As I’ve been settling into my new Roman expat life , Italian wines grow increasingly more enticing each and everyday. I can’t really explain why, but a proclivity is luring me towards anything and everything to do with Italian wines so I’ve just been rolling with the punches without really questioning or trying to make much sense out of it.
A couple of weeks ago, I learned from some vacationing relatives that my grandfather used to make “beautiful wines” at home and a cousin told me she remembers vividly having eaten some of the best salumi she ever had when she was five-years-old…salumi made by my grandfather. With this in mind, I couldn’t help but wonder if my Italian wine inclination was something more, perhaps something in my blood or my genes that subconsciously tied into my longing to connect with my heritage and also with my grandfather, whom I never met.
As I’m slowly but surely trying to decipher Italian wines, I’m starting to gravitate towards Northern Italian whites, but at a Vino Roma wine tasting on August 2nd, I tried a Sicilian wine that my taste buds have been longing to encounter for a second time. The desire is a little less intense than my lust for Al Pont de Ferr’s La Cipolla Rossa–-maybe it’s more along the lines of a schoolgirl crush? Regardless, I thought I’d share.
Bianco Pomice is from a producer called Tenuta di Castellaro on Lipari, one of the Aeolian islands, which are volcanic islands located off the coast of Sicily–a friend compared them to the “Hawaii of Sicily.” I’ll never forget sticking my nose into the glass for the first time, closing my eyes and inhaling. I smelled a volcano– or as I would expect a volcano to smell. It was ashy and smoky with salty, mineral and earthy aromas…you could almost see the stream of molten bright orange-red lava spew out of the volcano’s crater then cascade its way down the mountain before crash-landing into the saltwater ocean where it would eventually solidify, cool and form an island. Additionally, for me, there was an ocean-air element to the aroma which recalled the seaside……I felt wind blowing in my face and I could hear tiny waves crashing on a rocky, sandy shore. I remember the first sip, too. You could taste everything that you smelled. The acid and the salty-mineral flavor made my mouth water and I loved every second of it.
Give me a plate of spaghetti with sardines –perhaps throw in some fennel–plus a glass or two of Bianco Pomice and call it lunch. 🙂