Wine of the week: Garofoli Amarela 2018

Garofoli Amarela The Garofoli Amarela combines a weird grape with quality and value — just in time for the holidays

Weird grape? Yep. Italian value and quality? Indeed. Fair price? Certainly. So, just in time for the holidays, the Garofoli Amarela.

The weird grape in the Garofoli Amarela 2018 ($13, purchased, 12%) is passerina, found mostly in Italy’s Marche region on the Adriatic coast, east of Florence. It produces small grapes with lots of sugar and acidity, mostly used for blending, so it’s not common to find a varietal passerina from a quality producer. And, as is common with weird Italian grapes, it has about a dozen synonyms.

In the Amarela, the passerina makes a bright and clean, almost spicy wine, with hints of lemon fruit, though not especially acidic. It’s quite different from similarly-priced Soave or pinot grigio, and that difference may be off-putting to some. But if you’re looking for something that’s not the same old Italian white for the holidays, it’s spot on.

Pair this with seafood, of course, since Marche is on the coast. But it would also match something like lemon chicken with couscous. Highly recommended.

Imported by Garofoli USA

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