Grillo Wine

Within the contemporary wine industry, there have never been so many choices for consumers to choose from – with even previously exclusive and hard to find varieties becoming increasingly accessible. 

Grillo Wine

One example is Grillo – a variety of white wine that is popular throughout the Mediterranean and beyond, and which offers much in the way of flavor, aroma, and complexity. 

But what exactly is Grillo, and what makes it so special? 

What Is Grillo? 

Also known as Riddu, and Rossesse Bianco, Grillo is a variety of winemaking grape located throughout Sicily and the Mediterranean, and is used for creating a variety of white wine by the same name. 

Historically used throughout many aspects of Sicilian wine making – especially for the production of Marsala, a fortified wine popular throughout the region – Grillo grapes were initially planted throughout the Province of Trapani in 1897, but growth quickly spread across the 20th century, encompassing the entirety of Sicily, as well as the Aeolian Mountains. 

It is also found growing throughout Liguria, where it is known as the above-mentioned Rossesse Bianco. 

What Is Marsala? 

Marsala is – as mentioned above – a fortified wine produced throughout Sicily and the Mediterranean. Served dry or sweet, the wine is characterized by its rich taste, and high alcohol content – with some varieties reaching as high as 20% abv in some cases. 

Served as an aperitif before meals throughout the region, Marsala remains a popular wine within Sicily, and received protections granted by the European Union to limit the use of the name outside of the region of Sicily and the surrounding islands. 

This is to protect the integrity of the growers, and to avoid knock-off brands. 

What Does Grillo Taste Like? 

Generally speaking, Grillo creates light wines that are easy to drink, and which have citrus flavors, an aroma of white flowers, and potent notes of green apples, almonds, pears, peaches, passionfruit, guavas, and various herbs. 

This makes it a pleasant, drinkable wine that is both versatile and widely adaptable for any number of different styles and brands. 

How Strong Is Grillo Wine? 

The strength of Grillo wine is not a uniform thing, and can vary depending on the area in which it is grown, the production process, and other ingredients that are added to the mix. 

However, generally speaking, Grillo wines tend to be within the region of 12-16% abv – making even the weakest Grillo wines stronger than most traditional white wines like Lambrusco and Riesling. 

What Creates Alcohol Content? 

The alcohol content of wine stems directly from the type of grapes used, and the environment within which they are grown. 

Generally speaking, the hotter the climate (as the Mediterranean is), the riper the fruit.

This then means that the more ripe fruit has a greater sugar content – something that can then be converted into alcohol with the addition of yeast and other ingredients. 

Is Grillo Wine Crisp Or Dry? 

Grillo Wine (1)

While sweetened varieties are available, Grillo is produced and marketed most commonly as dry white wine

What Does ‘Dry’ Mean? 

The term ‘dry’ refers to the actual process through which the grapes are fermented – wherein they are pressed, removing all the sugar from the grapes themselves, and then having all of the sugar converted into alcohol. 

The trick for producing dry wine is to avoid as much sugar residue as possible, and to create a fruity, complex flavor that is not hindered by the standard sweetness of the sugar. 

The Best Food To Pair With Grillo

When it comes to fine wine, good food is never far away, and most experts consider a good food pairing to be an integral part of the enjoyment that wine brings. 

When it comes to Grillo wine, there are specific things that can be paired well with it – including seafood, and grilled meat.

This is especially true of grilled fish and shellfish, which pairs well with the subtle fruitiness and lightness of the wine. 

This is one reason why Grillo is such a popular summer wine, and why it is a common sight in the Mediterranean and beyond during the summer months. 

Final Thoughts

And there we have it, everything you need to know about Grillo wine, what exactly it is, and what makes it so special. 

It is certainly true that, within the contemporary wine industry, consumers have far more choice when it comes to purchasing quality wine – with some of the best wine in the world becoming more accessible than ever before.

However, as this article shows, some varieties are better than others. 

So if you are looking for your new favorite wine, then why not give Grillo a try? Something tells me you won’t be disappointed!

Frequently Asked Questions

Now that we know a little more about Grillo wines, and what makes them so special, it is now time for us to answer some frequently asked questions that you might be interested in.

Is Grillo Wine Expensive?

A popular wine throughout Sicily, Grillo is generally considered a mid-range, affordable wine – although there are more expensive varieties available.

How Is Grillo Perceived?

Grillo white wine is not only hugely popular within the Mediterranean, but it is also held up as some of the best white wine in the world by both critics and consumers alike.

Sarah Perez
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