It’s 6:30 on a Friday night and the bottle of white wine you picked up on your way home from work has been in the freezer for half an hour. You open it, pour a bit into a glass with a stem, swirl it and sniff, and take a taste. It’s good; no faults. You pour yourself a glass, and another for your companion, and you take it to wherever you usually conduct this end of week ritual: a deck, a balcony, the living room, it doesn’t matter where. Then the first real sip, the moment of enjoyment, the anticipation of the first glow of alcohol and the process of unwinding from a long and frantic week has begun.
I am forever in search of that perfect Friday evening white wine. It’s the aperitif that accompanies the first preparation work for the dinner to come. It has to stand on it’s own, or withstand some snacky, salty assault like a few olives or roasted almonds. The 2011 Levàntio Insolia DOC Erice from Sicilian producer Fazio ($16.95 – LCBO# 339119) comes pretty close. Insolia (sometimes spelled Inzolia) is one of the grapes that used to be used to make Marsala, but in dry table wines comes off a bit like Chardonnay. There’s a lot going on in a glass of the Levàntio, including apple and peach notes. If the wine saw any wood when it was made, there’s no evidence of it: it’s clean and crisp and balances subtle fruitiness with a refreshing tartness and just a touch of bitterness to settle things down on the tongue. It’s also a temperate 12.5% alcohol by volume, which makes it well suited as a wine to kick things off with. Click here to find a bottle at government controlled liquor monopoly outlet near you.
PS. If you’re looking for an amazing Italian red wine bargain to follow the Levàntio, it’s hard to better than the Sottimano Dolcetto for $18.95 at Vintages, which Bernard Stramwasser has written up for GFR here as part of Le Sommelier’s Good Food Fighter post this week.
Malcolm Jolley is a founding editor of Good Food Revolution and Executive Director of Good Food Media, the company that publishes it. Follow him at twitter.com/malcolmjolley