On a recent visit to Sicily, two of the things I enjoyed most were the heavenly tomatoes and many refreshing sips of Sicilian white wine. Both were the ideal food and wine to accompany the blazing sun and high temperatures of the island. The more I thought about it, the more I concluded there was a lot in common between the local tomatoes and white wine: they were best when unadorned to appreciate their freshness, purity, and distinctiveness.
Sure, there is plenty of Sicilian white wine made from grapes that I'd call the "usual suspects." I'm sure you're familiar with a white wine that starts with C and ends in y. And although there are fine examples of wines being produced from these internationally known grapes, you didn't travel all the way to Sicily to drink Chardonnay, now did you? (Whoops, I really did not mean to type the name of that ubiquitous grape. See how easy it is to fall back into the familiar and comfortable when it comes to wine?)
So if you're going to dip your big toe into the cool waters of Sicilian white wine, seek out something new. This summer, prior to my visit to Sicily, for example, my refrigerator was not without a bottle of Tasca d'Almerita Regaleali Bianco. In fact, if I wanted to cause my fridge undue concern, I'd neglect to leave a well-chilled bottle in its care. The Regaleali Bianco is a blend of three traditional Sicilian grapes: Inzolia, Grecanico, and Catarratto. This unoaked, lively white is the perfect companion to some sliced tomatoes or light vegetable dishes. And, not surprisingly, since you're on an island, it also pairs wonderfully with local seafood.
It was great to visit the winery where my summer go-to wine was made. (My fridge was pretty excited, too. But unhappy to be left behind in Seattle.) They have a lovely garden with, yes, pretty amazing tomatoes.
The garden is part of Tasca d'Almerita's Regaleali Estate; a most serene and idyllic setting. Absolutely dreamy and timeless. Like throw away your watch timeless.
I contemplated not leaving. Beautiful setting, beautiful weather, and all the tomatoes and well-chilled white wine a guy could ever need. But I couldn't leave my fridge behind like that...
Full disclosure: My trip to Italy was sponsored by Winebow. And I have to give credit to one of my sales reps, Steve, in Seattle for the concept of a fridge with, uh, feelings.