What wine do I serve with barbecue and grilled meats and other grilled foods? It turns out two wines from very different regions of Italy have solved the riddle; Citra Caroso ($21.99) Montepulciano from the Abruzzi coastal region in central Italy, not far from Tuscany and Principi Di Butera Insolia DOC ($14.99), a lovely white wine from Sicily. Both are as different in their characteristics as the regions they come from, but cover the complete gamut of flavors typical of the plethora of grilled items served at the family cookout.
Let's start with Insolia. The wine is made from 100% Insolia grapes, native to Riesi, Sicily, where the grapes are harvested at night then rushed to stainless steel tanks where they are fermented for 7-10 days. Very cool temperatures preserve the fresh fruit flavors from the field. The wine is allowed to rest "on the lees,' for three months, meaning that it is allowed to rest on the spent yeast, which gives the wine its texture and rich mouth feel. Another six months of aging in stainless steel, further enhances the wine's flavors of ripe green and Golden Delicious apples, tangerines, Meyer lemon and Key Limes and the subtle flavor and texture of lemon sorbet and the smell of white jasmine flowers and chamomile. The color of yellow straw and flecks of green and hints of fresh cut sage make it the perfect accompaniment with seafood salads, grilled shrimp or diver scallops and a steaming earthen bowl of mushroom risotto, hand pressed couscous, or grilled whole fish, scored and brushed with stems of fresh rosemary dipped in olive oil.