Italy, one of the best countries in the world for wine. But with so many different types and kinds of wine, how do you know how to choose a good one? A task like this can seem daunting, so below we listed 5 wines whose harvest this year will be delightful. All you have to do now is pick the one on the list that best suits your personal taste. Let’s begin!
Gattinara wine from the Piedmont region is made mostly from Nebbiolo grapes, known to the locals as Spanna. To be considered a legitimate Gattinara, a minimum of 90% of the wine must be from Spanna grapes and the remaining 10% can be blended with 10% Bonarda di Gattinara, but no greater than 4% of Vespolina. After the grapes are crushed, the wine is placed in oak barrels for ageing for at least 1 year. If it’s a riserva, or “reserve,” it is aged for two years in the barrel and then another 2 years in the bottle. This flavorful wine is best paired with stews and braises. This wine can hold its own and is a contender when it comes to Barolo and Barbaresco wines. An often underrated wine, but nonetheless delicious. Try a glass and see for yourself!
Amarone della Valpolicella
Amarone della Valpolicella or Amarone, as it is known, in Italian means extremely bitter. It is produced from Corvina and Rondinella grapes and is a product of Valpolicella, which is a province of Verona. It is called Amarone to distinguish it from its brother wine, Recioto, which comes from the same region. The process to achieve this wine is very laborious, making it a special wine in a class of its own. The grapes are harvested the first two weeks of October and then dried on straw mats for approximately 120 days. The grapes are then crushed and put through a fermentation process that lasts between 30 and 50 days in a climate that has a low and dry temperature. The resulting wine has a raisiny flavor and is very full-bodied. Amarone is excellent paired with equally full-bodied flavored meats and pasta e fasoi, a traditional Venetian dish.
Rosso di Montalcino
Rosso di Montalcino comes from Tuscany and is known for having fruity notes. The grapes that make this delicious wine come from the Sangiovese grape located in Montalcino. The Brunello di Montalcino wine, which is in the same family as Rosso di Montalcino, is aged for a minimum of 4 years, whereas the Rosso di Montalcino is only aged for a year, so it has a less oaky taste than the Brunello and is a little bit lighter. If your body has trouble dealing with tannins, this is the wine for you because, compared to the Brunello, it has much less. Pair a glass with a nice plate of pasta, particularly one with a red sauce. It’s the perfect complement.
Dolcetto is a type of grape found in the Piedmont region. Though the name Dolcetto in Italian means little sweet one, the Dolcetto wine is not known for its sweetness, but instead for its dryness and ironically, for its bitter finish. The fermentation process of this wine is very short and the bottles do not have a long shelf-life compared to other wines that instead get better with age. This wine has many notes which can be detected in its flavor including prune, black cherry, licorice, and almond. Pair this fruity wine with a nice plate of pasta or some pizza.
Lambrusco is a sparkling red wine. It originates from Emilia-Romagna, primarily from the areas around Modena, Parma, Reggio nell’Emilia, and Mantua. The origins of this wine can be traced back to Etruscan times and this particular wine was very popular in the U.S. in the 70s and 80s. There are many different varieties of Lambrusco, but those purchased most by consumers include Lambrusco Grasparossa, Lambrusco Maestri, Lambrusco Marani, Lambrusco Montericco, Lambrusco Salamino, and Lambrusco Sorbara. The grapes used to make this wine come from Emilia and are not particularly sweet, but the wine itself is and this is achieved by putting the grapes through a partial fermentation and by adding rectified concentrated grapes. The resulting flavor is dry and a bit bitter with some notes of strawberry. Lambrusco is best paired with cold cut meats such as salami, cheeses, and various types of pork meat.
These are just a few types of wine from the myriad Italy has to offer. If you don’t know what wine to choose, select one that best complements the food that you are eating. Whichever wine you choose from the list, you’re guaranteed a quality wine. Cheers!
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