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Thread: Decent Sicilian Whites

  1. #1
    [email protected] Guest

    Default Decent Sicilian Whites

    Hi,

    A friend of mine is off to Sicily on Monday, and has asked me - rather
    at the last minute - if I know of an whites from Sicily Well, given
    that there's a positive SEA of whites made from the Cattarratto
    grape, I was a little suprised at her question. Then I noticed the key
    word "decent".

    I've seen good things said of Bianca di Valguarnera, but can anyone -
    Mike T perhaps, help out with one or two others. Gill much prefers
    whites to reds, and I don't think she counts dessert wines amongst
    them.

    I'd be most grateful.

    ATB
    Ian

  2. #2
    Mike Tommasi Guest

    Default Re: Decent Sicilian Whites

    [email protected] wrote:
    > Hi,
    >
    > A friend of mine is off to Sicily on Monday, and has asked me - rather
    > at the last minute - if I know of an whites from Sicily Well, given
    > that there's a positive SEA of whites made from the Cattarratto
    > grape, I was a little suprised at her question. Then I noticed the key
    > word "decent".
    >
    > I've seen good things said of Bianca di Valguarnera, but can anyone -
    > Mike T perhaps, help out with one or two others. Gill much prefers
    > whites to reds, and I don't think she counts dessert wines amongst
    > them.


    Dear Munged from Monceaux

    I think Sicily is much better for its reds, I hate to say this as I
    absolutely love Sicily, but I find most sicilian whites well made and a
    little too clean, nothing interesting about them, your average italian
    boring white in the international style.

    Benanti makes a Grecanico, I think, that stood out from the lot.

    Restaurant wine lists are dominated by Planeta, Donnafugata, Tasca
    d'Almerita, Duca di Salaparuta (I have heard good things of their Bianca
    di Valguarnera but not tasted it). As a result, interesting producers
    may be hard to find.

    I would look for reds by Benanti, Nero d'Avola Contrade Labirinto by
    COS. The Custera by Ceuso. Nerojbleo by Gulfi.


    --
    Mike Tommasi - Six Fours, France
    email link http://www.tommasi.org/mymail

  3. #3
    santiago Guest

    Default Re: Decent Sicilian Whites

    Ian,

    not from the grape you mention, but Benanti Pietramarina is a very
    interesting wine made from Carricante. Loved by the Press, etc.

    http://tinyurl.com/cgq23v


    From the same grape, Benanti also makes a white called Bianco di Caselle,
    which is lighter, cheaper and easier to understand.


    Valle dell'Acate Zagra has also quite some personality, made from Insolia
    and Grillo in a very different part of the island.

    http://tinyurl.com/dkk2y2

    All the best,

    s.

  4. #4
    Luk Guest

    Default Re: Decent Sicilian Whites

    santiago ha scritto:
    > Ian,
    >
    > not from the grape you mention, but Benanti Pietramarina is a very
    > interesting wine made from Carricante. Loved by the Press, etc.
    >
    > http://tinyurl.com/cgq23v
    >


    Pietramarina is among the best italian withes, non only sicilian.
    Also Caricanti from Gulfi is very good.
    Moreover Sicily is full of oaked-californian style chardonnay. Try
    Planeta or Donnafugata as examples.
    Some good withes can be found also among dessert wines. Donnafugata
    BenRye should be easy to find.
    ....and also some good Marsala are not that bad.
    Luk

  5. #5
    Ian Hoare Guest

    Default Re: Decent Sicilian Whites

    Salute Luk
    On Fri, 20 Mar 2009 10:08:48 +0100, Luk
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >santiago ha scritto:
    >> Ian,
    >>
    >> not from the grape you mention, but Benanti Pietramarina is a very
    >> interesting wine made from Carricante. Loved by the Press, etc.
    >>
    >> http://tinyurl.com/cgq23v



    [snip]
    >Some good withes can be found also among dessert wines. Donnafugata
    >BenRye should be easy to find.
    >...and also some good Marsala are not that bad.
    >Luk


    Luk, thank you so much for your reply. Thanks also VERY much to
    Santiago and Mike (not necessarily in that order). I've forwarded your
    replies, and I'm sure she'll find your ideas and suggestions very
    useful.

    You know, it's exchanges like this, that made me see red when I saw
    that trollish nonsense from zara. I apologise to all forbeing so silly
    as to dignifying him/her with areply.




