Maeli Fior d'Arancio Colli Euganei DOCG 2015
Yet another distinctive white wine from Italy, a country that will never cease to surprise. The grape variety here is Fior d'Arancio. Never heard of it? Me neither. Except I had. In true Italian fashion, Fior d'Arancio is a name only used in the Colli Euganei DOCG in Veneto. Elsewhere, it's called Moscato Giallo or Yellow Muscat (to add to the confusion, it's called Goldenmuskateller in Alto-Adige and Orange Muscat in California). It's part of the vast family of Muscat grapes, all of which have their own characteristics (particularly in the size of their berries) but are defined by grape and floral aromas.
Eliza Dilavanzo is the winemaker, supported by Prosecco producers Bisol. She works only with Fior d'Arancio planted on a steep hill 230m above sea level overlooking Venice. It's quite a labour of love to only make wines from one grape variety, and one that has an obscure local name, but that's her cause.
The wine is recognisably Muscat: very aromatic, with white flowers, grapes, stone and tropical fruits, and very rich on the palate. All strains of Muscat often feel sweet on the palate, even when they're not. Even though acidity is relatively low, that richness makes the wine a good food pairing rather than one to be sipped on its own.
Grape Variety: Fior d'Arancio/Moscato Giallo
Region: Colli Euganei, Veneto
Ageing: 8 months in stainless steel
Food pairing: vegetable soups, spicy food