Looking for good time, fun wines, that are highly pairable with food, the sun or a warm summer’s night? Then these Italian white varietals are the answers to all your prayers! When it comes to easy-going, vibrant white wines brimming with nuanced character, the Italians have you covered with centuries of know-how. Now us Aussies are leading a new charge, believing our diverse winegrowing regions are perfectly suited to putting our stamp on these beautiful classics.
Enter Fiano and Vermentino. Never heard of these varietals? Someone’s Nonna is shaking their head at you and we’re here to help! By the end of this article, you’ll be part of the trend-setting elite, ordering wines that are cool before they’re cool.
First off, let’s start with the pronunciation. Both are surprisingly easy to pronounce (I’m looking at you Gewurtztraminer): Fee-ahn-no and Vur-men-tee-no. Nailed it first shot? What a boss!
Now, what are these wines actually like? Well if you like Pinot Grigio, Riesling or Sauvignon Blanc, then keep on reading.
Let’s start off with the Fiano. If you are a fan of Pinot Grigio or Riesling, then this is right up your alley. Fiano is a light-bodied white that stylistically can be either fulsome in fruit, waxy in texture or lean, elegant and crisp. You’ll get characters of ripe pear and slight tropical fruit to a backdrop of subtle spice and nutty hazelnut tones.
They’re also generally cellar-worthy, meaning if you forget about that box for a few years, they’ll still be bouncing and ready to go!
Perfect for summer, Fiano, with its waxy texture and fulsome fruitiness, is completely at home to light meats such as roasted chicken, or richer seafoods like baked fish, scallops and salmon.
Vermentino on the other hand, whilst similarly light bodied and rich in fruit, is showier in lime and grapefruit characters, with ripe tropical fruit pronounced in warmer climates (like Australia). It too has subtle nutty notes, but akin to almond (than hazelnut), for all you nut aficionados out there. This is a refreshing style of white wine suited to drinking within a few years of vintage (i.e. bang them in the fridge where they’ll stare at you every day, begging to be drank).
Vermentino, being a light juicy refreshing white with citrusy characters, goes wonders with grilled white meats and a plethora of white fish and seafoods.
New Year, new you? Try these fresh, summer whites today and let us know what you think.
Check out our one-to-one interview with our winemaker, Andrew Duffy to get the exclusive on these Italian inspired whites.