Cerasuolo from Organic Famiglia Febo and Biodynamic Lunaria with Abruzzo Inspired Saffron Mussels, Pecorino and Pasta #ItalianFWT

Cerasuolo from Organic Famiglia Febo and Biodynamic Lunaria with an Abruzzo Inspired Menu

Who wants to go to Abruzzo? Me! Famous for being “green” from the rivers that cut through from the mountains through the hills where the wine grows and down to the Adriatic Sea, Abruzzo has plenty to rave about from food featuring saffron to Montepulciano as a red wine or rose.  I’m headed to Abruzzo then Veneto in June after a quick stop in Rome just in time for “Republic Day aka “Festa della Repubblica” which celebrates the day that Italians voted to decide in 1947 NOT to follow a monarchy but to become a republic after the devastation of World War 2.


A quick drive east from Rome, Abruzzo stretches from the jagged Apennines mountains that reach over 8,000 feet to the scenic Adriatic Sea with its bays, coves and cliffs.

  • While about the size of  New Jersey, Abruzzo has the most national parks and fore­sts of any Italian region and is frequently referred to as “the lung” of Italy.  
  • Over the centuries, the hilly terrain and the mountains of Abruzzo have defined the people and the region. The people of Abruzzo — called Abruzzese — have always lived among the natural defenses of the mountains.
  • Abruzzo is less than 10% flat, meaning 90% is hilly. 
  • The mountain slopes of Abruzzo provide ideal conditions for viticulture.
  • In the first century B.C., the poet Ovid — a native of the Abruzzo city Sulmona — sang the praises of local grapes.        
  • Compared to today, the majority of the grapes grown and produced today are quite different from those in the past with one major exception:  Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, a red wine made from the Montepulciano wine grape (unrelated to the Tuscan town and the wines Rosso di Montepulciano or Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, both made from Sangiovese; read more here) along with Trebianno d’Abruzzo, which is the name of the wine produced from a white grape variety called Trebbiano Abruzzese.
  • While these two grapes dominate the region’s wines, nearly forgotten varieties such as Moscatello, Pecorino and Passerina are finding space in the vineyard as well as recognition in the region and beyond thanks to people like Davide Febo and importers like VeroVino.

2019 Lunaria Pettirosce Cerasuolo d’ Abruzzo DOC

Abruzzo Inspired Menu

  • cheese plate with various pecorino including
    truffles, mortadella (in Abruzzo aka Mules Balls!), green olives  
  • citrus and anchovies with fennel seed and olives on spring greens
  • mussels with saffron
  • pasta with pancetta pecorino (similar to carbanara) 
  • crostini with garlic and olice oil

Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo 

  • 2019 Lunaria Pettirosce Cerasuolo d’ Abruzzo DOC

  • 2021 Famiglia Febo Cerasuolo D’Abruzzo DOC

love the birds and animals on this label of 2019 Lunaria Pettirosce Cerasuolo d’ Abruzzo DOC

2019 Lunaria Pettirosce Cerasuolo d’ Abruzzo DOC

ABV: 13.5%
Grapes: Montepulciano
Importer: Serendipity Wines
I purchased this on sale at Whole Foods.

Lunaria is a larger producer and you should be able to find their wines at your local Whole Foods or other wine shops. This Rose wine is Demeter certified and from the DOC.

Appearance:  Translucent, watermelon, pinkish,

Aroma: Watermelon, sage, cherry, chamomile, mint,

Palate: This is a bit on its way out, there is a bit of oxidation, cherry, bright acidity, 

Pairing: Very nice with the mortadella, yummy with the truffled pecorino, the wine is so much better with food, everything we were feeling was odd about this wine kind of went away when it was paired with our cheese plate, All of the flavors of the meal was enhanced by the wine, it really likes the garlic and the herbs, great with the pasta, fantastic with the saffron in the mussels, the complexity of the wine matches the complexity of the wine, but best of all with the savory citrus salad. Two unusual flavor profiles that match so nicely together. 

2021 Famiglia Febo Cerasuolo D’Abruzzo DOC

2021 Famiglia Febo Cerasuolo D’Abruzzo DOC

ABV: 13.5%
Grapes: Montepulciano
Importer: Verovino Inc.
sample for my review

Davide Febo’s Grandpa Rolland Febo in the mid-‘60s decided to transform cow pasture to vineyards in Chieti and Spoltore by planting 2000 metres of Montepulciano grapes. Bottling challenges meant he sold his bulk wine north, then sold grapes to the local cooperative.

In 2018, Davide and his wife Laura left jobs in law and publishing to restart the family business– but this time as an organic farm that operates with respect for the environment to ”preserve the best of the past” –they even use the original equipment including eleven cement barrels. Four of these barrels are large and unique, painted in red and white, and purchased by Grandmother Febo with “money made made from selling fruit and vegetables at the markets.” Febo’s unfiltered, natural wines rely on native yeast as “The goal of the winery is to produce wines that are a clear expression of the territory and of the passion for viticulture.”

