After enjoying the Erbaluce from the northwestern part of Italy, we move south to Sicily and begin our next adventure of the alphabet wine challenge with Frappato. And, no, this wine challenge is not solely focused on Italy, though we certainly have had a fine start there!
I have to admit, fellow wine fans, the Frappato has been my least favorite wine of the challenge so far. But, that’s okay, we don’t have to love every bottle we open. I don’t know why, but for some reason I expected something a bit “grippier” if that is a word. Maybe something more spicy and sassy than how this one showed up.
The Frappato in our challenge, Valle Dell’Acate, was particularly light in color. It had a soft, fruit-forward nose and fresh flavors reminiscent of a basic table wine, which is somewhat an ode to its heritage as a more mass produced wine for the region.
Frappato is a grape that generally falls into the low-medium category for acidity, tannins and body. Toward that end, it can be likened a bit to a Beaujolais from France. If you prefer a bolder red, or even a lighter red that has more structure, this may not be in your wheelhouse.
In reality, this is not an easy-to-find wine. Unlike many grape varietals that grow in multiple regions, Frappato is planted primarily in Sicily. So unless you are on a mission to find it, you’re not likely to stumble across it. That is where the wine challenge is fun, even if the wine isn’t a rockstar.
Having been ruled by the Greeks, the Arabs and the Byzantines, Sicily has a storied past that influences its cuisine today. It’s varied, it’s adaptable and it’s easily paired with wine. Frappato does have the ability to flex to everything from charcuterie, to light pastas, and even seafood.
Wine always pairs best with foods from its native region. We paired this with shrimp in a creamy tomato sauce and bread drizzled with good olive oil. It was nice, but still had me yearning to pick up a glass filled with something from the Piedmont or Tuscan regions.