Blame it on the heat - I keep daydreaming about cooling down with a daring plunge into Rome's legendary Trevi Fountain a la Anita Ekberg in Fellini's La Dolce Vita. Alas, I'm in New York but I can beat the heat Roman style with a refreshing glass of Frascati from Fontana Candida.
An ancient wine born in the Roman hills, Frascati is known as "the wine of popes and of the people." Popes had the luxury of drinking Frascati daily and regular folks would get to indulge on important Vatican occasions. Thankfully, we live in a more egalitarian time and Frascati is available to everyone, all the time! Founded in 1958, Fontana Candida is synonymous with Frascati and is Italy's leading producer of this storied wine. If you're not familiar with Frascati or Fontana Candida, here are four wonderful wines from their portfolio. Give them a swirl!
Fontana Candida Terre dei Grifi Frascati DOC 2013 ($10)
A lovely blend of Malvasia Bianca di Candia (50%), Trebbiano Toscano (30%), Greco (10%), and Malvasia del Lazio (10%); this crisp white wine has lively acidity and delicious flavors of lemon, pineapple, mango, pear, and almond. Light and refreshing but full of flavor, Terre dei Grifi has a delightful and subtle hint of creaminess at the finish.
Fontana Candida Luna Mater Frascati Superiore DOCG 2011 ($20)
A truly outstanding wine, Luna Mater wowed me with each sip. It is definitely one of my favorite wines of the summer! Golden like the Roman sun, this full-bodied and luscious Frascati envelops the palate in flavors of honey, pear, vanilla, and almond. A blend of Malvasia Bianca di Candia (50%), Malvasia del Lazio (30%), Bombino (10%), and Greco (10%); Luna Mater spends just enough time in oak to enhance the wine's flavor and imbue complexity. Luna Mater is an elegant and dry white wine with enough structure to pair with seafood, pasta, and roasted chicken & pork.
In addition to Frascati, Fontana Candida also produces the Roma DOC blend in both white and red. Dry and crisp Roma DOC Bianco ($10) is an aromatic and fruity blend of Greco, Bombino, and Malvasia del Lazio. A great sip on a hot day!
Fontana Candida Roma DOC Rosso ($10) is a light, dry, and fruity blend of Cesanese, Syrah, and Montepulciano. Smooth tannins and pretty flavors of cherry & red berries make this a great warm-weather red. Pair this vino with everything from pasta and pizza to BBQ and burgers!