  6. #6
    DaleW Guest

    Default Re: Decent Sicilian Whites

    On Mar 20, 6:02*am, Ian Hoare <ianho...@operamail.net> wrote:
    > Salute Luk
    > On Fri, 20 Mar 2009 10:08:48 +0100, Luk
    >
    > <l_risso2...@VIALARUMENTA.yahoo.it> wrote:
    > >santiago ha scritto:
    > >> Ian,

    >
    > >> not from the grape you mention, but Benanti Pietramarina is a very
    > >> interesting wine made from Carricante. Loved by the Press, etc.

    >
    > >>http://tinyurl.com/cgq23v

    >
    > [snip]
    >
    > >Some good withes can be found also among dessert wines. Donnafugata
    > >BenRye should be easy to find.
    > >...and also some good Marsala are not that bad.
    > >Luk

    >
    > Luk, thank you so much for your reply. Thanks also VERY much to
    > Santiago and Mike (not necessarily in that order). I've forwarded your
    > replies, and I'm sure she'll find your ideas and suggestions very
    > useful.
    >
    > You know, it's exchanges like this, that made me see red when I saw
    > that trollish nonsense from zara. I apologise to all forbeing so silly
    > as to dignifying *him/her with areply.


    Don't know a lot about Sicily, but most interesting Sicilian whites
    I've had have been Etna Biancos made mostly from Carricante (though I
    don't like as much as the best Etna Rossos). I've liked Biondi,and
    heard good things about the Tenuta delle Terre Nere (sp?) white.

  7. #7
    Nils Gustaf Lindgren Guest

    Default Re: Decent Sicilian Whites


    > You know, it's exchanges like this, that made me see red when I saw
    > that trollish nonsense from ****. I apologise to all forbeing so silly
    > as to dignifying him/her with areply.


    In the words of I Ching, "No blame, no regret". You simply beat me to it.

    BTW, in case I haven't mentioned it already - it sure is good to have you
    back.

    Cheers

    Nils



  8. #8
    Lawrence Leichtman Guest

    Default Re: Decent Sicilian Whites

    In article <[email protected]>,
    Mike Tommasi <[email protected]> wrote:

    > [email protected] wrote:
    > > Hi,
    > >
    > > A friend of mine is off to Sicily on Monday, and has asked me - rather
    > > at the last minute - if I know of an whites from Sicily Well, given
    > > that there's a positive SEA of whites made from the Cattarratto
    > > grape, I was a little suprised at her question. Then I noticed the key
    > > word "decent".
    > >
    > > I've seen good things said of Bianca di Valguarnera, but can anyone -
    > > Mike T perhaps, help out with one or two others. Gill much prefers
    > > whites to reds, and I don't think she counts dessert wines amongst
    > > them.

    >
    > Dear Munged from Monceaux
    >
    > I think Sicily is much better for its reds, I hate to say this as I
    > absolutely love Sicily, but I find most sicilian whites well made and a
    > little too clean, nothing interesting about them, your average italian
    > boring white in the international style.
    >
    > Benanti makes a Grecanico, I think, that stood out from the lot.
    >
    > Restaurant wine lists are dominated by Planeta, Donnafugata, Tasca
    > d'Almerita, Duca di Salaparuta (I have heard good things of their Bianca
    > di Valguarnera but not tasted it). As a result, interesting producers
    > may be hard to find.
    >
    > I would look for reds by Benanti, Nero d'Avola Contrade Labirinto by
    > COS. The Custera by Ceuso. Nerojbleo by Gulfi.


    I have to chime in her and agree with Mike. While there, we had many
    very interesting and mostly very affordable reds, but I had no whites
    that I found to be the least bit interesting. Pleasant enough for the
    table and inoffensive but I would not go out of my way to find them and
    we tried about a dozen different varieties.

  9. #9
    cwdjrxyz Guest

    Default Re: Decent Sicilian Whites

    On Mar 19, 8:59*pm, mun...@hotmail.fr wrote:
    > Hi,
    >
    > A friend of mine is off to Sicily on Monday, and has asked me - rather
    > at the last minute - if I know of an whites from Sicily Well, given
    > that there's a positive SEA of whites made from the *Cattarratto
    > grape, I was a little suprised at her question. Then I noticed the key
    > word "decent".
    >
    > I've seen good things said of Bianca di Valguarnera, but can anyone -
    > Mike T perhaps, help out with one or two others. Gill much prefers
    > whites to reds, and I don't think she counts dessert wines amongst
    > them.


