When you think about white wine from Italy, pinot grigio is probably the first name that comes to mind. But Italy produces many other grape varieties that are used to make interesting and delicious whites. For example, malvasia is one of the country’s most widely planted grapes that’s often added to both white and red wines to enhance body and flavor. A blend of malvasia and chardonnay is reviewed below along with a white wine made from another popular Italian grape, gargenega.
Contrade 2017 Malvasia Chardonnay, Puglia IGT, Italy
Bought • Grapevine Wines, 309 South Kirkwood Road, in May for $9.99
Description • Contrade is a brand launched in 2015 by the Falvo family, owners of Masseria Li Veli winery in Puglia. The aim was to produce high-quality wines with value pricing and at the same time, raise awareness of indigenous grape varieties. Made from 90 percent malvasia and 10 percent chardonnay, this is a light-bodied, easy-to-drink white that’s fine for everyday drinking. It’s a simple, soft and fruity wine that ends with a lemony finish. It can be enjoyed as an aperitif wine or with light fare.
Monte Del Frà 2017 ‘ega, Veronese IGT, Italy
Bought • Grapevine Wines, 309 South Kirkwood Road, in May for $12.99
Description • If you like Soave wines, give this crisp white a try. It’s made from 100 percent garganega, which is also the dominant grape variety in Soave. This aromatic white comes from the Monte del Frà winery, located in the village of Custoza near Verona. Dry and well-balanced, this is a zesty, refreshing white that has a mouth-filling texture. It has more character, complexity and finesse than the Contrade blend. Light- to medium-bodied, it would go well with appetizers, pasta, seafood and fish.