Do you care for a glass of wine? Great, but do make sure that it is Italian!
Italy is not only famous for its pizzas and pasta, but it is also a top producer of wines as almost every province in Italy makes wine from locally grown grapes. The key wine-growing regions in Italy are in the northeast, also known as the Piedmont region, which is most famous for its Barolo and Barbaresco wines made from the Nebbiolo grape.
But what else is there to know about Italian wine? We have compiled 8 best tips that every novice or connoisseur needs to know about the Italian wine types:
1. Wine Locations in Italy
In the South, wines are made in Sardinia, Sicily, Campania, Calabria, and Apulia. Overall wines from the South of Italy are inferior in quality and much cheaper compared to the ones from the North of Italy.
In the central area, which includes Umbria, Tuscany, Molise, Marches Abruzzo, and Latium, the wine quality is good mainly because of the Sangiovese grape. The most popular region in the central area for good wine is in Tuscany. It produces Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino, Cabernet, Chardonnay, and Pinot Noir.
2. White vs. Red
Italy makes both white wine and red wine. In general, the white wines often have an acidic taste and are prepared in a manner so that they don’t overpower the flavor of your food. Most of the popular Italian white wines are made in the North because of the cooler climate. There are many varieties of white Italian wines with distinctive flavors, which can be great gifts for wine lovers. Some of the wines that you should try include the Italian Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Ast, Arneis, Orvieto, and Soave.
3. A Bit of Flavour
Italy also makes several flavored red wines which include the deep red Chianti and the sweet Bardolino. Italian red wines are some of the best in the world. They are often consumed at dinner and are available in many styles and flavours.
Again, most of the red wines are made in the North of the country where the cooler climate of Piedmont allows for exceptional soil conditions and very tasty grapes, which are then used to make the wine. Nearly 60 percent to 70 percent of the wines made in Italy are red wines, and a large majority of this product is exported.
4. What to Drink
If you want to get a taste of Italian wine, some red wines that are highly recommended include:
- Vino Nobile di Montepulciano
5. A Personal Preference
Drinking Italian wine is a matter of personal preference. There is no right or wrong. There is no absolute rule that one has to drink red or white wine with a particular food.
However, some experts recommend that you should match your wine with your food so that you can experience the richness and texture of the beverage. For example, it is reported that the Chianti wine goes well with a spicy tomato pasta dish loaded with Parmigiano cheese. The light aromatic Vernaccia wine from Tuscany and Vermentino from Sardinia are best suited for seafood dishes as well as pizza.
If you are consuming citrus-based foods like soup or lemon stews, Pinot Grigio is highly recommended. After dinner, if you want something light and sweet, Vin Santo, will go well with cheesecake or biscotti. In general, if you have something sweet, the wine must be sweeter.
6. Stuck in the Middle with You
There are also some Italian wines that fall in the middle. They are not inferior quality, but they are not the best ones either. This is not to say that they taste bad, but in terms of classification of Italian wines, they fall somewhere in the middle. These include wines like Montepulciano D’abruzzo Brunello and Barolo and are perfectly suited to be consumed with roasted or baked foods. These acidic wines tend to match salty dishes.
7. Experience the Wine
The best way to understand Italian wines is to experience them.
You don’t have to be an expert, but you can try a few and see which wines appeal to you the most. The thing about Italian wines is that they tend to go with the mood, the food, and the setting. Some wines are just perfect in a romantic setting, while others suit professional events. Some wines go well with desserts while others suit salty dishes. It all depends on where and when you have the wine. Some wine lovers simply love all Italian wines and have a preferred choice for each occasion.
It really depends on how seriously you take your wine and how often you drink.
If you visit Italy, take a tour of some of their wineries. Go for some wine tasting events. You will get a very good idea of what is available and what you like or don’t like. However, you really can’t dislike any Italian wines are they are experts in the art of winemaking and are well-recognized for their distinct taste, flavor, and quality. If you visit Europe, you will surely realize that Italy is among the top regions for excellent wine – whether it’s red or white.