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Wine of the Week: Marisa Cuomo Ravello Bianco

Tue Jun 17, 2008

With the Fourth of July weekend festivities rapidly approaching and the weather starting to heat up like the inside of a firecracker, I’ve been thinking a lot about food-friendly, refreshing white wines. One that I absolutely can’t do without is the Marisa Cuomo Ravello Bianco. I first had this wine from Italy’s Campania while working at Pizzeria Mozza. It paired wonderfully with the truffle and sage flavors of the Bianco pizza. I’ve brought bottles home since then and paired it with grilled chicken and pork dishes, pizza, salads, fruit and seafood—it’s like the little black dress of white wine.

Marisa’s vineyards are located in Salerno, a small village on the Amalfi Coast near Mount Vesuvius. The proximity to the notorious volcano has created highly acidic soils perfect for indigenous varietals like falenghina and allowed the vines to thrive for centuries, even through phylloxera. The Ravello Bianco is a blend of biancolella and falenghina and is a lighter to medium-bodied white with zippy acidity and a kiss of sea air-like salinity. The fruit flavors tend to toward crisp Granny Smith apple, grapefruit and white flowers. At about $20 a bottle, this isn’t the cheapest white on the shelves, but it’s less expensive than most California chardonnays with a lot more complexity.

Cin Cin.

Next up? Now that you’ve got the wine, I’ll be working out the details for Sage-Smoked Pork Loin…

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