Wine of the Week

Terredora di Paolo offers delights from the birthplace of wine

Terredora di Paolo

Terredora di Paolo's jolly and very talented winemaker, Lucio Mastroberardino, likes to explain to American wine lovers that, despite outward appearances, pizza wasn't invented in Pizza Hut. It comes from the Italian region of Campania. He draws that comparison to make another point, that wine as we know it today originated in Campania (the area which includes Naples and Pompeii) under the Romans more than 21 centuries ago. Notwithstanding the possibility of alternative viewpoints from Greek or Egyptian food historians, the point is that people have been making wine from both the Fiano and Aglianico grapes grown outside Pompeii for more than 2,000 years. All that experience has helped them master the making of wine from those grapes.

Fiano is a white grape with lovely stone-fruit fragrances and acidity that works nicely with chilled or raw shellfish. Its greatest strength is in a subtle area: The grape's flavors and aromas tend to last long enough to give extra appeal to food. The Aglianico is a bold red grape, powerful enough to please someone who loves Sonoma Zinfandels. Its main aromas are of dark berries and black pepper, which make it an ideal match with grilled meats. Serve it just slightly cooler than you would normally do with a red wine.

The red Terredora Aglianico Irpinia will run about $17 and is available at Whole Foods on Lamar and at select Twin Liquors and Spec's. The white Terredora Fiano di Avellino should cost roughly $26 when it hits stores soon. In the meantime, you can try it at Vespaio and at 360 Uno Trattoria.

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