Drinks of the Month
Collefrisio Falanghina 2012, Terre di Chieti
Not that many people get past pinot grigio in their exploration of Italian whites but Falanghina (pronounced fal-an-ghee-na) is certainly one you should try.
It’s a grape variety that originally comes from Campania in the south of Italy, not somewhere you’d think would make such a fresh-tasting white. According to Jancis Robinson et al’s seminal Wine Grapes (a book I’d urge you to buy if you’re remotely interested in wine) it dates from the late 17th century and is named after the falangae or stakes that support the vines. This one actually comes from the Abruzzo from an organically run estate.
There are cheaper examples in the supermarkets but the Collefrisio, which I tried at my local Bristol wine merchant Davis Bell McCraith this week, has a lovely singing purity that makes it well worth its £13.49 price tag. "It's the kind of wine that makes you want to finish the bottle" as Aiden Bell put it (and by no means all wines do).
I’d want to drink it with simply cooked fish and shellfish - grilled prawns or squid or swordfish for example but it could handle quite punchy flavours such as garlic, capers and parsley.
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