Unsung Heros - Italian Whites

Scratching the surface of all that Italy has to offer


I’ve been on a bit of a get out of your comfort zone kick as of late, and at the same time I’ve been thinking of some Italian white wines and what great values they can be. In truth the ‘Amazing White Italian Wine Values’ article is yet to be written, but it’s been awhile since I spoke about Italian whites in general so I went rooting around in the cellar to see what was on deck to be tasted.
To kick things off I was very excited to see a pair of Soave from Inama, one of the wines in fact that got me marveling about the under the radar gems from Italy. All too often Italy has had incredible success at killing their golden geese.  Soave’s catching on? Let’s make more, and more, and more, until what we’re making doesn’t in fact even resemble Soave and we kill the brand entirely, then let’s repeat this exercise with Orvieto, Frascati, Pinot Grigio and whatever is next to tickle the consumer’s fancy.
Fortunately for us the Italians are learning, and in some ways the marketplace is slow to catch up with these developments. There are fabulous white wines from Italy, often either from an unusual grape, or one we’ve just be trained to take for granted just waiting for savvy consumers to discover. With the lagging appreciation of these wines prices have tended to stay quite reasonable, particular if you compare these wines to wines of similar quality from regions around the globe that have managed their image more effeciently!  Let’s take a look at a few of the intriguing white wines of Italy.

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  • You missed arneis

    Aug 22, 2013 at 3:24 PM

  • Snooth User: fwv
    104120 18

    thx. I will be in Trapani Sicily in 10 days and will keep an eye out for the Feudo.

    Aug 22, 2013 at 4:11 PM

  • Snooth User: steve666
    392767 156

    @fieldstree. One of the Calif wineries makes a fine arneis, might be seghesio. . . yes, here it is: Indigenous to the Piemonte region of Italy, Arneis is varietal that is well-suited to Seghesio's Russian River growing site. The varietal name translates to "little rascal" due to its challenging nature. Crisp lemony acidity with flavors of pear & melon. Try this wine with mild cheeses, risotto, or sushi.

    Aug 22, 2013 at 6:09 PM

  • Snooth User: petroniano
    1049228 20

    pigato in Liguria ?

    Aug 23, 2013 at 12:43 AM

  • Snooth User: AMurdaca
    1106166 21

    so how and where to go to buy these wines in Northern California?

    Aug 23, 2013 at 1:55 AM

  • Snooth User: steve666
    392767 156

    @AMurdaca - I don't drink whites except in an emergency, so I don't look at store shelves. . . . though did go to tasting for "high altitude" wines from Sicily. Actually that was in Berkeley at wine shop, cannot remember the name, Google Wines--College Ave and you probably will find a lot of them, it is on College about 3 or 4 storefronts north of Ashby on the east side of the week.

    Aug 23, 2013 at 2:11 AM

  • Snooth User: steve666
    392767 156

    @AMurdaca Shop is below, tho I would call and see what they have in stock:

    Vintage Berkeley
    2949 College Ave, Berkeley, CA ‎
    (510) 549-9501 ‎ · vintageberkeley.com

    daily wine · wine tasting

    Aug 23, 2013 at 2:17 AM

  • Snooth User: SM
    1097030 218

    A rather good post I believe, yes the average wine drinker needs to move beyond the supermarket Pinot Grigio rut and be adventuresome. The starting point is a good Soave or even better a Soave Classico, then the other usual suspects Frascati, Orvieto, etc.

    It seems as if Piemonte can make good white wine in addition to red wine, I just haven't found any in the tiny corner of the wine world I live in. The two Italian whites I have been most impressed with as of late are Fiano & Greco.

    As they give a much richer, fuller olfactory and palate experience then other Italian whites; yes they are more wild, but also much more intriguing and multi-layered than other basic dry Italian whites. If you are trying to get good value for money Italian whites you can't too wrong with Greco di Tufo & Fiano di Avellino.


    Solomon Mengeu

    Aug 23, 2013 at 12:07 PM

  • Snooth User: steve666
    392767 156

    @Solomon. I have heard there are 700-1000 different grapes in Italy that are used in wine, or perhaps it is can be used in wine. I have been buying some of them to get a feel for the grape new to me. Some have been or inexpensive $9 - 20. Also doing the same for Spain. Cheers. steve

    Aug 23, 2013 at 4:01 PM

  • Was a "red only" wine drinker for 2 decades, until an Italian ski vacation and a bottle of Friulano opened my eyes to the article's subject. Never looked back, and I think Italy is my absolute favorite source for white wines of all types.. Thanks for covering the subject! You could do 10 more articles and not scratch the surface of the variety of flavors and styles, of course.

    Aug 23, 2013 at 6:31 PM

  • Snooth User: steve666
    392767 156

    Actually I drink a few late harvest to TBA whites now and then

    Aug 23, 2013 at 6:37 PM

  • @steve666 Time to try some Vin Santo's from Tuscana and Sardegna.

    Aug 23, 2013 at 6:49 PM

  • Snooth User: luca chevalier
    Hand of Snooth
    533661 2,535

    Hi Greg ...can i help you "Scratching the surface of all that Italy has to offer"...about Soave you missed Pieropan (He is Soave), to understan Arneis is muche Better to taste (Cornarea, Generaj, or Almondo or Matteo Correggia), There is also a lot of difference between Langhe Arneis and Roero Arneis, (Like Chianti and Chianti Classico) the "true" Arneis is Roero Arneis...

    Aug 24, 2013 at 5:00 AM

  • Snooth User: luca chevalier
    Hand of Snooth
    533661 2,535

    ...Gavi or Cortese di Gavi, it's been "invented" by La Scolca that have the merit of letting Cortese to be Famous outside Gavi, but actualli there are mani Producers like Bruno Broglia making W/wines that lasts 10, 15 years....

    Aug 24, 2013 at 5:05 AM

  • Snooth User: luca chevalier
    Hand of Snooth
    533661 2,535

    ...you hit the point when you Mention Friulano (ex Tokai) it belogs to the same family of Sauvignon, (Sauvignon Vert) it's the wine that you drink everywere if you travel to Friuli Venezia Giulia, Collio and Colli Orientali del Friuli are the top region for the production, dont miss Villa Russiz, Castello di Spessa, Vigne di Zamò and Many others...
    Catarratto it's Ok but we think alsa about Carricante, growin' on the Etna Voulcano and givin' great Mountain Wines...Tenuta di Fessina is one of my favourites....
    Ciao Greg...

    Aug 24, 2013 at 5:11 AM

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