Falanghina, il mio amore...
This is a fun one! This is one of the first white wines I fell in love with way back when I was still trying to figure out if Cabernet was red or white. As you can probably tell by now if you've been following this blog, I like versatility in wines. I love wines that can be drunk on their own, or with food, or out of a plastic cup on the beach! I love stocking my wine rack at home with crowd pleasers.
One of the most frequently asked questions I get at work is for a "good recommendation for a wine, but I don't know what they like..." If it's red, my go to is usually Flaco, which I've talked about before on here, for a white, it's this one: Falanghina, from Gran Passione.
Ok, I know I just threw some crazy words at you, so let's dig into them! First off, the company, or brand of wine is Gran Passione, they put out some phenomenal Italian wines at really good prices, look for them at your local wine shop. Now for the funky word, the grape, Falanghina (Fal-In-Gee-Nuh).
This is what's considered an "Ancient Grape" and has it's roots in some of the earliest Roman wines. Originally brought over from Greece, grape is almost exclusively now grown in southern Italy on the coast of Campania, just north of Naples. If you were picturing Italy in your mind, it would be the lower "shin" of the boot.
This wine, because of it's high acidity and strong minerality on the finish, goes great with seafood, which is kind of ironic for me to love it, because I dislike pretty much all seafood. I know, I know, you can all be mad at me now...
So What's It Like?
The way I describe this wine to anyone is that if a Sauvignon Blanc, a Pinot Grigio, and an Unoaked Chardonnay had a baby, it would be this grape. It has intense floral and bitter citrus notes on the nose. Think orange blossom and some peach and grapefruit. The color is a beautiful straw yellow, with ever so slight hints of grassy greens peaking through.
The reason I describe it as a combination of those three grapes is because it starts off on the palate very similarly to a New Zealand Sauv Blanc. It has a strong acidic tartness, that almost pricks that point in the back of your jaw. From there you'll notice it's not too heavy at all, but definitely not thin. (you can refer back to my description of mouth feel in my post here) The mouth feel reminds me of a Pinot Grigio. Then the finish...You have to finish strong, and Falanghina does...It is the perfect balance of crisp, tart, acidic, and refreshing, with that characteristic minerality you find in most wines grown in very rocky, volcanic soil. The finish to me is reminiscent of the cleanness of an Unoaked Chardonnay.
So there you have it, a little something for everyone. If people like a fruitier wine, this wine has enough fruity, floral notes to satisfy. If someone likes something with a lot of complexity and character, this wine definitely has it. If someone likes something on the dryer, crisper side, yep, still got it here!
So the next time you need a great white wine for sitting by the pool, or for snacking on some ousters (gross) or that goes well with a nice pasta with cream sauce, or heck, even pizza, grab a bottle of Falanghina, you won't be disappointed.