From Santorini to Sardinia, Ray Isle goes island-hopping across the Mediterranean to find the season’s best sips.
Food & Wine
1 of 10Courtesy of Palm Bay International
2015 Mandrarossa Fiano Costa Dune ($11)
Fiano has been grown in southern Italy as far back as the Roman Empire. In Sicily, it often takes on bright green apple flavors, as this wine shows.
2 of 10Courtesy of The Winebow Group
2015 Argiolas Costamolino ($15)
Founded in 1938, Sardinia’s Argiolas makes everything from super-high-end reds to this crisp, citrus-zesty Vermentino.
3 of 10Abby Hocking / Food & Wine
2015 Cantine Colosi Grillo ($15)
Sicily’s Colosi is actually located on Salina, an even smaller island in the Aeolian archipelago. Its Grillo (a local grape) has tangy pineapple notes.
4 of 10Courtesy of The Winebow Group
2016 Morgante Bianco Di Morgante ($15)
This white wine happens to be made from the Sicilian red grape Nero D’Avola. The juice is quickly pressed off the grape skins, so the wine stays golden in hue, but keeps some of Nero’s strawberry-like flavor.
5 of 10Courtesy of Pala
2015 Pala I Fiori Vermentino ($18)
Sardinia’s Mario Pala farms his grapes organically for this lovely Vermentino: Think spicy melon flavors with a briny finish. Our favorite with raw oysters.
6 of 10Courtesy of David Bowler Wine
2015 Los Bermejos Malvasía Seco ($19)
Vines in the Canary Islands, planted in pits in its volcanic crust, produce fine, chalky whites such as this one. Drink with grilled swordfish.
7 of 10Courtesy of Domaine Sigalas
2016 Domaine Sigalas Assyrtiko/Athiri ($22)
On Greece’s Santorini, vintners weave their vines into basket shapes to protect the grapes from fierce winds. The happy result: a thrillingly crisp white with a stony end.
8 of 10Cusumano s.r.l.
2014 Cusumano Alta Mora Etna Bianco ($25)
Sicily’s Mt. Etna is a risky place to grow grapes (it erupted in February), but the payoff is in wines like this pear-scented white.
9 of 10Yves Leccia
2015 Yves Leccia Île De Beauté Blanc ($27)
This finely wrought Corsican white’s lemony fruit has a seaside salinity; it’s intense, but magically weightless.
10 of 10Domaine Abbatucci
2015 Domaine Comte Abbatucci Cuvée Faustine Blanc ($38)
Jean-Charles Abbatucci plays traditional Corsican songs to his vines, and why not? Maybe that’s the reason wines such as this honey-scented Vermentinu are so brilliant.
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