A Wine Lover's Near Weekly Review Of $15 Wine - A Fiano From Southern Italy

     I tend to be quite partial to Italian, southern Italian white wines. Todays's offering comes from just as far south as you can get in Italy, the region of Apulia. The appellation is not particularly specific, but the individual grape is a good one, Fiano, that is mostly grown in Sicily and the Campania region of southern Italy. While the winery was founded in 2001 the specific area has been growing wine grapes since the times of the Ancient Greeks. The nearby little city of Manduria is just a few miles from the Ionian Sea. In addition to old churches you will find a castle and a Medieval Jewish Ghetto. This winemaker also does Chardonnay and Primitivo, said by some experts to be a European Zinfandel. Our companion wine is a German Riesling at about two-thirds the price.

OUR WINE REVIEW POLICY All wines that we taste and review are purchased at the full retail price.

Wine Reviewed Surani Fiano de Salento IGT Pietraticcia 2008 13.5 % alcohol about $14.

In the absence of marketing materials let's start by quoting the back label "Our Azienda Agrricol Surani is located in Manduria, only 6 km from the Ionic Sea. The sandy and clay soil, the intense light and the fresh breeze that gently blows from the adjacent sea, contribute to the distinctive character of our Fiano with its aromatic notes and a fresh and crisply acidity." And now for my review.

At the first sips this wine presented rather harsh acidity. It was long with a lot of caramel. The meal began with a baked and not microwaved potato knish (a potato and onion mixture in puffed pastry) that barely changed the contents of my glass. There was quite a lot of caramel but the wine wasn't sweet. When paired with a marinated baked salmon filet the libation's acidity increased and the caramel was still there. When tasted with a mixture of fresh yellow and red bell pepper and cucumber slices the Fiano's acidity became unpleasant. Fresh strawberries somewhat flattened this drink but the caramel taste was as strong as ever.

The second meal began with Japanese rice crackers and Wasabi peas. In response our Italian friend tasted of oak and caramel but virtually lost its acidity. Then came the main dish, home-made sauteed chicken breast nuggets over quinoa. The acidity returned to my glass while the other tastes stayed around. But when Apulia met fresh blackberries everything in the liquid became a shadow of its former self.

The final meal focused on an omelet that was spiced up with turmeric powder, coriander, red pepper chilies, cilantro flakes, cumin, and consomme soup seasoning. The wine responded with pleasant acidity, a touch of sweetness, and caramel in the background. Packaged vegetable pancakes deepened my drink's acidity but its other aspects were gone. Commercial babaganoush, eggplant and mayonnaise or should I say mayonnaise and eggplant rendered the liquid fairly weak but round. Zesty guacamole returned the power to this libation.

Final verdict. I was disappointed and really do not plan on buying this wine again. However, it is possible that this wine should have been consumed a few years earlier. I really don't want to buy another bottle to check out this hypothesis.

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Levi Reiss authored or co-authored ten computer and Internet books, but prefers drinking fine wine. He teaches computers at an Ontario French-language community college. His global wine website www.theworldwidewine.com features a weekly review of $10 wines and a whole lot more. Visit his wine, nutrition, and health website www.wineinyourdiet.com .

Posted on 2014-01-08, By: *

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Note: The content of this article solely conveys the opinion of its author.

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