Friday, October 5, 2018

Turbiana Grapes and Tuna Tacos #ItalianFWT #Lugana #LakeGarda #VinoLuganaDOC #Sponsored

 This is a sponsored post written by me in conjunction with the October #ItalianFWT event.
Wine samples were provided for this post and this page may contain affiliate links

Today the Italian Food Wine & Travel bloggers are exploring Lugana with Gwendolyn of Wine Predator at the helm. Many, many thanks to Susannah of Avinnare for obtaining some samples for the group. Grazie mille! You can read Gwen's invitation here and learn more about the wine and grape.

If you're reading this early enough, join us on Twitter on Saturday, October 6th, at 8am. Chime in with the hashtag #ItalianFWT or just search for it and explore the tweets at your leisure.

The Lugana #ItalianFWT posts...

In My Glass

This was a completely new-to-us wine. And I have to say that it came on the perfect day. October usually brings our warmest days of the year here on the Monterey Peninsula. I know it's weird, but it was downright tropical on the day I had planned this dinner. So a chilled white wine was just what we wanted.

So, let's start with this: Lugana isn't the varietal. Its a wine-producing region located along the southern coast of Lago Garda. These white wines are made from the Turbiana grapes. Since I'd never even heard of this grape, I did some research and what I found seemed a bit hazy. It appears that, for a long time, people thought that Turbiana was simply a variant of the Trebbiano grape called Trebbiano di Lugana. Then, a researcher did some DNA testing and posited that Turbiana is actually Verdicchio. But I see other articles that dispute that claim. So...I'm still confused!

What is not shrouded in mystery is how delicious this wine was...and what a perfect match with some fresh albacore tuna tacos.

I received a bottle of Lugana Benedictus.* To the eye, the wine was a pale straw color with flecks of gold. I loved that it boasted a heavier mouthfeel than most white wines, probably due to the oak fermentation and aging in oak barrels. And, with a balance between exotic fruits - think pineapple or passionfruit - and spice, it was a lovely pairing for our tuna tacos.

On My Plate

With delicious serendipity, my CSF (community-supported fishery) this week was freshly caught albacore tuna loins. Albacore is a smaller member of the tuna family that has been shown to have low or undetectable mercury levels. They are mostly caught offshore, and unlike most local fishing boats, albacore boats may be at sea for days on end. In those cases, they are flash-frozen to preserve their freshness. Albacore tuna is highly versatile, and when you get sushi-grade tuna, it's perfectly fine to eat it raw.

I decided to crust the albacore with some spices, sear it, and serve them up as soft tacos with the Lugana. Che squisito! Click to go to my original recipe post: Seared Albacore Tuna Loin Soft Tacos.

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*Disclosure: I received sample wines for recipe development, pairing, and generating social media traction. My opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the organizer and sponsors of this event.


  1. I loved the heavier feel of this wine and I know I would love those tacos too.

  2. I didn't know Albacore had lower or undetectable mercury levels, thanks for that tidbit. I've not yet had an oak fermented and barrel aged Lugana. Can imagine the resulting flavors of it with the tacos worked. Finally Italian grapes- I get what you say! The number of native and traditional, and biotypes are staggering. I recently purchased "Italian Wine Unplugged Grape by Grape", excellent book!

  3. Sounds like a delicious pairing. Lugana loves seafood and I know I would love your Albacore tacos, YUM!

  4. Had never thought of tuna tacos but it sounds delicious and I am sure the Lugana wines paired very well.

  5. Such a classic pairing (seafood) with this wine. I've enjoyed Le Morette wines from there before. Glad to hear you tried a new to you wine.