    If I went to Sicily, I would look for some of the wines from
    surrounding islands. For instance I have had the Malvasia delli Lipari
    1987 from Carlo Hauner in the past. I believe Carlo died many years
    ago, but wines still are made by members of his family. I do not know
    anything about the quality of more recent vintages from this source.
    The wine I had was not very sweet and was very aromatic. A very sweet
    version of the wine also was available, but I have not had it. There
    are other producers. There are several other "island" wines from
    Sicily, but many are very difficult to find and some may be nearly
    extinct.



  10. #10
    Ian Hoare Guest

    Default Re: Decent Sicilian Whites

    Hi Nils,
    On Fri, 20 Mar 2009 11:56:40 GMT, "Nils Gustaf Lindgren"
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >In the words of I Ching, "No blame, no regret". You simply beat me to it.


    You're very generous

    >BTW, in case I haven't mentioned it already - it sure is good to have you
    >back.


    You did, and i was embarrassed and grateful - so I made no reply iirc.
    ==========
    To Lawrence and cwd,

    Thanks very much to you too.

    To everyone.

    I've been asked by Gill to pass on her heartfelt thanks. She's
    printed out your various comments and they are safely packed away in
    her suitcase already, so they don't get left behind in the last
    minute rush to finalise preparations.

    She's what might be called an inexperienced by fairly enthusiastic
    amateur who's asked for my help on a number of occasions, and - more
    by luck than good judgement - I've been able to help, so she asked
    again. This time, you were able to save me from the embarrassement of
    letting her down!!

    ATB
    Ian




  11. #11
    Mike Tommasi Guest

    Default Re: Decent Sicilian Whites

    I only lived in Sicily for 1 year when I was 7, and despite my Venetian
    origins it somehow affected me, I am very fond of this place, it is
    probably one of the culturally densest and most varied destination I can
    think of, with better Greek ruins than in modern Hellas, and tons of
    Arab, Schwabian, Byzantine, medieval and Roman things to see, plus some
    incredible natural wonders...

    While on the island, I recommend seeing the towns of Enna (off the
    beaten path), beautiful medieval Erice, the greek temple of Segesta, the
    amazing byzantine church at Monreale near Palermo, byzantine Cefalù, the
    incredible roman villa at Piazza Armerina, the old town of Syracuse
    (Ortigia), the high baroque towns of Noto, and Modica, the fishing town
    of Aci Trezza with its breathtaking sea views, and Taormina which,
    despite its jetsetty reputation is truly beautiful and remarkable, and
    of course go as far up mount Etna as you can it is stunning. Palermo ca
    nbe very interesting but it is a little rough, there are even inhabited
    neighbourhoods that have been left untouched since WW2 bombings, that in
    itself is kind of interesting...

    The islands are among the most naturally beautiful of the entire
    Mediterranean, in particular Lipari, Salina, and incredible Stromboli,
    do take the night boat trip and the climb to see the eruptions!

    Places to avoid: Panarea, an island paradise ruined by the obnoxious
    yacht crowd and turned into a shopping town for moneyed Milanese and
    Moscovite mafiosi.

    The food is excellent, you will easily make it a habit to sip on an
    almond granita every morning, ice cream was invented here and you can
    find some excellent gelaterie. In Noto, visit Caffé Sicilia, paradise if
    you have a sweet tooth!


    --
    Mike Tommasi - Six Fours, France
    email link http://www.tommasi.org/mymail

  12. #12
    DaleW Guest

    Default Re: Decent Sicilian Whites

    On Mar 21, 8:04*am, Mike Tommasi <nob...@tommasi.org> wrote:
    > I only lived in Sicily for 1 year when I was 7, and despite my Venetian
    > origins it somehow affected me, I am very fond of this place, it is
    > probably one of the culturally densest and most varied destination I can
    > think of, with better Greek ruins than in modern Hellas, and tons of
    > Arab, Schwabian, Byzantine, medieval and Roman things to see, plus some
    > incredible natural wonders...
    >
    > While on the island, I recommend seeing the towns of Enna (off the
    > beaten path), beautiful medieval Erice, the greek temple of Segesta, the
    > amazing byzantine church at Monreale near Palermo, byzantine Cefalù, the
    > incredible roman villa at Piazza Armerina, the old town of Syracuse
    > (Ortigia), the high baroque towns of Noto, and Modica, the fishing town
    > of Aci Trezza with its breathtaking sea views, and Taormina which,
    > despite its jetsetty reputation is truly beautiful and remarkable, and
    > of course go as far up mount Etna as you can it is stunning. Palermo ca
    > nbe very interesting but it is a little rough, there are even inhabited
    > neighbourhoods that have been left untouched since WW2 bombings, that in
    > itself is kind of interesting...
    >
    > The islands are among the most naturally beautiful of the entire
    > Mediterranean, in particular Lipari, Salina, and incredible Stromboli,
    > do take the night boat trip and the climb to see the eruptions!
    >
    > Places to avoid: Panarea, an island paradise ruined by the obnoxious
    > yacht crowd and turned into a shopping town for moneyed Milanese and
    > Moscovite mafiosi.
    >
    > The food is excellent, you will easily make it a habit to sip on an
    > almond granita every morning, ice cream was invented here and you can
    > find some excellent gelaterie. In Noto, visit Caffé Sicilia, paradise if
    > you have a sweet tooth!
    >
    > --
    > Mike Tommasi - Six Fours, France
    > email linkhttp://www.tommasi.org/mymail


