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  • Writer's pictureCulinary Cam

An Umbrian Grape with Greek Origins: Cantina Roccafiore Grechetto di Todi Fiordalis + Pesce alla Ghiotta #ItalianFWT

Updated: Mar 9

This month I invited the Italian Food Wine Travel bloggers to create pairings with an indigenous Italian grapes. You can read my invitation here. We have covered this topic before, but there are so many indigenous Italian grapes; I knew we could cover it again with all new pairing and pours.



The #ItalianFWT Indigenous Grapes Exploration

Here's what the group is sharing. Additionally, we will be gathering on Saturday, March 9th at 8am Pacific for a Threads chat. Follow #ItalianFWT and join in the conversation if you like.



An Umbrian Grape with Greek Origins


I got my hands on a bottle of 2022 Cantina Roccafiore Grechetto di Todi Fiordalis. A single varietal - 100% Grechetto di Todi - this is a clone of a grape that has Greek origins, dating back to Medieval times. Though it may have Greek roots, Grechetto is considered one of Italy's indigenous grapes.


Cantina Roccafiore farms almost 40 acres of vineyards in the rolling hills of the Umbrian countryside near the town of Todi. The Baccarelli family bought the property just before the millennium and planted the local Grechetto and Sangiovese along with small parcels of Moscato Giallo, Sagrantino, and Montepulciano. They made their first vintage half a decade later out of a Sangiovese clone that is native to Todi, similar to the clone used in Montalcino to make Brunello.


Before they were in wine, they were in the energy business. Because of that, they kept a mind toward sustainability, building a renewable facility, using organic fuels for their tractors, and farming organically.


These Grechetto vines are sustainably farmed and completely hand-picked before fermenting with wild yeast in stainless steel tanks. After six months in stainless steel on the lees, it's bottled and aged for at least three months in the bottle.



The wine poured a pale straw color with glints of gold and green. On the nose, there were aromas of grapefruit and green apple with a layer of honeysuckle. On the palate, this bone-dry wine was vibrant with a salinity and bright minerality. The saltiness made me think immediately of seafood and I discovered a preparation that was new to me: alla Ghiotta.


Pesce alla Ghiotta


Alla Ghiotta means 'glutton-style' and it's a common in the Mezzogiorno and often made with swordfish in both Calabria and Sicily.



Ingredients

serves 2

  • two cod filets (traditional is swordfish, but I had some local cod)

  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil

  • 4 anchovies

  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced

  • 2 Tablespoons capers

  • 1/3 cup green olives

  • 1 cup tomato sauce

  • 1/4 cup leftover red wine

  • 1/4 cup water


Procedure

Using a plan that fits both filets with space around them, heat the olive oil until it glistens. Add in the anchovies, capers, garlic, capers and olives. Gently sauté until the anchovies are softened and have dissolved into the oil.


Pour in the tomato sauce, wine, and water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Nestle the fish into the sauce and poach until firm to the touch. Remove the fish from the sauce and turn the heat up. Cook the sauce until thickened to desired consistency.


To serve, spoon the thickened sauce into a serving dish. Place the fish in the dish and add more sauce on the top. Serve immediately. I rounded out the pairing with fresh steamed artichokes.


That's a wrap for this pairing, but I have been wholeheartedly enjoying this dive into Italian indigenous grapes. I already shared Due Colori Ravioli and a Nerello Mascalese from Sicily. But be sure to stay tuned for a series of Frappato pairings, beginning with Agnello Scottadita + 2017 Feudi del Pisciotto Carolina Marengo Frappato. One of Sicily's oldest grapes, Frappato has cemented itself as one of my new favorite wines. It produces light-bodied red wines that abound in fruit with just the right amount of earthiness. It's delicious and I have four dishes matched with four different bottles. Cin cin!

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10 Comments


vinotravels
Mar 16

Looks great Cam! I love artichokes. How did it pair with the Grechetto? Looking forward to your other Frappato pairings. Great grape that I think once folks try will also become a fan.

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Culinary Cam
Culinary Cam
Mar 19
Replying to

The artichoke went well with the Grechetto.

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Linda Whipple
Linda Whipple
Mar 11

How cool that they are able to use their expertise in the energy business to build a renewable facility and use organic fuels for their tractors. Oh, and then there's the wine! Sounds like a delicious pairing all around.

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Culinary Cam
Culinary Cam
Mar 19
Replying to

It was, but I am still sitting over here envious of your co-op!

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David Crowley
David Crowley
Mar 10

I think I've come across this grape occasionally but didn't know much about it. Good info! And a tasty pairing!

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Culinary Cam
Culinary Cam
Mar 11
Replying to

It was a great pairing and I am definitely looking out for more expressions of Grechetto!

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andrea
Mar 09

I enjoy so much a good Grechetto - this sounds like it was lovely. Thank you for hosting this month!

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Culinary Cam
Culinary Cam
Mar 11
Replying to

I really enjoyed the Grechetto...as well as learning about all of the grapes that others found. So much to learn!

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Wendy Klik
Wendy Klik
Mar 09

Speaking of Greek wines....I opened the bottle of Falenghina that you sent me (I think) from Donkey and Goat to pair with my dinner on Thursday. It was lovely....thank you so much.

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Culinary Cam
Culinary Cam
Mar 09
Replying to

Always love a Donkey and Goat! Glad you enjoyed it.

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