Review of Serisso 47, Trapani Silicy + Saint Germain (Brut) Firriato

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Serisso 47 is located in the heart of Trapani’s historical center and it is interesting to note that it was formerly a Bourbon palace in the 17th century.

Serisso 47 has a wonderful cozy and elegant atmosphere. The cuisine truly interprets the traditional cuisine of Trapani – the catch of the day, which is brought to your table by trolley. I highly recommend you experience this as each fish is pointed out and explained  along with the cooking preparation.  There are other regional dishes including spaghetti with sea urchins.

I found the wine wine list to be large with a great selection of regional Sicillian wines.  Our choice was Firriato’s Saint Germain (brut) – these wines come from Borgo Guarini estate in Trapani.  This sparkling wine was the perfect accompaniment from our appetizer right through to dessert.

Tasting Notes:

Colour:     straw yellow

Nose:        notes of white fruit with some citrus

Palate:      varied and complex, the balance of acidity and freshness enhances the persistence through to a finish marked with mineral notes.  Persistent bubbles.

It’s interesting to note that Catarratto and Grillo’s individual characters are present and easily distinguished.

Overall with Serisso 47 you get tradition, innovation, wonderful local flavors and excellent presentation.

Serisso 47

Via Serisso, 47

91100 Trapani

T: (0039) 0923 26 113


Liz Palmer

Wine + Lifestyle Journalist



Not every wine that sparkles can be called Champagne. True Champagne comes from a special region in France located 90 miles northeast of Paris. Champagne has a legendary history, and has for many hundreds of years been part of many cultural events and historical traditions. This region has a combination of chalky sub-soils and cool climate, which produces the only grapes in the world that can yield the Champagne of legends!

Grape Varieties and Styles
The three primary grape varieties that that are used to make Champagne are pinot noir, pinot meunier and chardonnay. The dark-skinned pinot noir and pinot meunier give Champagne its length and backbone, while chardonnay gives it acidity notes and biscuit flavour. There are several other grape varieties that are permitted for historical reasons, and are used occasionally.

A non-vintage Champagne includes a blend of grapes from several vintages. They also have a consistent style, and are made for immediate consumption. Most Champagne is non-vintage. Only a few non-vintage Champagnes will benefit from further aging.

Champagne vintages are declared only for outstanding harvest years and are made from a single harvest year. The producers reserve their finest fruit for this style of Champagne, adding to its desirability. Not every year is declared a vintage year.

Presitge Cuvées
This is a proprietary blend, the top of the producer’s range, and is most suitable for cellaring. The trend is that these Champagnes come delivered in very expressive, distinctively-shaped, and labeled bottles. These Champagnes are usually made with grapes from Grand Cru vineyards.

Blanc de Blancs
Blanc de blanc is a French term that means “white of whites”, and is used to designate Champagnes made exclusively from chardonnay grapes. The blanc de blancs style is popular as an apértif due to their light, dry taste.

Blanc de Noirs
Blanc de Noirs is another French term that means “white of black”. This sounds like a contradiction, but it is not. What it tells you is that the Champagne has been made only using black grapes. Champagne made from black grapes are typically full bodied with intense richness.

Rosé Champagnes are produced either by leaving the clear juice of black grapes to macerate on its skins for a short time or, the common method, by adding a small amount of still pinot noir red wine to the sparkling wine.

Sweetness (Brut to Doux)
In addition to classifying Champagne styles, classifications are also used to refer to sweetness. The amount of sugar added after the second fermentation and aging varies and will dictate the sweetness level of the Champagne.

• Brut: dry, less than 1.5% sugar (most common)
• Extra Sec: extra dry, 1.2 to 2% sugar
• Sec: medium sweet, 1.7 to 3.5% sugar
• Demi-Sec: sweet, 3.3 to 5% sugar (dessert Champagne)
• Doux: very sweet, over 5% sugar (dessert Champagne)

What can you see? What can you smell? What can you Taste? Champagne deserves your undivided attention. You need time to appreciate its colour, effervescence, savour its aromas and define its dominant impressions.

Before you pop the cork, there are a few basic tips:

• Flutes should be clean and free of any traces of detergent or rinsing agent [could cause Champagne to flatten]
• Avoid all forms of perfume, i.e., personal or room fragrance [these will interfere with the appreciation of the aromas]
• Ideal drinking temperature is [8° – 10° C] – chill the bottle for 20 minutes in an ice bucket filled with ice
• When pouring, fill the glass only two-thirds [this allows the aromas to circulate]
• Once the Champagne is poured, allow some time for it to open up

Colour and Appearance
Once the Champagne is poured, place a sheet of white paper behind the glass try to identify the shade.

Colours can range from: pale gold; green gold; grey gold; straw yellow; yellow gold to antique gold. For rosé Champagnes colours range from coral pink, salmon pink to deep pink.

How does the Champagne look to you? Is it limpid, sparkling or silky?

And what about the bubbles, are they: light; fine; lively; plentiful or slow?

Once the initial effervescence has subsided, bring the flute to your nose and inhale slowly, at length and then inhale again.

How do you describe the aromas? Are they floral, fruity, vegetal, or does the aroma remind you of dried fruits or some other indulgent delicacy?

Floral aromas can range from rose, lime blossom, orange blossom or violet.

Fruity smells will range from grapefruit, apple, pear, quince, peach, apricot, nectarine, mango, banana, lychee, coconut, cherry or currant.

Vegetal bouquets range from almond, grass, fern, to truffle.
Dried Fruit odours range from hazelnut, raisin to dried fig.
Other indulgent delicacy aromas include butter, brioche, toast, honey, candied fruit, vanilla and various spices.

Champagne reveals its complex personality best on the palate.

Try rolling the Champagne around your mouth – there is bound to be a dominant impression.

How does the Champagne feel?

Does it feel powerful, solid, comforting, smooth, light, mature, or opulent?

Now how would you describe the impression?
Is it creamy, delicate or complex?

Go ahead and enjoy what is hiding inside your flute!

To participate in tomorrow’s festivities, follow the #ChampagneDay hashtag on Twitter, Facebook, and on other social media sites. For more information about #ChampagneDay or the worldwide effort to protect wine place names and origins, please visit or

Liz Palmer
coHost for #ChampagneDay

New Travel Guide for Wine Country Ontario

Wine Country Ontario has recently launched the 2011 Wine Country Ontario Year-Round Travel Guide.

Released at Ontario wineries in May and at LCBO outlets in June, this Guide offers extensive travel information, travel tips, breathtaking photography, and regional cuisine.

This Guide also includes the 82 wineries from the province’s four primary wine destinations – Lake Erie North Shore & Pelee Island, Niagara Escarpment & Twenty Valley, Niagara-on-the-Lake and Prince Edward County, in addition to a number of wineries from surrounding regions. Included inside is a pullout Wine Route Map along with an overview of each winery.

“Inspiring over 1 million visitors per year, wine country tourism is a valuable asset for our province and supports our goal of making Ontario the number one choice for travellers. This new Guide will help showcase the magnificent features of Wine Country Ontario, drawing visitors to experience its beauty first-hand,” says the Hon. Michael Chan, Minister of Tourism and Culture.

Throughout the year, copies of the Guide will be available at all wineries and Ontario Tourism & Information Centers, or view an easy to use flip-through electronic version at

New for 2011: you can now access the Wine Country Ontario mobile web app viewable when you visit on most smartphones. This invaluable tool allows consumers to sort information by region, winery, wine, accommodations, restaurants and other attractions while travelling.