    thanks for this. Dave is going to Sicily on his next break, I copied
    this to him.

  13. #13
    Pete Papadopoulos Guest

    Default Re: Decent Sicilian Whites

    On Sat, 21 Mar 2009 06:16:11 -0700 (PDT), DaleW <[email protected]>
    wrote:

    >On Mar 21, 8:04*am, Mike Tommasi <nob...@tommasi.org> wrote:
    >>... it is
    >> probably one of the culturally densest and most varied destination I can
    >> think of, with better Greek ruins than in modern Hellas, and tons of
    >> Arab, Schwabian, Byzantine, medieval and Roman things to see, plus some
    >> incredible natural wonders...
    >>
    >> While on the island, I recommend seeing the towns of Enna (off the
    >> beaten path), beautiful medieval Erice, the greek temple of Segesta, the
    >> amazing byzantine church at Monreale near Palermo, byzantine Cefalù, the
    >> incredible roman villa at Piazza Armerina, the old town of Syracuse
    >> (Ortigia), the high baroque towns of Noto, and Modica, the fishing town
    >> of Aci Trezza with its breathtaking sea views, and Taormina which,
    >> despite its jetsetty reputation is truly beautiful and remarkable, and
    >> of course go as far up mount Etna as you can it is stunning. Palermo ca
    >> nbe very interesting but it is a little rough, there are even inhabited
    >> neighbourhoods that have been left untouched since WW2 bombings, that in
    >> itself is kind of interesting...
    >>
    >> The islands are among the most naturally beautiful of the entire
    >> Mediterranean, in particular Lipari, Salina, and incredible Stromboli,
    >> do take the night boat trip and the climb to see the eruptions!
    >>
    >>
    >> The food is excellent, you will easily make it a habit to sip on an
    >> almond granita every morning, ice cream was invented here and you can
    >> find some excellent gelaterie. In Noto, visit Caffé Sicilia, paradise if
    >> you have a sweet tooth!
    >>
    >> --
    >> Mike Tommasi - Six Fours, France
    >> email linkhttp://www.tommasi.org/mymail

    >
    >thanks for this. Dave is going to Sicily on his next break, I copied
    >this to him.


    If anything, I think Mike understates Sicily's charms. My wife's
    parents were born in Sicily, and we try to visit every few years. I
    look forward to those trips more than any other.

    Mike's listof attractions is pretty comprehensive (maybe over
    inclusive in some respects). Personally, I prefer the western part of
    the island. It is wilder, less traveled, incredibly beautiful, less
    hectic (?). But if your son has limited time he will probably be
    better staying in the east. That is where most of the major
    attractions are: Etna, Agrigento, Taormina, Siracusa, Piazza
    Armerina). He will be told that Agrigento is a must-see, and it is
    worth a visit, both for the ruins and for the medieval town above the
    ruins. To me, though, nothing approaches Segesta as the Greek ruin
    not-to-miss.

    Segesta is a short drive to Erice, which is in turn just a short drive
    from Marsala. It is also near a nature preserve (Zingaro) which abuts
    a fairly grotesque (by Sicilian standards) beach resort at Lo Capo San
    Vito.

    Of all the things Mike suggested, I would strongly urge him to visit
    Enna. He will get a glimpse of life in an interior hill town that
    most tourists miss.

    As Mike also says, there really isn't much appeal in Palermo (other
    than the church in the suburb of Monreale). Gert out as quickly as
    possible.

    It's a great place to visit, even for a short period. No matter how
    long he stays, I bet he will want to return.




