Hit & Miss: Donnafugata 2013 Lighea with Shrimp, Avocado & Grapefruit Salad and Arugula & Green Bean Salad

Wine: Donnafugata 2013 Lighea
Origin: Sicily, Italy

Taste: This varietal Muscat, locally called Zibibbo, starts with serious aromatic pop. It’s plump with lime zest, pink grapefruit, white peppercorn and Mediterranean scrub-baking-under-a-hot-summer-sun. The palate is crisp, dry and light. The combination is so drinkable that you just might think the liquid is evaporating from your glass.

Expectation: Dry Muscat frequently has a lightly bitter edge that lends well to savory foods, and its generous citrus aromas favor lighter pairings. Sweet and savory salad combinations should be the key.

Hit: Shrimp, Avocado and Grapefruit Salad
This decadent salad is the perfect foil for this Muscat. Shrimp and avocado both contribute some sweetness to take off the Muscat’s razor-like edge. The grapefruit matches and intensifies the wine’s pithy and zesty notes.

Near-Hit: Arugula and Green Bean Salad with Creamy Mustard Dressing and Grana Padano
The earthy and green tones of the arugula and green beans line-up with the wine’s hard-stemmed herbal notes. While the buttermilk-based dressing helps take off the lightly tannic edge, the Grana Padano’s crystalline crunch brings back some bite. Next time, I’ll try the salad without the cheese.