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Pasta al Tartufo + Terredora di Paolo Fiano di Avellino 2019 #ItalianFWT

This month the Italian Food Wine Travel bloggers are looking at native white wine grapes from Italy. Marcia of Joy of Wine invited us to explore, writing: "Time to explore some of Italy's white grapes! There's lots to choose from here coming from all 20 regions! I'm in a market that has a lot of wines to choose from, and since I'm a wine buyer, I can bring in what I want! With that being said, I hope to see a lot of "variety" here in our choice of white wine!"

I love a little flexibility in the theme along with the chance to learn about and try a new variety. Let me at it!

If you are reading this early enough, feel free to join in our Twitter chat. We will be live on Saturday, June 5th at 8am Pacific. Follow the hashtag #ItalianFWT and be sure to add it to anything you tweet so we can see it. Here's the line-up...

Terredora di Paolo Fiano di Avellino 2019

When I saw Marcia's theme, I decided to go back to my copy of Godforsaken Grapes and dive into the white wine grapes from Italy. That book inspired Asian BBQ Sauce-Glazed Pork Chops + Domaine Trosset's Mondeuse d'Arbin for our February 2020 #Winophiles event and An Unlikely Match: A Thai Favorite + A Qvevri-Aged Wine from the Republic of Georgia January 2020, but I haven't used it for the #ItalianFWT event yet. This was a chance to pull the book off the shelf and track down a new-to-me variety; I was able to find a bottle of Fiano. So, I jumped in and started to research.

Fiano is an Italian white wine grape that is primarily grown in the Campania region and in Sicily, but it is particularly popular around Avellino. Research has shown that it was the grape that the Romans used in their wine, Apianum, and that name still appears on wine labels from the Fiano di Avellino DOCG (Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita). The grape has small, thick-skinned fruit that produce very little juice which makes it a less profitable crop than others. But it is enjoying a renaissance of sorts of winemakers and consumers - have a heightened interest in revitalizing indigenous and classical grape varieties.

Beyond Italy's borders, there are a few wine producers in Australia who are using the grape as well as some in Argentina. Still it was completely unknown to me and I am grateful to have made its acquaintance as it is definitely a white wine for typically red wine drinker with its intense aroma and flavor.

Terredora di Paolo has been a pioneer of reintroducing ancient grape varieties as well as reestablishing Campania as a successful wine region. The estate has over 120 hectares of vineyards which makes them one of the largest landholders and, in 1994 when they began to produce their own wines, one of the area's largest producers.

The wine pours a light, golden straw color. On the nose the wine had a cornucopia of aromas. My notes included: apple, peach, grapefruit, almond, and honey. On the palate the wine was complex with all of those aromas translating to flavors along with a bright minerality. The wine was full-bodied with an unexpected creaminess and structure. This was a fascinating wine and I can't wait to get my hands on more bottles of Fiano to compare.

Pasta al Tartufo

When I first found the wine, I wanted to make a dish from Campania to accompany it. And I had planned a Pasta al Limone which has ricotta and lemon, but I forgot to pick up ricotta and didn't have time to run back to the store. Then I considered a pasta tossed with pesto, but I couldn't find the lid to my food processor. Yes, it has been that kind of week. So I was scrambling to pour and pair in time and opened up the pantry. I saw cascatelli pasta, jarred truffle sauce, and jarred truffles and decided that was it!

This isn't a real recipe as I just cooked the pasta al dente, stirred in the premade truffle sauce, added a glug of olive oil until it glistened, seasoned with freshly ground pepper, and topped it with thinly sliced jarred truffles. But I will share a a little bit about truffles.

Truffles are a fungi and, therefore, related to mushrooms. But, unlike their mushroom relatives, truffles form beneath the surface of the soil and can only thrive in the conditions around stands of oaks, willow, and linden trees. All over northern and central Italy, they are celebrated with fairs in the fall. And when they aren't in season, you can find them preserved in jars and cans.

There is a restaurant in Rome that made a unique gelato al tartufo. I love the intersection of sweet and savory, so I will have to track that down the next time I make it back to my favorite city in the world!

Here's a tip if you can't find truffle sauce: You can make a close approximation by sautéing diced mushrooms until they are softened and losing their shape, then add in a splash or two of truffle oil and let stand for at least an hour.

Well, that's all I have for you today. The #ItalianFWT group will be back next month with a deep dive in the wine of Langhe with Cindy of Grape Experiences. Stay tuned!


  1. I love that what you find when you open up your pantry is "cascatelli pasta, jarred truffle sauce, and jarred truffles". I think I want to move into your pantry! LOL!

    1. Yeah. My pantry is not a usual pantry...or so I am told!

  2. Between graduations, birthdays and family from out of town, I'm surprised you were able to post at all.

    1. True! But we do have to eat amidst all the mayhem. So I just tried to make dishes I needed to pair. LOL.

  3. I really enjoy the intense flavor profile of Fiano and can imagine it with your pasta and truffle sauce. Yum! Pretty good for pantry diving!

  4. I can only imagine the amazing smell that came when you were cooking your pasta with thus truffle sauce! Yum! I find it funny this book was called God forsaken grapes...Yikes! I personally love Fiano and I'm glad you also found it exciting enough to find more bottles! Cheers!

  5. That looks like a delicious pairing. I love a good Fiano di Avelino. I often meet Daniela from Terredora at events in Campania, they make good wines.


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