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Jul 2, 2010 08:38 AM

Italian whites - (simple) appetizer ideas

I recently bought a couple of bottles from the Friuli region. I understand the region has limited wine production and I thought it might be fun to serve to a friend whose family was from there. One is a pinto grigio piave, the other is called friulano.

While I've drunk pinot grigio in the past, I'm not familiar with exactly what the "piave" refers to. Is one of the wines obviously lighter and would thus probably be the better of the two to start with? I plan to serve both that evening and so it's more a question of whether to pour them more sequentially, or open them at the same time.

My second question pertains to ideas for appetizers to serve with the wines. I'm basically looking for relatively easy, yet good, things to accompany the wines. My friend and her husband prepare and enjoy good food themselves so the dishes should be pretty decent (i.e., not corn chips and pretzels ...). That said, they've been forewarned that with the warm weather, busy schedules, etc. I will be primarily serving store-bought / simple fare. So far, I've come up with things along the lines of cheeses, white bean salad and salmon salad.

Thanks in advance for any input.

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  1. I've been enjoying a few good Muller-Thurgau and whites from Trebbiano d'Abruzzo, lately. Nothing fancy, but enough complexity to be interesting, nice enough with light foods/salads/chesses, and has plenty of zip/refreshment factor

    1. Piave is a region in the Veneto, not in Friuli, with whites made from chardonnay, pinot blanc and grigio, and other international varietals.
      The pinot grigio you've got could lighter than the Friulano (now the name for what used to be called the Tocai grape)--and would be a generally more appealing first pour. Friulano can be stronger, drier, more minerally, and better with primi and main courses.. I'd also look for sauvignon blancs, or pinot blancs (or pinot biancos--try Alois Lageder's) from both regions, esp, Friuli. Or a good Soave or Lugana from the Veneto. Try cold shrimp with a nice parlsey/oil/lemon bath, or a simple shrimp and calamari salad dressed the same way. You can even mix the shrimp with cold white beans. Also, a platter of good sliced prosciutto, salame, and some Piave cheese. Buon appetito.

      1 Reply
      1. re: bob96

        Thanks for the helpful information on Piave. I love the idea of serving shrimp! Simple, yet elegant. I think I've had Piave cheese in the past and enjoyed it. When I googled Friulano earlier I learned it was actually the name of a Canadian cheese. The Italian version is something called Montasio. I think I'll try to pick up that to serve as well.