Di Karen Phillips
Through Ais Napoli (Association of Italian Sommeliers, Naples) I got hold of the wine tasting schedule for Terrafelix 2009. One event caught my attention. A wine tasting with wines from the Irpinia region(Avellino) led by sommelier Franco De Luca. I couldn’t miss it. I have written often of my love for Avellino, its wines and particularly aglianico. Franco presented 2 whites; a Greco di Tufo DOCG 2008 from Benito Ferrara and a Fiano di Avellino DOCG from Terradora. Three reds, Taurasis, from 3 different wineries were introduced to the public as well; Taurasi 2004 from I Capitani, Taurasi 2004 from Don Coriano and a 2005 from Manimurci. These Taurasis were nice but a little too young for me. I think I was spoiled after attending a tasting with Taurasis from Feudi di San Gregorio last month where we had wines from 1993, ‘99 and 2001 (here). What grabbed my attention, though, was a distilled drink presented by producer Salvatore Malerba from Montella (AV). An Acquavita produced from a chestnut called castagne del prete that is dried, toasted, and ground into a flour. As we experienced the aroma, Franco pointed out the fragrances of fruit in addition to the dried chestnuts. Then, we tasted it. What an astounding feeling of warmth that spread throughout my chest. I am not a big lover of chestnuts,or after dinner drinks either, but as I walked to Mr. Malerba’s stand afterwards, I became a fan of his Acquavite di Castagne.