You may be familiar with Fiano di Avellino and Greco di Tufo from Campania, Italy, but there is a third white grape varietal from Campania: Falanghina. Although both Fiano and Greco are delicious, medium-bodied Falanghina offers an amazingly fresh, clean, dry taste, great acidity, and a long and floral finish. It’s almost like it was made for summer weather–the typical flavor profile is ripe fruit in the peach/lemon/pineapple realm with good acidity—more ripe and “tropical” than many wines from Friuli and Alto-Adige regions.
Cantine del Taburno Falanghina 2011 comes from the D.O.C. Taburno zone of Campania in Southern Italy. This refreshingly crisp wine sees no oak and shows citrus notes of lemon and lime, with green apple and almond tones adding complexity. Aromas of white blossoms, peach, melon and citrus are followed by more stone fruit on the palate, with apricots, almond flavors, tart apple, lemon rind, a touch of honey and a stony minerality. It is well-rounded and has great acidity and a long, clean finish. Serve well-chilled as an aperitif or with mussels, antipasto, fish, shellfish, roasted vegetables, lemon roasted chicken, pork and a variety of Italian dishes.
Capolino Perlingieri Sannio Falanghina Preta 2010. This easygoing organic wine is a lean, compact expression of Falanghina, opening with bright citrusy lemon, pear and kiwi aromas with the slightest a hint of banana. The flavors are full of sweet tropical fruit, peach, lemon and banana, but there is a lot of fresh focused acidity and it delivers a classy minerality on the surprisingly long finish.
Both of these wines are great to share and are a perfect fit for lighter and transitional dishes, appetizers and fresh cheeses this time of year. Luckily for us, these two wines can be found in most wine shops.
Just remember these food-pairing aperitif-type wines skip desserts. Sweetness is always a problem for high-acid whites, as it makes them taste thin and aggressively sharp and not much fun at all.