Falanghina is more than just a grape or a wine. It's a story. Grown on the ash-covered hills of Campania, just east of Naples, the white wine known as Falanghina exists because of its secretive nature, history and tragedy that's made it a legend in the wine industry.
The unique growth and flavor of Falanghina comes from wind-blown ash from Mount Vesuvius that's deposited on the Irpinian hills, deep within the countryside of Campania. It was once an area known more for its mozzarella than its wine. However, in the 1980s, an earthquake rocked the area, and fortune favored Falanghina in the face of tragedy. Using emergency funds, the government built a brand-new viticulture industry which almost solely produces Falanghina. With its underdog status, Falanghina has fought to become a mainstay in Italy, while also earning respect and adoration across the rest of Europe and North America.
Falanghina is a medium-bodied, crisp, dry and slightly acidic wine, and has also been touted as one of the most versatile wines available, perfect for a lunch date, great with dinner and ideal for socializing. Its distinct, fruity flavors are at the center of its versatility, imparting orange, apple, lemon and pear flavors when even a single drop hits the tongue. A mineral taste is also present, which is a testament to the volcanic rock and ash of Falanghina's growing region.
The overwhelming aroma of orange peel is a welcome addition, putting visions of the Italian coast in your mind. Even if you can't actually sit on the Amalfi Coast, Falanghina invokes its ambiance, and at a fraction of the cost.
Mild cheeses, especially those made from goat's or sheep's milk, are a blissful marriage of tastes with a glass of Falanghina. Its zesty citrus flavor also goes well with fish, but opt for a nicely blackened white fish instead of a deep-fried tartar-slathered version.
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