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Reading the history of Calabrian stuffed aubergines, the Gaglioppo grape immediately came to mind; it is the most important grape of Calabria, the one that gives life to Cirò DOC wine in particular.

A Denominazione di Origine Controllata (DOC) that takes its name from the town of the same name, Cirò, located on the Ionian coast and slightly north of Grotteria, the place of origin of this splendid recipe of stuffed eggplants, which is located in Locride.

 Fortuitous encounters, sharing of an idea, contact in times of crisis have given birth to this collaboration in which we will tell more and more about wines and territories.

With Discoverplaces we are united by the desire to contribute, how we can and to the extent we know how, to enhance our heritage, our roots.

So here we are talking about wine and Italy, traditional cuisine and food and wine pearls, beauties of which Italy is rich and that will surely return to shine when we are out of this bad period.

Gaglioppo is an indigenous grape variety, famous since the time of Greek colonization, which brought to Italy the technical knowledge and winemaking traditions born, as we all know by now, in Asia Minor, and then perfected here thanks to the contribution of the Etruscans .

What I like to remember is that this grape has among its main characteristics the resistance, the ability to adapt to the arduous climatic conditions of the area, starting from the drought … Let’s say it embodies the Calabrian spirit!

From black grapes of great character, Gaglioppo expresses itself well both in its more concentrated version, that is, in red wine, and when it also gives rise to splendid rosés, capable of rivalling the other classic rosé production areas: Puglia, Abruzzo and Lago di Garda above all.

On the nose there are the hints of red fruit and flowers upon opening, which then often turn to important spicy, even in the pink version, commonly considered the easiest. On the palate there is no shortage of tannins, the fame of Gaglioppo is to be austere and not always simple to drink, but the important thing is to approach with the correct opening.

For the recipe of stuffed aubergines alla Calabrese, despite its richness, the pink version is certainly recommended, with a body suitable for a dish that has no structure and very high reduction.

We can cite large and famous companies, such as Librandi, or even smaller in size, and I think of Cataldo Calabretta. In both cases we are talking about wineries that can be considered ambassadors of a respectable Calabrian drink.

Cirò Rosato DOC is an excellent pairing with aubergines stuffed according to the Grotteria recipe because the aromas of basil and filling will surely be well supported by the spicy hints of Gaglioppo.

The fatty and oily part of the dish (especially in the fried version) will be contrasted by the acidity and flavour of this historic wine, while the not excessive structure of the rosé version of the wine will perfectly adapt to the tenderness of the stuffed eggplants.

In short, a combination of great pleasure, which deserves to be followed perhaps by a great Calabrian dessert. The reason?

Well, because thinking about a sweet dish we can get closer to Locride and Grotteria, to discover another pearl, even rarer, of Calabrian oenology. The Greco di Bianco DOC, a passito wine more unique than rare. Needless to say, we recommend that you try it if you have the opportunity to find it in a wine shop or restaurant.

Fabio Ciarla

ITA Fabio Ciarla è un giornalista professionista, passato alla Comunicazione per aziende di tutti i settori. Non ha mai dimenticato la sua passione per il vino, già parte del suo DNA. Una passione di famiglia che si radica nella produzione enologica, torna alle sue radici di giornalista e sommelier. Si occupa di informazione enogastronomica insieme a testate come il Corriere Vinicolo, Corriere del Vino ed altri. E' il fondatore dell'audio-blog Enoagricola (, un portale prezioso di informazioni e news sul mondo del vino ENG Fabio Ciarla is a professional journalist who has switched to communication for companies in all sectors. He has never forgotten his passion for wine, already part of his DNA. A family passion that is rooted in wine production, returns to its roots as a journalist and sommelier. He deals with food and wine information together with newspapers such as Corriere Vinicolo, Corriere del Vino and others. He is the founder of the audio-blog Enoagricola (, a valuable portal for information and news on the world of wine