Wines of the Times

Try summery whites and reds from Corsica

Sicily has dominated Mediterranean island wine conversations in recent years.

Until this summer, when Corsican wines quietly snuck onto lists across town.

Corsica, a mountainous oval between France and Italy, has a long history of winemaking and a recent commitment to exciting wine. Some of the island's best bottles are now in Chicago, thanks largely to importer Kermit Lynch, who deems Corsica's Vermentinos "the world's grandest."

In the simplest terms, whites are wild, lively and complex; reds are young, earthy and acidic; and both are rich with the wild herbs and stone of the island's terroir. Look for bottles from Domaine Abbatucci, a biodynamic producer that is among the island's most creative and modern, available at Premise, Urban Union, Spiaggia, Telegraph, Nellcôte and RM, and by retail at Perman Wine Selections.

Minerality anchors the 2011 Abbatucci Faustine Blanc ($39 retail)–and calls for a pairing from the grill. As does the 2008 Antoine Arena Morta Maio (available at Telegraph and Perman; $43 retail), its gentle smokiness lingering behind rich fruit and bracing acidity.

Try Corsican wines (and dishes) in a four-course menu ($60) at Leopold running September 8 through the end of that month, or at a Corsican wine dinner at Telegraph on September 18 (call the restaurant to reserve).