  14. #14
    Pete Papadopoulos Guest

    Default Re: Decent Sicilian Whites

    On Sat, 21 Mar 2009 06:16:11 -0700 (PDT), DaleW <[email protected]>
    wrote:

    >On Mar 21, 8:04*am, Mike Tommasi <nob...@tommasi.org> wrote:
    >> I only lived in Sicily for 1 year when I was 7, and despite my Venetian
    >> origins it somehow affected me, I am very fond of this place, it is
    >> probably one of the culturally densest and most varied destination I can
    >> think of, with better Greek ruins than in modern Hellas, and tons of
    >> Arab, Schwabian, Byzantine, medieval and Roman things to see, plus some
    >> incredible natural wonders...
    >>
    >> While on the island, I recommend seeing the towns of Enna (off the
    >> beaten path), beautiful medieval Erice, the greek temple of Segesta, the
    >> amazing byzantine church at Monreale near Palermo, byzantine Cefalù, the
    >> incredible roman villa at Piazza Armerina, the old town of Syracuse
    >> (Ortigia), the high baroque towns of Noto, and Modica, the fishing town
    >> of Aci Trezza with its breathtaking sea views, and Taormina which,
    >> despite its jetsetty reputation is truly beautiful and remarkable, and
    >> of course go as far up mount Etna as you can it is stunning. Palermo ca
    >> nbe very interesting but it is a little rough, there are even inhabited
    >> neighbourhoods that have been left untouched since WW2 bombings, that in
    >> itself is kind of interesting...
    >>
    >> The islands are among the most naturally beautiful of the entire
    >> Mediterranean, in particular Lipari, Salina, and incredible Stromboli,
    >> do take the night boat trip and the climb to see the eruptions!
    >>
    >> Places to avoid: Panarea, an island paradise ruined by the obnoxious
    >> yacht crowd and turned into a shopping town for moneyed Milanese and
    >> Moscovite mafiosi.
    >>
    >> The food is excellent, you will easily make it a habit to sip on an
    >> almond granita every morning, ice cream was invented here and you can
    >> find some excellent gelaterie. In Noto, visit Caffé Sicilia, paradise if
    >> you have a sweet tooth!
    >>
    >> --
    >> Mike Tommasi - Six Fours, France
    >> email linkhttp://www.tommasi.org/mymail

    >
    >thanks for this. Dave is going to Sicily on his next break, I copied
    >this to him.


    P.S. Sicily also has the most beautiful women in the world, my wife
    included.



  15. #15
    Johnny Bravo Guest

    Default Re: Decent Sicilian Whites


    "Ian Hoare" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]..
    > Salute Luk
    > On Fri, 20 Mar 2009 10:08:48 +0100, Luk
    > <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    >>santiago ha scritto:
    >>> Ian,
    >>>
    >>> not from the grape you mention, but Benanti Pietramarina is a very
    >>> interesting wine made from Carricante. Loved by the Press, etc.
    >>>
    >>> http://tinyurl.com/cgq23v

    >
    >
    > [snip]
    > [snip]


    > You know, it's exchanges like this, that made me see red when I saw
    > that trollish nonsense from zara. I apologise to all forbeing so silly
    > as to dignifying him/her with areply.


    Got under your thin skin? Did you toss and turn these last few nights?
    What did Zara say to you to put your panties in such a bind?



  16. #16
    Doug Anderson Guest

    Default Re: Decent Sicilian Whites

    Ian Hoare <[email protected]> writes:

    > Salute Luk
    > On Fri, 20 Mar 2009 10:08:48 +0100, Luk
    > <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    > >santiago ha scritto:
    > >> Ian,
    > >>
    > >> not from the grape you mention, but Benanti Pietramarina is a very
    > >> interesting wine made from Carricante. Loved by the Press, etc.
    > >>
    > >> http://tinyurl.com/cgq23v

    >
    >
    > [snip]
    > >Some good withes can be found also among dessert wines. Donnafugata
    > >BenRye should be easy to find.
    > >...and also some good Marsala are not that bad.
    > >Luk

    >
    > Luk, thank you so much for your reply. Thanks also VERY much to
    > Santiago and Mike (not necessarily in that order). I've forwarded your
    > replies, and I'm sure she'll find your ideas and suggestions very
    > useful.
    >
    > You know, it's exchanges like this, that made me see red when I saw
    > that trollish nonsense from zara. I apologise to all forbeing so silly
    > as to dignifying him/her with areply.


    It is probably redundant to make this warning, but just in case it
    isn't, one should know that zara loves sock puppets.


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