Tuscany hosts an abundance of rich, beautiful red wines, but if you’re looking for formidable Italian whites, tip your glass to this still fairly untapped island. Because of its sunny climate, Sicily’s past harvests yielded wines high in alcohol and big in structure. But now producers like Lucio Matricardi, the winemaker behind Stemmari wines, have been trying to protect grapes with leafy canopies and new farming techniques. This, Matricardi says, preserves their acidity while extending their aromatic profiles. Here, three of the island’s best white wines.
For the Beach Party
Grillo was once famous for its role in making the island’s fortified Marsala wines, which have fallen out of fashion. But when properly vinified, the grape transforms into a smooth, fragrant, fruity white. Try it on its own or with seafood appetizers.
For the Barbecue
This unique blend—80% grillo and 20% viognier—is complex on the nose and has a long, viscous body and structure. A touch of oak and a slightly acidic finish make it the perfect companion to lean red meat as well as grilled fish and vegetables.
Settesoli Mandrarossa Pinot Grigio
Ramona Singer's old standby has acdtually become the face of modern Sicilian whites. Rich and complex, with a fruity aroma, this bottle pairs well with fish steaks or poultry (and, perhaps, a good catfight).