Cusumano 2015 Shamaris Grillo Sicily Tasting Note
The bright, crisp, minerality of a Champagne and the acidity, slight tropical notes, and fresh green aromas of a Sauvignon Blanc. A nose of starfruit, lightly ripe pineapple, lime, grass, a hint of yeasty bread, and a waft of salty ocean air. The palate is very fresh with zippy acidity throughout, a pleasurably slick texture, more green apple, mineral notes across a long finish
We tasted this grillo from Sicily as part of an International Whites dinner party and tasting exercise. We also reviewed it for International Wine Report and scored it 90 points. For one of our pairing recipes see Stuffed Fish: Spanikopita Filled Dover Sole. For notes on some of the other whites we reviewed that night see and Planeta la Segreta Bianco 2016 Sicily Vivanco 2016 White Rioja To learn more about this grape see an excerpt from Wines of Sicily below. Well after the pretty picture of our food.
Description: Grillo is a traditional Sicilian grape whose modern potential has been recognized by the island’s young generation of winemakers, who are bottling it in styles ranging from bright and savory to structured and mature. Grillo is one of the best-known Sicilian grapes.
Alone or blended with Chardonnay or the local Catarratto grape, elegant, aromatic Grillo wines make lovely aperitifs and also refresh the palate with a variety of cuisines. The dishes and ingredients of the healthful and delicious Mediterranean diet—influenced by the Greeks, Romans, Arabs, Spanish and French—are especially suited for the lighter meals of the summer season, and Grillo is specially suited to grilled foods, enjoyed al fresco.
When Grillo grapes are gently pressed and the juice is fermented at cold temperatures, the finished wines smell like fresh-cut grass and grapefruit, and they have a streak of acidity that makes them the perfect aperitivo. When served well-chilled on a warm summer day, alone or with grilled shrimp, salmon sashimi or a fresh cucumber-fennel salad, Grillo is the ideal starter.
Winemakers who vinify Grillo using lees contact create deeper, fuller-bodied expressions of the grape, with aromas and flavors that resemble ripe citrus and spice. This style of Grillo holds up to seafood pastas, roasted fowl and even baked casseroles.
The hallmark dish most often paired with Grillo is grilled swordfish. When complemented with a glass of Grillo, swordfish—grilled to medium and served with a simple, briny, herbal relish of capers, olives, almonds, herbs, peppers and olive oil—effortlessly transports your dining experience to the island of Sicily.
You’ll see Grillo popping up on wine lists, retail shelves and picnic tables everywhere this summer as Americans discover this versatile white. Chill a bottle or two and pair with this easy-to-prepare recipe to catch the Grillo wave.