Above: A bottle of Pietra beer in Corsica, France

Drinking, Corsican Style

Corsicans are thoroughgoing chauvinists and invariably prefer to consume products that are made on their beloved island.


The vineyard at Clos d'Alzeto in Corsica - Clos d'Alzeto

The Corsican wine industry has evolved enormously since the novelist Ernest Hemingway remarked of wine he’d just tried, “It was a very Corsican wine and you could dilute it by half with water and still receive its message.” Today the island boasts nine appellations contrôlées and two cru designations, a remarkable concentration of quality vineyards given its size. Truly spectacular wines include the suave reds of the Patrimonio region and the Muscats for which Cap Corse is well-known. During my recent visit, the standout was a bottle of Moretelle from Clos d’Alzeto, a vineyard founded in the hills above Ajaccio in 1800 and run by the Albertini family for five generations. This white is made from hand-harvested Biancu Gentile and Vermentinu grapes, which are indigenous to Corsica, and it has an intriguingly complex nose (yellow flowers, exotic tropical scents) and a mineral-rich density on the palate that makes it a superb food wine.


Pietra, a beer in Corsica, France - helovi/iStock/Getty ImagesPietra is a pure blonde beer brewed from malt and Corsican chestnut flour by Brasserie Pietra. The name comes from Pietraserena, the Corsican home village of the brewery’s founder. The high fermentability of chestnuts helps to maintain the beer’s head and give it its golden color.

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Above: A bottle of Pietra beer in Corsica, France

Read More from Our Trip:

Indelible Memory: The View From the Marstrand Ferry The Best of Corsican Cuisine Indelible Memory: Driving the D80 Around Cap Corse Three Monuments to Napoleon in His Birthplace