, a DOCG wine from Sardinia. This wine showcases the best qualities of Vermentino, with its vibrant acidity and notes of ripe citrus fruits.
The Unique Character of Friulano
Friulano, also known as Sauvignonasse, is a white grape variety primarily grown in the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region in northeastern Italy. This grape produces wines that have a unique character, with flavors of peach, apricot, almond, and a distinct floral note.
Friulano wines are often medium-bodied with a crisp acidity and a slightly oily texture. They are known for their excellent aging potential, developing more complexity and depth over time. This makes them a great option for wine enthusiasts who enjoy exploring the nuances of aged white wines.
Discover the Cuisine of Friuli-Venezia Giulia
Friulano wines are a fantastic accompaniment to the cuisine of the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region. This region is known for its unique blend of Italian, Austrian, and Slavic influences, resulting in a diverse culinary scene. The cuisine features dishes like frico (a cheese and potato pancake), jota (a bean and sauerkraut soup), and various seafood specialties.
Friulano’s fruity and floral flavors complement the rich and diverse flavors found in the cuisine of Friuli-Venezia Giulia. Whether you’re enjoying a plate of prosciutto di San Daniele or a hearty bowl of jota, Friulano wines provide a harmonious pairing that enhances the flavors of the food.
Exploring Italy’s Hidden White Gems
Vermentino and Friulano are two white wines that often fly under the radar but offer a wealth of flavors and a unique drinking experience. Whether you’re sipping Vermentino with a plate of fresh seafood or enjoying aged Friulano alongside traditional Friulian cuisine, these wines showcase the diversity and quality of Italy’s lesser-known white wines.