Monday, May 2, 2011

Falanghina dei Feudi di San Gregorio (2009)

Everybody knows about grapes like Merlot and Chardonnay, and, there are many great wines made with these grapes.  For me, my interest is always piqued when I come across a wine that is made with a little known grape. So, when I was perusing white wines looking for a wine to pair with the dish of Pasta con Pesce Spada, I came across a Calabrian wine made with the Falanghina grape.  Having not heard of that grape before, and given Calabria's proximity to Sicily, I bought a bottle to use in the recipe and to drink with the meal.   

The Falaghina grape is one of the oldest grapes cultivated in Italy.  It is believed that Greek settlers as far back as the seventh century B.C. brought the grapes to the shores of Italy just north of Naples. The grape's name is a derivative of the Latin word for "falangae," which refers to the stakes used to prop up the vines.  Today, the grapes are cultivated primarily in Calabria and, to a much lesser extent, in Molise.  

Feudi di San Gregorio produces a Falaghina wine that pours a pale gold in color, resembling cider in some respects.  The visual elements foreshadow what is to come.  The wine's aromatic elements suggest grapefruit and apple, with some melon and earthiness.  The taste of the wine is fairly dry, with grapefruit  and apple being the principal flavors in the wine, supported by a little lemon and pineapple.  The dryness of the wine makes one think of the wine as being a little tart, particularly with the flavors of grapefruit being so prominent in the flavor profile of the wine.  But, the wine is not actually tart, it is just dry, which you can feel on your tongue as you drink this wine.  

As with many white wines, this Falaghina wine is best paired with seafood.  I paired this specific wine with the dish of Pasta con Pesce Spada (Pasta with Swordfish), which is a Sicilian dish.  The pairing was perfect, as this wine helped to mellow the red pepper in the dish while the dish itself helped to round out the dryness of the wine.  

This wine is available at Whole Foods for about $14.99 and it is a great example of the gems you can find when you look past the common grape types and try something different.


For more about the Falaghina grape, check out Vivi.


Anonymous said...

What a interesting post! I love Feudi di San Gregorio's wines...Rubrato and Taurasi are fantastic! I'll sure buy Falanghina now! Kelly

Keith Bolek said...

Thanks Kelly! I am definitely going to look out for the Rubrato and Taurasi.

Food and Fate said...

Chef at heart too! Agree - it's a great wine with seafood or anytime. Maria (

Keith Bolek said...

Maria, thanks for reading the post.

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