Name: 2004 Ocone Falanghina
Region: Campania, Italy
Price: $11.99 to $12.99
We enjoyed a reader question about organic wines this week, which seems like a fitting topic with the farmers' market beginning to bloom and the cherry blossoms opening.
When it comes to organic wines, I say bring them on: it's better for the vine, the grape, the soil, the glass and me.
Years ago, organic wine produced in California tasted awful and this gave organic wine a bad rap. Fortunately, wisdom, practice and technology have changed this and today more and more wines are produced sustainably. In fact, it is quite possible that you've been drinking organic wine without even realizing it. A winery, like a farm, must go through a long and expensive certification process in order to market their products as certified organic, so most don't even bother.
If you want to try to make more organic purchases, choose Europe, specifically France, over California and Australia; as they are the movement leader at the moment. Also try to choose smaller producers, as they are generally more artisan about the craft of wine, rather than focusing on volume, which can only be achieved through the use of chemicals.
Falanghina is an ancient variety grown only in Campania, which is currently enjoying a comeback. Pale straw in color with a slight green tinge, this wine should be floral on the nose with a nice weight in the palate and beautiful acidity. This wine is full-bodied enough to pair with light meat dishes, but also light enough to shine with seafood.
Stores: Astor Wines & Spirits $11.99 (399 Lafayette @ 4th Street), Chambers Street Wines $12.99 (160 Chambers Street between Greenwich & W. Broadway), Appellation Wine & Spirits $12.99 (156 10th Ave between 18th & 19th Streets)