“Identity is like a lighthouse that illuminates the path of generations of lives and their stories,” states the Febo website. “Identity makes individuals unique and it contains some informations transmitted by familiarity. This is the parable of the rebirth of Famiglia Febo.”

VeroVino imports four wines from Famiglia Febo which you can purchase individually or as a set of four for $100 (great deal!) You can also order their organic olive oil. In addition to the Cerasuolo d’Abbruzzo Rose Wine, the set includes: 

Appearance:  Very pretty, looks kind of like a Pinot Noir or a Grenache, very intense Rose, translucent, 

Aroma: Cherry, tart cherry, menthol, fennel, jolly rancher cherry, violet, there is a little funk, it is a natural wine

Palate: Very tart cherry, sour cherry, very intense tart cherry fruit, lots and lots of bright acidity, very little tannins, fresh and fun, 

Pairing: Because of the acidity in the wine, it should be fantastic with so many foods, so good with the nuts on the cheese plate loving the hint of rosemary, very nice with the truffled pecorino, the salty pecorino was a bit to dry for the wine, alright with the Italian truffle cheese I wanted an open faced grilled truffle cheese bread with the wine, lovely with the olives bringing out an unexpected sweetness in the wine. So yummy with the mussels, the saffron in the dish is enhanced by the wine. Knock your socks off with the salad, this is such a fun unusual salad and just fantastic with the wine. The wine loves the sweet fennel and citrus, very nice with the pasta, this menu was nicely balanced by the wine

We’ve also written about Abruzzo in these articles:

Read more about Abruzzo from my fellow Italian Food Wine Travel writers:

We’re talking about Italian wines from Abruzzo and Le Marche with the Italian Food, Wine and Travel on Saturday, May 6, starting at 11 a.m. ET / 8 a.m. PT. Join the conversation or check it out via #ItalianFWT. Read the invite here. Check out the Preview of who’s posting what from our host Linda from My Full Wine Glass
  • 11:00 a.m. EST
  • Welcome to the #ItalianFWT chat on Italian Wines from Abruzzo and Le Marche. Introduce yourself and from where you are tweeting. Share a link to your blog if you’d like.
  • 11:05 a.m. EST
  • Q1 We’re talking about Italian wines from Abruzzo and Le Marche today. Let’s start off with the T in #ItalianFWT. Have you been to either of these two regions? Tell us about it!
  • 11:10 a.m. EST
  • Q2 OK, now for the wine from Abruzzo or Le Marche. What did you pour? What grape variety and from what region? Share a link to your blog if you wrote on the topic today. #ItalianFWT
  • 11:15 a.m. EST
  • Q3 Tell us something interesting about the wine or winery in Abruzzo or Le Marche. Any juicy stories, history or fun facts? #ItalianFWT
  • 11:20 a.m. EST
  • Q4 Why did you pick this particular wine from Abruzzo or Le Marche? Was it the variety? Packaging? Pairing? Personal connection to place? #ItalianFWT
  • 11:27 a.m. EST
  • Q5 What other Abruzzo or Le Marche wines have you tried or would like to try? #ItalianFWT
  • 11:40 a.m. EST
  • Q6 Who’s hungry? Tell us about the food you paired or would pair with the wine? Did you go with regional Abruzzo or Le Marche cuisine? Or did you jump countries or continents? Pretty pictures, please! #ItalianFWT
  • 11:45 a.m. EST
  • Q7 How did the pairing turn out for your Abruzzo or Le Marche wine? Would you do it again? #ItalianFWT
  • 11:50 a.m. EST
  • Q8 Any final thoughts about Italian wines from Abruzzo and Le Marche? Tell us!
  • 11:55 a.m. EST
  • Shoutout to the #ItalianFWT bloggers who wrote about our theme this month and joined us today. Grazie! @Culinary_Cam @WendyKlik @CrushGrapeChron @LemieuxAndrea @Vinotravels21 @vignetocomm @GrapeExp_Cindy @ArtPredator @linda_lbwcsw
  • 11:58 a.m. EST
  • Thanks for joining the May #ItalianFWT chat. Next month, on the first Saturday of June, Katarina @ricasoli99 takes us to Lazio and Umbria for more on Italian food, wine and travel.

4 thoughts on “Cerasuolo from Organic Famiglia Febo and Biodynamic Lunaria with Abruzzo Inspired Saffron Mussels, Pecorino and Pasta #ItalianFWT

  1. Cerasuolo and Mortadella sound like a perfect pairing to me! Pink, Pink, Pink! I love that you found environmentally friendly wines and I look forward to diving deeper into this region with you!

    Liked by 1 person

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