Southern Italy’s Pinot Grigio
Falanghina might be Southern Italy’s answer to Pinot Grigio. Of all the white grapes in Italy, Pinot Grigio is the one that has taken the world by storm over the last decade. It consistently ranks in the Top 10 wines sold and people love to drink it, despite wine pros telling them it’s terrible and they should love less popular wines. Think of them it as the the Yankees, both for its popularity and for the hatred it stirs up among those who root for well, ANY other team.
Mets to the North’s Yankees
Falanghina really fits the Mets role perfectly. It’s from the south of Italy (like Queens to the Yankee’s Bronx), has huge acidity just like Pinot Grigio, and keeps getting talked about like it’s going to be a serious contender THIS season.
As far back as 2002 (pretty much the stone age of blogs), people on the wino-world were talking about what an amazing and breakout wine Falanghina was going to be. “Eat it with fish! Taste that acidity! You like Naples, right? It comes from Campagna – that’s where Naples is!” Sadly, like the Mets, it never quite materializes and those in Queens head home early to their beer gardens while the Yankees go on to win Championship #27.
People keep rediscovering this grape and for good reason. Some of us really love extra-acidic wines where you could bleach your hair with a glass of the good stuff sitting out in the summer sun. Falanghina allows that to happen and when paired up with fish, you’re talking immediate ceviche that even the Chileans admit is delicious.
Others of us love all kinds of history nonsense where we can think Horace and Pliny sat around with a glass of Falanghina and bleached their hair at the beach just like us. Whatever the attraction, keep rooting for Falanghina to make its big break-out this season and maybe this year will be the year. It’s not like it’s the Cubs.
Feudi di San Gregorio Falanghina 2009 from Campagna, Italy (h/t for the image)
Minerality, green apples, acidic – light body. Mostly lemon in that acidic binge.
* In 700 BC you could have asked for a glass of “Falanghina” and your bartender would have known what you meant. That’s how little the word “Falanghina” has changed.
* Italian lawyers, much maligned for being
lawyers Italian, proved instrumental in bringing Falanghina back to glory. Grazie Lawyer Avallone!
* Fah-lahn-GEE-nah is best pronounced as a Welsh Christmas carol. “Fa la la la la, la la la la.”