Then there is the wine-loving friend. How to serve them a bottle, lest you trumpet an out-of-fashion Burgundy and be shamed? Often the best method is to go down the snob’s route and choose a wine so obscure, you’re going to be the only expert in the room.
The Observer’s food supplement helpfully suggested one such “extraordinary” wine in its 50 hottest places, people and trends in food. Called Serragghia, it is produced on the Italian island of Pantelleria, off the coast of Sicily. The wine comes in white made from zibibbo grapes, red from pinot noir, as well as rosé and sparkling. “Start with the complex, intensely mineral white, then move on to the fragrant, rosé-like fanino,” the Observer suggests.
The wine is made by a Milanese architect, Gabrio Bini, who came to the island of Pantelleria to work with the volcanic soil, producing capers, oregano, and an anchovy sauce called colatura alongside his wine.
Though it may not be well known internationally, Pantelleria is adored by the jetset of Italy for its extreme beauty and isolation, closer as it is to Africa than the mainland of Italy. Aldous Huxley once lived there; Giorgio Armani has a house there; it has boutique resorts created by fashion photographers and is surrounded by 47 mini-volcanoes that are a leftover from the large one that produced it 600,000 years ago.
Add world-class wine as just another reason to visit this tiny island.