An Italian’s Guide to Italian Wine  


 

When we talk about Italy, we also talk about the beauty of the raw materials that make up our territory and make it unique in the world. Let’s see  a guide to our Italian wine , from North to South and the ideal pairings with various foods!

Northen Italy Wines

Barbera D ‘Asti DOCG by Pinterest

 

Langhe Piedmont By TouringClubwebsite

In the list of the most important wines of our Country, we must talk about the Piedmontese Wines. With about 44,000 hectares of vineyards, Piedmont is one of the symbolic regions of the Made in Italy label with regard to Italian wine production.

Wines such as Barbera( Unescoheritage), Moscato, Nebbiolo, Malvasia  are some of excellences of the production in this region and have some particular characteristics.

For example the Barberad’Asti is a rubin red wine with dry taste and it is excellent paired with first courses with a strong flavor and mature cheeses. The Moscato d’Asti is a sweet wine, and is very good paired with fruits tarts and the classic Christmas cakes

The Piedmontese Wines have these flavors and colors that are very unique, thanks to the hilly areas where they are produced. The Langhe areas, so rich in history and culture, are always linked to the production of this Italian specialty.

Among the most famous northern Italian red wines we find Amarone. Amarone is produced in the Veneto region, in the area north of the city of Verona, Valpolicella. The smell is striking for its unmistakable cherry notes and is typically matched with strong-flavored meats, cheeses like Taleggio, and is a great wine to have to relax at the end of a long day.

Risotto with Amarone by Pinterest

Another  region known for the production of particularly rich wine is the Trentino-Alto Adige”. The main characteristic of Trentino wines is the particular morphology of their production. We find vineyards growing at altitudes of  200m to 1,000m high, which give the wines a distinct character!

One of the most famous Trentino wines is the “Chardonnay Trentino Doc”, a fruity white wine, suitable with aperitifs or lean fish. Another Trentino Wine par excellence is the “Muller Thurgau”, produced in the Val di Cembra, which is a very fresh white wine, to eat with grilled fish.

Thanks to the variety of hilly and gentle territories, near Lake Garda, the rugged Trentinowines have a unique taste and flavor which is difficult to discern. It is worth noting this region of Northern Italy, as it is situated in Liguria, whose terrain is very rocky. Ciliegiolo”, a fruity rubin red wine, is produced here, and is very good with Ligurian dishes like pesto lasagne and octopus risotto.

Another Ligurian Wine is “Colline di Levanto DOC”, produced near La Spezia, a fine wine excellent with seafood appetizers.

Liguria is a region without an agricultural tradition, but the vineyards produce both mouth watering red and white wines such as Vermentino Ligure, famous in Europe. 

Vineyards in Emilia Romagna by GrandWineTourwebsite

In my opinion, on the list of the best Italian wine producers we cannot fail to mention Emilia Romagna.

Divided by Appennino and ‘Flat Land’ on the other side, Emilia Romagna is one of the most important  wine producers, with wines as “Colli Bolognesi PignolettoSuperiore” and “Sangiovese that thanks to their unmistakable flavor, they are a real trademark of the region.

The area of ​​the Bolognese Hills includes all the areas near the city of Bologna such as Monteveglio, San Lazzaro di Savena, Predosa and Casalecchio di Reno, and above all the white wines of this area of ​​Emilia have an excellent dry and harmonious taste.

Spaghettie alla Bolognese, sourced from Pixabay

The dishes to combine, are various types of pasta and delicate white meat. The Sangiovese, is a DOC Wine, product near Forli, Cesena, Ravenna and Rimini, real symbol of the charming Romagna, famous for its intense ruby ​​red color and the characteristic odor reminiscent of violets.

The Romagnoli use to combine the Sangiovese with grilled meat or dishes based on blue fish, accompanied by side dishes of vegetables such as eggplant parmigiana.

Central Italy Wines

The Map of Brunello’s Production by Pinterest

At the center of our beautiful Italy, we find the wine region among the most important in the world: Tuscany. A land rich in art, history and postcard landscapes that make the production of wines, both white and red, a real must of our Italian territory; among the reds it is mandatory to name the Brunello di Montalcino, the Vino Nobile di Montepulciano and the Chianti, whilst as for the white wines, the “Vernaccia of San Gimignano”.

Vineyard in Tuscany, sourced from Pixabay

Brunello di Montalcino is one of the most famous red wines in the world due to its exceptional quality, producing in a limited area, whose characteristic is to improve by aging in highly valuable barrels. With a robust taste and an intense ruby ​​red color, it is perfect paired with red meats, with cheeses such as pecorino romano and truffle-based dishes.

The “Vino Nobile di Montepulciano is a red wine produced in the area of ​​Montepulciano, near the city of Siena. Acclaimed by poets since ancient times, this wine has exceptional qualities if paired with white meat roasts and Grana Padano (a famous Italian Cheese), and has been called the king of wines for its great quality.

Another very famous red wine is the “Chianti”, produced in the Chianti territory, near Florence and Siena. Its characteristic is a bright red color and is one of the symbols of Tuscan cuisine – paired perfectly with meat roasts but avoid spicy cheese.

