08by Monica Mendal
On hot summer days, it’s easy to stick to whites, proseccos, and rosés. There’s nothing quite like those light and minerally wines to refresh the spirit after a long day in the sun. While the options are certainly endless for summer wine, it seems reds are typically relegated to cooler temperatures or steak dinners, but what if we wanted to enjoy a glass of red by the beach or in the city on a hot afternoon?
Finally, one Sicilian red wine is making its way into summer wine collections. Frappato is a light-bodied red Sicilian wine grape variety with a distinct fruity aroma.
Gaetana Jacono, owner of Valle dell’Acate calls it: “the wine of the past, the ancient wine of Sicily,” although she adds, “It’s also the wine of the future for a healthy and light taste. A real precious pearl that must be searched for carefully.” Until now, Frappato has been inconceivably hard to find as its grape variety only grows in one area of the world, the Vittoria area in southeast Sicily, and thus has just 30 producers.
Frappato’s light, silky tannins pair well with an array of seafood dishes, cold cuts, cheeses, and many other summer favorites as an alternative to white wines. “Even for red wines, elegance and freshness are much more popular, and this evolution opened up interesting prospects to promote Frappato in foreign markets,” Graziano Nicosia, CEO and co-Owner of Cantine Nicosia notes. Frappato’s rich red color makes it a more elegant and sophisticated summer wine option, which Penny Murray, the Export Director and US Export Manager of Planeta suggests is a “pleasant synthesis of tradition and innovation.”
In recent years, Annamaria Sala, producer and marketing manager of Gorghi Tondi, has seen a rise in Frappato’s popularity as there is a demand from wine experts and for Frappato in the US and worldwide. While he realizes many wine merchants and consumers still aren’t aware of the existence of this rare Sicilian red, he sees the trend moving in the direction of Frappato: “As the demand for light-bodied and versatile reds is still rising and is quite a recent phenomenon, we expect much more to come, [especially] for the US market.” We’re here for it.
Here are the 5 best Frappatos:
[…] Valle dell’Acate
Valle dell’Acate’s Frappato is one of the most delightfully overpowering Frappatos.
It’s vivacious and fresh, yet with a dry and pleasant finish.