Italian Christmas food and traditions: Naples’ Christmas Eve menu – the wine

Last (in the menu) but not least…  I’d like to start my description of Naples’ Christmas Eve menu   link …. with drinks, in particular the wine.

This because the best way to enhance a dish is to match the right wine. So the choice of the wine is the first step for the success of a meal.

Moreover, since  this holiday menu is a unique combination of flavours, traditions, history, that describes very well the culture of this enchanting city and of its territory, I would like to highlight the importance of the local wine heritage.

Campania, Naples’ region, is one of Italy’s oldest wine regions and is home of many ancient varieties of  grapes; …obviously during the traditional meatless Christmas Eve dinner a white “local” wine is a must!!!

The most popular are:

Lacrima Christi del Vesuvio

Fiano di Avellino

Greco di Tufo

All they really suit local cuisine, and are well known around the world (I hope…).

Naples’ Christmas Eve menu – a glass of local white wine

Naples’ Christmas Eve menu – a glass of local white wine

I’d like to talk about a little known one, that is very important in the history of this region and is linked to my childhood.

My father had  a couple of wine suppliers (small wine producers) from the close island of Ischia, they went to Naples once a month to deliver the wine to their selected customers: it was the fantastic “Bianco di Ischia”.

This wine could not miss on our Christmas Eve table.

I love Ischia  wines. The island has an ancient wine heritage: the wine was introduced there by the ancient Greeks and the Romans called the island “Enaria”, that means land of wines.

The peculiar characteristics of Ischia (volcanic composition of the soils, coastal Mediterranean breezes, mild climate and altitude) represent the ideal conditions to viticulture. The island is mostly renowned for its whites: the “Bianco di Ischia” has been declared Protected Designation of Origin in the sixties, it is produced from Biancolella, a grape exclusive to Ischia.

It is a fascinating dry wine, with a fresh flavor of local fruit and flowers.

The production is limited and enough only for Naples (it is quite impossible to find it elsewhere), but it could be a good idea spending the next Christmas break at Naples and its surroundings (Procida, Ischia, Capri, Sorrento, Amalfi, …), to taste local food and wine and to experience the particular Christmas atmosphere.

In any case I would recommend you to try some Campania wines: you will experience the flavours and the aromas of this ancient land.