Description: Italian wines are popular throughout the world. However, it is mostly the Tuscan wines that receive the awards and accolades. Few people and fewer restaurants stock wines from Campania. Less well known but just as good Campania wines are starting to get noticed. Included in this case are two bottles of Falanghina; two bottles of Fiano; and two bottles of Greco.
Falanghina is an ancient white wine used especially as a pairing for seafood pasta, fish and white meat dishes. This elegant wine is also very suited for young cheeses and aperitive. The Falanghina grape is one of the oldest Campania grapes, dating back to the times of Greek colonialization. Its name derives from the wine production itself, as “Falagna” was the name given to the wooden spikes used in ancient wine cultivations.
Fiano is nutty and textured with floral and honeyed notes, spice and tropical fruit flavors like pineapple. The variety has been grown in southern Italy for hundreds of years, and many researchers have suggested that this is one of Pliny the Elder’s viti apiane (although this is now widely contested). The first mention of Fiano comes in the 13th Century.
Greco is a white-wine grape presumably originating in Greece, but now of Italian growth. The grape may well be of ancient heritage, having possibly come into Italy over two and a half millennia ago, if it is the same wine described (and praised) by eminent writers from the classical age of Rome; indeed, it may have been a component of the famed Falernian wines of that era.
Greco is typically relatively deep in color for whites and have a profound nose (Jancis Robinson has likened it, in a vague way, to Viognier). The taste, however, is not usually fruit-forward; what fruit there is will be stone fruit, notably peach, though some find pomes instead (apples, pears). There is also usually some citrus-y quality, and most especially substantial minerality. Greco usually has medium to high acidity, making it tart and crisp.