The Wine List #11

The retirement project to sample the product of every major grape variety listed in Hugh Johnson’s pocket wine book.

IMGP5124Carricante and Catarratto.

Etna Bianco 2014, Sicily, Italy. 13%.

Hugh Johnson says: “Principal grape of Etna Bianco; regaining ground” (Carricante); “Prolific white grape found all over Sicily” (Catarratto).

What it says on the label: “aromas of honey and grapefruit followed by tinglingly fresh apple and spice flavours … deliciously fresh and fruity … harmonious balance between both grapes’ tangy fruit flavours and richer complexities.”

Food combination: “a great match for cold chicken dishes, quiches or even fresh tuna carpaccio salad.” Retired blokes don’t eat quiche, and carpaccio salads are in short supply in the Feeney household, so we drank it with chicken; a Friday night KFC 6-piece Family Feast with French fries and side order of coleslaw, to be honest.

Retired Bloke says: This is the wine that made me glad I started this retirement project; two grapes I’d never heard of, and a bottle I never would have taken off the shelf if it wasn’t for the tyranny of The Wine Rack. I’m glad I did. This is another of Marks and Spencer’s winemaker Jeneve Williams’s collaborations with local experts – this time Maria Carella. 

One for the wine rack? Yes if you are looking for an alternative to your regular dry white stand-by. Ok, I didn’t find it as complex and fruity as the label copy-writer would suggest, but it’s an interesting discovery.

It’s not about the wine: There are seven UNESCO world heritage sites in Sicily, while Palermo is home to the largest opera house in Italy, the Teatro Massimo.

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