Deep gold color; white flowers, grapefruit, green apple, orange zest, kiwi, quince, some saline and minerality on the nose and palate.
Dry; no tannins, moderate acidity. Medium body. Fresh, fun, organic, saline hits on the finish. Grillo is the signature white wine from Sicily, where most of the grillo vines in the world grow. The name means “cricket” in Italian and also is an Italian surname. Once used exclusively in marsala production, grillo now is made as a varietal such as this effort. Grillo, and this effort, will not please everyone, especially if you want fruitiness. This is more austere. Pair this with food, it may not work for you sipped solo. But it certainly works as a food wine. 13% ABV
Grillo often is referred to as a fuller, funkier alternative to pinot grigio or sauvignon blanc. The vines can withstand high temperatures and drought and still produce copiously. Grillo is not an ancient grape. DNA analysis indicates it is a cross between catarratto and zibibbo, a biotype related to muscat of Alexandria. It likely was created by Antonio Mendola in 1873.
The website notes: “Caruso e Minini is a joint venture between two families and two different stories that merge when Stefano Caruso, the third generation of winemakers, meets Mario Minini, owner of a marketing company in Northern Italy. Together, back in 2004, built the foundations of Caruso & Minini, a state of the art winery in Marsala, a city at the extreme part of western Sicily.
“It is an ambitious challenge, which sees as protagonists the Caruso family’s agricultural tradition and the Minini sales expertise. A Winning bet because, to date, wines reach fans in more than 30 countries around the world. Tradition and competence, with a look into the future. In fact, today Stefano is flanked by his two daughters Giovanna and Rosanna who are actively taking part in the daily work at the winery.”
Caruso & Minini Naturalmente Grillo, Sicilia 2020 complements food rather than being enjoyable all by itself. Consider it sauvignon blanc’s eccentric cousin with some sapid—savory—elements you don’t expect in a white wine. But, hey, this is a Sicilian wine—you gotta problem with that? Grillo is not for everyone, but it is worth trying, especially paired with foods. Pair with seafood; shellfish; lighter fish; bacon-wrapped shrimp; chicken salad; pasta dishes with white sauce; vegetable-based risotto; vegetarian fare; charcuterie board; appetizers and snacks. Cheese—fresh, lighter cheeses; goat cheese; feta; burrata. $17-20