Comparison Tasting: Tami’ (Occhipinti) Frappato Terre Siciliane 2014 and Tami’ (Occhipinti) Grillo Terre Siciliane 2014

Recommendation: Both were outstanding and a fantastic value.

Winery/Producer: Arianna Occhipinti and some friends; Siracusa, Sicily.

Grape Variety: Nero D’Avola; Grillo (component of Marsala wine)

Geographic Region, Appellation: Sicily, Italy.

Vintage: 2014

Price: (Both) $15.30 (with a 10% mixed case discount)

Purchased From: The Caviste Wine Shop; Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

Paired With: Chicken Marsala (with just a small amount of lemon juice), eggplant with tomatoes seasoned with thyme, basil and garlic, basmati rice with toasted slivers of almonds.


    He said: For this dinner we opened two wines, a red and a white, both from the same producer and geographic area. We really didn’t anticipate how well they both would pair with the chicken Marsala dinner or what good companions the two wines would be together. Here’s what we thought: Frappato 2014: Opened 1 hour before drinking. Clear ruby red color with a light red rim. Very fresh raspberry and red current aromas with hints of wet wood and even some floral. Dry, dusty, quite intense juicy fruit taste that continues through a long very slightly bitter finish. Like it’s Grillo companion it had a refreshing freshness to it. In addition, the soft tannins and powerful berry flavors balanced well with the lively acidity. Although all this might not excite you…it was jumping up and down good with the egg plant and simply delicious drinking alone after dinner.

    The Grillo 2014 was chilled and opened only 15-minutes before drinking. Slightly cloudy, with a wheat straw color. Very fresh aromas of ripe apple, tropical fruit and slight hints of honeysuckle. Dry, very slight citrus taste, with a fairly long finish that carries the refreshing fruit flavors all the way through to the end. Light and crisp with fresh acidity; but deep in flavors and mouth-feel. ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC with the chicken Marsala and VERY DELICIOUS drinking without food after dinner. This was quality wine at a Bargain price and one of the “ALL-TIME BEST” pairings, ever!!! The flavors in the chicken Marsala were simply PERFECT with the wine.

    So how do I rate the wines…both were outstanding and a fantastic value. Even though they are not under our threshold of $15 I put both into our category of a Quality wine at a Bargain price…in spades!!! Both of these wines are worth some extra effort to find.

    She said: Frappatto 2014: Dark ruby color, slightly opaque with lots of slow legs. Distinct, but light fruit aromas with hints of earthiness. Smooth fruit taste that I would describe as luscious and dry with exceptionally delicious tannins and a long finish. The body was fairly light and the wine went very well with the eggplant dish.

    Grilo 2014: Medium yellow color, cloudy, with long slender legs, some of which were dashing in spite of the 12.5% alcohol content. I did not expect a white wine to be so outstanding with the dinner but it was and I have begged Ray to buy more just for this dinner. The aroma at the first sip was light but gradually emerged as the wine warmed up and became heavenly with hints of roses. Our cooking Guru (Russ Anderson at The Caviste) suggested adding citrus to the chicken Marsala and I did to our total delight. This was an amazing pairing and I totally recommend it. The wine was full of flavor with just a hint of lemon, dry, with a fresh body and a long finish with hints of smokiness. If you are having chicken Marsala, add a bit of fresh lemon juice and have this wine! It is an outstanding pairing!

    Arianna Occhipinti in her vineyard

    Comments: Note that the Grillo grape is a component of Marsala wine and it’s just enough to make the Tami Grillo wine and the chicken cooked in Marsala wine go together “PERFECTLY” and make it one of our best pairings ever!!! Learn about the Tami’ wines and an interview with Arianna Occhipinti.

    Special Note: The Grillo was selected as one of the ten best value wines we reviewed in 2015, See The Best Value Wines of 2015

Alcohol: (Both) 12.5%

Bar code: NA

Imported by: Louis/Dressner Selections; New York, New York.

Photo John Herbstritt at Bi-Rite.

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