There are two white grapes of Southern Italy that I have absolutely fallen in love with. Fiano and Insolia. This wine by the Salento, Puglia vineyard Castello Monaci has lovely crispness, with flavors of honeydew melon, wildflower honey and almond that blossom in a lively mouthful of flavor. It paired so perfectly with a California/Australian (Mod Oz) dinner we made.
While in Lecce, we enjoyed another Fiona, by Masseria Altemura the new Zonin winery we visited. That was a little different with pineapple, honey and fennel according to our notes.
These are wines that any Sauvignon Blanc lover would adore and will pair well with many cuisines.
Like this Sunday dinner we made of grilled swordfish rubbed in garlic and cummin with a grapefruit avocado salsa served with braised baby bok choy by recipe from the famous Boat House restaurant in Sidney, Australia. Served with a coconut rice.
Fiona has been the fasicnation of ampelographers (a person in the field of botany who identifies and classifies of grapevine) and wine historians alike. They consider this grape to be a "classical vine" of southern Italy that they believe has origins in ancient Roman viticulture.
We are looking for the Fiona, by Masseria Altemura and when we find it we will let you know.Snooth says about the Altemura "Deep straw yellow. The wine's perfumes are restrained and are based on distinctly fruity notes. Fiano's personality is characterized by appealing freshness combined with a rich, mellow texture. It displays attractive sensations of peaches and apricots as well as of delicately scented flowers."