Match of the week
Greco di Tufo with grilled seabass
I was reminded just how spectacularly, unexpectedly good southern Italian whites can be by a Slow Food wine dinner the other night at Flâneur to celebrate the publication of the English edition of their restaurant guide Osterie & Locande d’Italia. It was hosted by Feudi di San Gregorio, the iconic winery from Campania whose wines I haven’t tried for a while.
The winery is situated 40 minutes from Naples in the sub-region of Irpinia. It’s not at all what you imagine from Southern Italy: lushly vegetated and hilly - the vineyards are planted 500-700 metres above sea level - it suffers very cold winters and hot summers. The soils are partly volcanic.
The highlight of the evening for me was the recently released 2000 vintage of Feudi's Greco di Tufo which was paired with some little deep fried pastries called panzerotti. Quite delicious but I longed to try it with a simple piece of grilled fish such as seabass which I think would have been its best pairing. It was rich, dry and full but with a pure, crisp acidity that made it a fantastic partner for food.
I also loved the basic wine in their range, the Albente Irpinia Bianco, a blend of local grape varieties including Falanghina, Coda di Volpe and Fiano which makes a fine aperitif.
Incidentally the Osterie guide is a must-buy if you’re visiting Italy with details of all the restaurants that still serve distinctive, regional food.
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