Napoli Unplugged Contributor Joel Mack
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By Joel Mack aka @vintrospective (Twitter)
© 2010

She would simply wait. She knew that eventually you would need to take the stairs. Or use the bathroom. And then, she had you: nowhere to run.

For an old school Napoletana, misbehaving children ran too fast in the open yard to be easily caught. But, she was an old school Napoletana with a strategy.

When Grandma finally did catch hold of you, if you were lucky, loving discipline would send Grandma’s open hand directly to the back of your head. Less lucky: Grandma would have been cooking and still carrying her wooden spoon, if you know what I mean.

Fortunately, Grandma relied mostly upon her actual kitchen skills to encourage the kids to good behavior, offering snacks like mozzarella in carrozza or pizza fritta in exchange for saintly conduct.

Nostalgic and hungry, I recently celebrated old times and Grandma by enjoying a good pizza fritta, a sort of fried dough Neopolitan street food often stuffed with cheese and ham. But, I like it best as Grandma served it, simply, with marina and grated cheese.

I happened to pair the pizza fritta with a chilled Greco di Tufo: the experience reminded me of how amazingly well Greco di Tufo pairs with fried foods!


Generally believed to be based on a sub-varietal of original Greco vines introduced to Italy by the Greeks, Greco di Tufo is a fine wine of Southern Italy that finds unique expression in the volcanic soils of Campania. Greco di Tufo takes its name from tufa, a volcanic rock component of the soil it loves, and as well, perhaps, from the village of Tufo, an area where the varietal does especially well.

The wine’s name – Greco di Tufo – refers both to the name of the grape varietal and the DOCG wine it produces. Greco di Tufo must be made of at least 85% varietal, allowing up to 15% Code di Volpe. Although Greco di Tufo can age a bit, generally speaking, you’ll want to drink it within 3 or 4 years of vintage.

I love Greco di Tufo for its aromatic, fruity character, complexity and crisp minerality. It often shows fantastic notes of lemon oil, pear, almond, floral hints and that crisp minerality washing in on a lingering finish.

Greco di Tufo is a natural partner for fried foods and is wonderful with fish, shell fish, and a whole cast of appetizers. Enjoy Greco di Tufo chilled between 46-50 F / 8 – 10 C.

Recommended Producers include:
Feudi di San Gregorio
Terredora di Paolo


Joel Mack writes about Italian wine at Vintrospective -> An Italian Wine Blog. As a free lance writer, Joel also contributes content to other Internet and print interests. He conducts specialized seminar tastings featuring the wines of Italy for private and corporate clients and teaches a college level Discover Italy series of wine classes. He has a worked for a celebrated importer / distributor of Italian wines and continues to study the wines of Italy. See all of Joel Mack’s Articles on Napoli Unplugged.

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