13 Apr Let’s Demystify Italian Wines
Italy has an enchanting wine history that spans several centuries; the country boasts of 20 different unique winegrowing regions and has in excess of 800 wine grape varieties. In terms of Italy’s regional recognition and production, Tuscany and Piedmont are the country’s top wine grape regions. The Veneto, Friuli, and Trentino-Alto Adige regions are collectively referred to as the Tre Venezie (the “three Venices”), and they round out the major players in the Italian wine growing landscape.
Top wine regions in Italy
The renowned Barolo and Barbaresco wines are produced here. It also produces a number of bubbly Moscato wines. Barbera, Nebbiolo, and Dolcetto are the three key grapes grown in this region. The ultra-dry and highly-concentrated wines Barolo and Barbaresco are produced from the Nebbiolo grape.
This region is synonymous with Italian wines and when people talk about Tuscany wines, images of walled cities, acres and acres of vineyards, medieval castles and rolling hillsides come to mind. The Sangiovese grape is the dominant grape in the Chianti wines produced here, and are available in a range of price and quality. Super Tuscans are unique wines that are blended with Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Sangiovese and a number of other Bordeaux varietals.
This region houses some of the world’s most impressive vineyard landscapes and is renowned for its white wines Pinot Grigio at the helm. There are impressive temperature changes between the day and night which lends the grapes a distinctive acidity. These wines have bright aromatics and you will find them in dry, crisp and medium body styles.
Some Italian wine facts
The country has a vast majority of dominant global grape varietals; but its local wines are unique and impressive in every way. Literally hundreds of different wines are produced in Italy each year, but generally speaking, you can divide Italian wines into two main categories:
DOCG Italian Wines
Super Tuscans, Barbaresco, Barolo, Amarone and Chianti Classico Riserva, tend to lean towards higher price points and are diverse in flavouring and style.
These are less expensive white or red wines that are served at casual dinner settings. These wines are predominantly fruit flavoured and light-medium bodied while some are sparkling. All wines in this category pair well with regional Italian foods.
Italian wine food pairings
- All Italian wines pair well with regional Italian cuisine and complement everything from BBQ fare to spaghetti and meatballs.
- Piedmont’s Barolo or Barbaresco wines pair beautifully with heavy red meats and steaks. Both these wines built to handle high protein, high fat, have incredible acidity, a powerful tannic structure and full flavours. While not cheap, they are ideal for special occasions where meat dishes are presented front and centre.
- Pinot Grigio highlights incredible acidity and pairs perfectly with seafood and poultry.
Top Italian wines and grapes
These are largely Sangiovese, blended with Merlot, Syrah Cabernet Sauvignon, or Cabernet Franc and sit on the upper end of the wine price spectrum.
Barolo and Barbaresco Wines
These wines are derived from the Nebbiolo grape and are generally reserved for celebrations or Sunday dinners and lie in the median price range.
Most of these fruit-forward wines come from the Valpolicella region; they are considered to be the country’s big and bold red wines and have very distinctive cherry, plums, raisins and spice flavours.
This is one of the better quality Italian white wines. They are deeply aromatic, uniquely-flavoured, vivid white wines – try one of the Top 20 Pinot Grigios from Alto Adige, the white wine for summer sipping.
For any more information on wine Italian wines or wine custom wine cellar design and installation, you can call Signature Cellars on 1300 570 636 or use this contact form to get in touch with us. We’ll be pleased to assist you and provide custom solutions that match your requirements.
Thanks for reading,
1300 570 636