Food & Drinks

Italian White Wines For The Win!

Part 1 of a summer-long series on Italy’s refreshing white wines

Italy’s grape varieties—more than 400—are so vast that some say not even Italians are sure of all they have. With new varieties and regions coming up on the radar all the time, it’s nearly a full-time job for the serious wine drinker to keep up. Here are a few from regions a bit off the beaten (red) path, worth seeking out for their representation of their territories and good value.


Mustilli “Vigna Segreta” 2018, Falanghina del Sannio Sant’Agata del Goti DOC. 10 months on the less. Fantastico! Fun labels with modern overlays on classic artworks (this one a butterfly) Medium + body, beautifully textured with lovely weight on the palate—almost Chenin-link with waxy linen notes. Seductive anise notes on the nose are carried through to the palate. Ripe yellow fruits—quince and yellow plum‚ a vegetal undertone that adds interest.

Mustilli Falanghina del Sannio 2019. Apple and pear, herbs and anise. Fresh fennel and lemon-y flowers jump out of the glass. Not as complex as the sister wine but pleasant, serviceable and a good wine for drinking lakeside.

Feudi di San Gregorio Greco di Tufo 2018, DOCG. A solid standby from Campania featuring its signature white grape. Full bodies and structured fresh and powerful. Knowing the region, I swear I can taste the volcanic soil. Super minerality, ripe white orchard fruits. Lively and exciting.

Feudi di San Gregorio “Bianco” 2020, Campania IGT. Simple but solid performer with deep yellow fruits, and a fresh tart lemon streak. A blend of Greco and Fiano.


Perla del Perla 2018, Lugana Riserva DOP. Squat, shapely bottle, tart yellow plum and cherries, medium bodied, tart walnut skin. Nice balance between the ripe, plush fruit and tartness. Round and mouth filling but with a sharp acid streak to keep it lively. 100% Turbiana. Clean, direct hit of lemon accompanied by white flowers.

Perla del Garda “Madonna della Scoperta” 2017, Lugana Superiore DOC. A pretty bottle for the table, made of 100% Turbiana, medium bodied with lemon overtones and a baseline of ripe yellow fruit and savory herbs. white blossoms and a bit of honeycomb round this out. Nuanced but not complex. Works in the summer with roasted/grilled fish or sausage.

Marangona “Tre Campane” 2018, Lugana DOP. Light lemon-yellow in appearance, with a smoky/flinty nose elevated with eucalyptus and fennel. Followed by a deep lemon-compote flavor, terrific mineral streak, tart and refreshing but with enough rich body to hold up to heartier fare—even in winter. Has a sleek Chenin-like waxiness.

Tommasi “Le Fornaci” 2019, Lugana DOC. Mineral, lemon twist and tropical notes of white peach and apricot, with some herbal undertones. Medium weight on the palate calls for a food partner like grilled fleshy fish.

Ca’Maiol 2018, Lugana DOC. A deeper petrol.-like character with what seems to be a hallmark lemon crud and savory tone for the DOC. Slightly honied, but more like wild-flower honey, saline undertone. Great partner to those hard-to-pair green vegetables like broccoli rabe, asparagus, Brussel sprouts.


La Valentina Pecorino 2019, Pecorino Colline Pescaresi IGT Marche. Lemon yellow in color and featuring a savory, wild herb nose. Tart citrus, medium+ bodied, glycerol and textured. Deep ripe yellow fruits, cooked Meyer lemon, refreshing and medium+ acid. Bitter herb or arugula broccoli rabe taste on the finish. Estate bottled. Perfect with roasted Brussel sprouts.

Tor del Colle Pecorino 2016, Terre di Chieti IGP. The pale yellow, almost white hue of this wine belies the what’s in the glass – tart green apples and lemon, lots of white floral, very sharp and linear, fresh, wild scrubby wild herbs—maybe the Italian equivalent of garrigue—jump out of the glass.

Garofoli Serra del Conte Verdicchio dei Castelli de Jesi DOC, Marche. Lime blossom and orchard fruit drive this thoroughly pleasant wine with hints of mountain herbs. Even better on the second and third day after opening when it has developed. At only 12% abv—the lightest of this group—you can drink all day! [But, official, responsible warning: stay put if you do.]

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