March and April are ideal months to visit Italy, in reality and in a glass.
Umbria and Lazio, the regions of Assisi and Rome, are especially appealing, both for the small crowds and the big flavors.
The 2014 Vitiano Bianco Umbria IGP ($12) uncorks with a scent of lime and a suggestion of herbs. It’s a 50/50 blend of vermentino and Verdicchio that’s fine as a sipper and as company for fried fish, fried calamari and seafood salad. Tasty with pesto, too. The 2014 Tellus Chardonnay Umbria IGT ($16) also offers refreshing citrus notes, and well as a trace of apple. Try it with uncooked fish; and scallops, barely cooked or raw.
Roscetto, a rare, indigenous, low-yield grape, is the source of the 2012 Falesco Ferentano Lazio IGT ($25), a full-bodied, aromatic white, distinctive and versatile, with a tropical-fruit accent. Enjoy it with everything from ceviche to risotto, white-sauced pasta to antipasti.
Veering red, consider the 2013 Tellus Merlot Umbria IGT ($16), a fruity, herbaceous, accessible choice, that’s very good with grilled chicken and grilled beef, hamburgers and chili, eggplant alla parmigiana and pizza with the liveliest toppings.
Concentrated and rich, with plum and spice, the 2012 Falesco Montiano Lazio IGP ($50), delivers a ripe merlot, ruby-shaded and ready for the winter’s last beef stew or mushroom risotto, sausages and polenta, lamb chops, a pot roast, and mature cheeses. This is among the better wines from Lazio: like a brief Roman holiday in a bottle.