First saw wine made at age 7, became a Master Gardner and now my favorite plant is Vitis vinifera. Published wine reviewer, teach wine appreciation at the local school district. And at my old age completed some WSET levels just because I love all things wine. I pour wine for various distributors, have worked with chefs pairing wine and food at corporate events and do private home parties too. Between events, I meet with winemakers in various states and countries.
“The wine-cup is the little silver well, where truth, if truth there be, doth dwell.”……. William Shakespere
As the weather warms and the menu becomes less formal, it’s a fitting time to lighten up your wine too. But rather than instinctively reaching for the Sauvignon Blanc you have had twenty times already, why not try something different? Cicala del Giglio is a good white wine to appreciate and broaden your wine experience. It comes from Italy, the land of one thousand documented wine grapes, and is 100% Ansonica grape (a.k.a. Inzolia).It is also estate bottled, and an IGT wine.“IGT” is a classification (Indicazione Geografica Tipica – similar to the French “vin de pays”). Wines of IGT classification fall below those classified as DOGC or DOC, but don’t let that fool you. Although not a prestigious designation, some of the most enjoyable (even best) Italian wines are occasionally IGT.
In the glass, this wine is the color of honeyed straw. The nose presents apple and peach. Its taste offers subdued citrus and lemon with a slight back taste of butterscotch. The wine is of medium body, particularly for white, with a mouth feel more like Chardonnay. It is best drunk young, now to 2013.
Ansonica grapes are grown in two areas: Tuscany and Sicily. Bibi Graetz, the producer of Cicala del Giglio, is located just off the Tuscan coast on the Island of Giglio. If you are a committed syrah drinker, you may find this wine just a little sweet, but you will enjoy its crisp finish and somewhat mineral character. Ansonica grown in Sicily is more commonly blended and presents a different wine.
Cicala del Gigio is not complex and that’s its charm. This is a wine to enjoy and relax with. Its simple, enjoyable character also makes it versatile. Certainly, it makes a fine accompaniment to seafood. How about a lunch on the patio of mussels cooked in white wine and garlic & parsley with a crusty French baguette for dipping? A salad of arugula and tomato?Flattened veal medallions with baby artichokes and sautéed spinach? No time? …………. Enjoy a chicken Panini with a class of Bibi Graetz’s Cicala del Giglio. I enjoyed a salad and a homemade pizza of caramelized red onion, goat cheese and oyster mushrooms.
Cicala delGiglio is widely available at $19 or less. I found mine at $15 and on sale for $7.59. Shop around. “Cicala,” by the way, is slang for “pretty girl.” At even $19, this wine is very pretty and comes with a strong Wine Mizer recommendation.
Salute! .............. Jim
* Like facebook.com/winemizer for mini-tips on wine & food