Spaghetti With Chianti by GialloZafferano

For the white wines, the “Vernaccia of San Gimignano is an excellent wine produced in the area of Florence, Pisa and Siena, and since the ancient Casata dei Medici. It was used as a table wine during banquets.Thanks to its dry and fresh taste, it goes perfectly with fries, fish dishes and appetizers like seafood salad.

Near Tuscany, we find another region that must be mentioned for the active production of wines, Umbria. Umbria is defined the Green Heart of Italy, thanks to the big quantity of hills and nature around its cities and is famous for the great production of wine.

Vineyards in Umbria by Pinterest

One of the most  famous red Umbrian wine is “Sagrantino di Montefalco, whose production is permitted only in the municipalities of Montefalco, Bevagna and much of the territory near Perugia.

Made famous as a perfect companion to boar-based dishes and hearty meat stews, every year in the Umbrian territories there are real food and wine tours to taste the local recipes and wines that are matched to them. For example  “Cantina Antonelli San Marco” holds real cooking lessons in English, French and German, to teach the traditional Umbrian cuisine to the many tourists who came every year in this place.

Approaching the Adriatic Sea, we find the Abruzzo. This region so varied in its landscape, boasts a good production of red wines. Production started in ancient times with the Etruscans and continued with the Roman people, today in Abruzzo we find an excellent quality of production of Montepulciano d’Abruzzo.

Ruby red in color and medium-high cost, this wine is excellent paired with strong-flavored meats, such as lamb or sheep sauces, widely used in the typical abruzzo cuisine, but can also be used to accompany mature cheeses.

Italian lamb roast, sourced from Flavours Holidays website

South Italy wines

Vineyards of Donnafugata by Vinitaly Wine club

In the sunny South Italy we find a great production of wine, thanks to the mild and typically Mediterranean climate, and to the extra lush and varied landscapes that make each bottle unique.

An important region to mention is the Molise. Molise has an excellent agricultural tradition, and in the area of ​​Campobasso, in a clayey and varied territory we find the production of Biferno red wine.

This red wine takes its name from the Biferno river, 85 km long and symbol of the region. It is a wine with a strong taste and if aged it has an ethereal fragrance. Excellent paired with tasty cheeses and with herbs and gorgonzola (a north Italian cheese) risotto.

On the border with Molise we find Puglia. Puglia is one of the regions par excellence of our southern Italy, rich in history and folkloristic traditions, it is a region that boasts a great wine production of excellent quality. One among many is Negroamaro.

Grapes of Negroamaro by Pinterest

This wine is produced in the territories of Lecce, Brindisi and Taranto, and  is one of the most famous wine in Europe. With a ruby red color and an intense fruity aroma, this wine is excellent throughout the meal. Try it with typical Apulian dishes like meatballs in tomato sauce … great!

If you find yourself having to spend your holidays in Puglia, a wine that you absolutely must try is the Primitivo di Manduria. A wine with a lively red color and a light taste, it takes its name from the vineyard (Primitivo) in the municipality of Manduria, and given its high alcohol content it is not a “meditation” wine.

Perfect matched with traditional Apulian dishes such as orecchiette with turnip tops and something unusual for desserts, such as the famous Apulian pasticciotto, a delight!

Apulian Pasticciotto, sourced from My Italian Caper recipe blog

Continuing our wine tour, we reach the splendid Sicily. Through the meeting of different cultures such as the Arab and the Norman, over the centuries they have forged all the architecture and ways of life of this region, which in addition to the incredible culinary tradition (not to mention the Sicilian Cassata), also boasts an excellent production of wines.

Very famous are some of red wines of this region as “Nero D’Avola”, produced in the territory of Siracusa, while among white wines  the “Zibibbo” and the”Moscatodi Noto”. “Nero D’Avola is a wine with a strong character and the nose reveals hints of spices and it is excellent paired with grilled tuna and roasted meats.

Zibibbo is a much sought after wine with an almost liqueur flavor. Mostly produced on the island of Pantelleria, it is a fruity wine and is perfect paired with desserts such as Sicilian cannoli and pistachio sauces, but for those who particularly like unique flavors, it should be paired with shellfish dishes. It has the characteristic of having to be served very cold and is honey yellow color.

Zibibbo, Terre Siciliane Cantina Cos by Pinterest

Another excellent and very rare wine, as there are only few companies that produce it, is Moscato di Noto. This wine with its characteristic citrus and aromatic smell, is perfect as a closing wine for lunches and a perfect companion for ricotta and almond desserts, typical of the Sicilian tradition.

The last region we meet on our journey is Sardinia. Land rich in natural beauty and one of the most beautiful seas in the world, it boasts a millenary viticulture tradition. How not to mention the symbol of Sardinian wines par excellence: the “Cannonau.

Cannonau is a very fine wine that is produced in almost all the Sardinian territory, especially in the centre of this beautiful region. It is produced in three versions: red, rosé and liqueur as a dessert wine. Perfect for all traditional Sardinian dishes such as roast suckling pig and dry pastry as far as the liqueur version is concerned.

So there you have it! If you are planning a trip to Italy, you now know exactly what to drink, what to eat while you drink, and where. No excuses to stay sober now ;) Saluté!

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