Wine tasting at home – Orvieto white

written by Tiana Kai

When the day has been too long and we want to unwind and relax, we cook at home and try a new bottle of wine. I’m not a wine connoisseur to say the least, but enjoy the selections that Nicco brings home. Growing up in Tuscany, he has a great sense of what a good wine is — but the truth is, he chooses according to the label and it works! He knows what types of wine he likes and dispises and then goes for the label of a new wine not yet tasted.

This particular night we opened Sferracavallo, an Orvieto white wine. I can’t recall trying an Orvieto, so I was excited to see what it was all about. This specific bottle left me impressed. It was light, delicate and crisp. Nicco likes sweet and I prefer a more neutral blend, so we were both very happy with this selection. Plus, the label has an interesting and very basic design, making Nicco even happier.

Orvieto history

This wine was produced back in the Middle Ages. It was known as ‘The sun of Italy in a bottle’ and ‘The Pope’s wine’ — a sweet dessert wine made with Noble rot. It was so popular that workers and artists would request to be paid in Orvieto wine. Unlike most sweet wines (Sauternes) these grapes were exposed to fungus after the harvest in the deep volcanic bedrock that was excavated by the Etruscans for their fermentation.

Orvieto today

Orvieto, located in Umbria, central Italy, produces about 80% of the region’s wine. It’s the only Italian region not touched by the sea. The wine is made with a variety of Procanico, Grechetto, Verdello, Malvasia and Drupeggio grapes. The porous bedrock where these grapes grow are conducive for excavating cellars for their long-term storage. It leans towards the side of dry and semi-sec, but still has hints of fresh fruits.

Four types of white and one red:

  1. Orvieto DOC
  2. Orvieto Classico DOC
  3. Orvieto Superiore DOC
  4. Orvieto Classico Supperiore DOC
  5. Rosso Orvietano DOC — red

Sferracavallo stats

  • Year 2011
  • 12.5% alcohol — Orvieto is typically 11.5%
  • Price +/- € 4 at the grocery store
  • Enjoy with chicken, pasta, neutral foods — we baked a chicken


Wine tastings at home are fun and cheap! Do you remember the last good white you had?

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