Finest Italian Red Wines
Italy has over 350 regional wines and well above 500 native wine grapes. To understand the heat in the kitchen, one has to experience it. This principle could apply to wine as well. With that said, Italy is the kitchen to some of the world’s best wine. Wine-tasting is the only sure way to understand this fact.
Italians have a legally defined way of labeling their wine through geopolitical areas. The best red wines have a combination of the wine’s appellation and the grape variety, there are over 2000 and most are near to becoming extinct.
This labeling makes it easier when shopping for wine for that dinner date, Sunday bbq with the family, or girl’s night in. You don’t need to have connoisseur skills to purchase the best wine. All there is to know is a few wine names, and you become the master of the party.
Special Wine for Special Occasions
Special occasions call for class and a good time. These four wines explain it perfectly:
Revered as one of the best wines produced under controlled methods for quality, Piedmont’s Barolo is the king of wines. Obtained from the Nebbiolo grape variety – best in Italy’s vineyards – this wine from this small appellation in the Northwest region is the most ageable in the world. It literally “ages as fine wine” because it is.
To tame their tannins, classic Barolos have required at least over ten years in the cellars in the past. But recent times have seen more and more producers adopt modern “international styles” of fermentation to shorten the time required for maturity.
For every king, there is a queen. Meet Barbaresco. Crafted from the best -Nebbiolo- it carries the title just fine. Praised for finesse and aroma, Barbaresco will give you a new name when hosting. Barbaresco wines pairs well with meaty dishes. A beef roast complements well with the wines’ smoke and earthy qualities.
Brunello originates from the small medieval hill town of Montalcino. This red DOCG Italian wine is produced from Sangiovese (Brunello) grapes found in some of Italy’s best soils.
Heavy pasta meals served with either steak or oxtail make for a good time with Brunello wines.
For the lovers of dry red wine, Amarone Della Valpolicella will quench your thirst. Originating from Valpolicella in the Veneto region, this potent and concentrated wine produced from dried native Italian grapes will leave you dazzled, asking for more. Red meats, ripe cheese coupled with a bottle of Amarone Della Valpolicella should land you that second date.
If you’re planning to host a stew or casserole dinner party, what better way to wash it down, if not with a bottle of Gattinara? This often-over-looked wine from Piedmont plays in the Nebbiolo league. Move over Barolo, Gattinara will do for tonight. After the right amount of time into maturation, you should enjoy Gattinara DOCG with an old tasty savory pasta dish served with some cheese.
Rosso Di Montalcino
This “baby Brunello” originates from Sangiovese found in vineyards here in Rosso Di Montalcino. This beautiful piece of class is released into the market a year after harvest. A good time killer while your Brunello matures in the cellar. Rosso Di Montalcino doesn’t discriminate meals. Any Tuscan or international meal should couple well over dinner.
Produced under stringent rules, this is not your regular Chianti. From the historic growing area of Chianti dubbed as one of the oldest and most honest towns in Italy, this red masterpiece derives its name “Chianti Classico” from this Tuscan wine town. It is perfect for any meal course. Flavorful poultry dishes, lamb -spiced- or beefy dinner makes the right dance partner to this excellent production. To fully enjoy it, make sure the meal is less fatty.
Barbera D’ Asti
For that bright acidic and soft tannin delicious taste, Barbera d’Asti holds the crown. Your crowd will enjoy these delightful red wines hailing from Piedmont.
Dolcetto has a striking tannin taste compared to Barbera and not so much of Nebbiolo, giving it that perfect balance in your mouth. Running a busy schedule and the anniversary slipped your mind? Worry not, Lambrusco and Montepulciano d’Abruzzo has you covered.
From Emilia Romagna, a dry Lambrusco should wash down with antipasti. Slightly fizzy with a pleasing bitterness, these red wines are made for a hot summer day.
Pizza is never pizza without a glass of Montepulciano d’Abruzzo. With soft, supple tannin, juicy, grapey flavors, this wine will complete that date. Ask your local merchant for help: it’s easy to confuse Montepulciano with Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, which is a Sangiovese-based wine produced near the town of Montepulciano.
Your next trip to Italy should make for a great time wine tasting some of these wines that date to over 2000 years ago with a generational crown.