The diverse regions and Mediterranean climate of Italy creates some of the best wine you’re likely to drink. With over 1,000 grape varieties, it’s no surprise that the country has become the world’s largest exporter. That’s even more impressive given the country’s size, which is roughly three quarters that of California.
With an endless selection of affordable options, Italian wine could be your new go-to wine.
I’ve put together a guide on some of its distinctive characteristics which makes it an unbeatable choice.
Many of the grape varieties in Italy can be found growing in regions across the world, but there still remains a select few which are only found on Italian soil. One such example is the legendary, Nebbiolo grape found in the Piedmont region. Growing conditions are perfect here with a much warmer climate than France and other European growers. Evolving over thousands of years, this grape is an excellent fit for its environment and can’t be grown anywhere else. You’ll enjoy a one-of-a-kind flavour from these exclusives reds, which always remain authentically Italian.
High in acidity
The wine of Italy is mainly characterized by a high level of acidity, with firm reds and crisp whites. That makes it very versatile, pairing easily with a variety of your favorite dishes. It’s no surprise that Italian cuisine is an especially good match, pairing well with dishes from creamy pasta through to meat dishes such as veal sautéed in olive oil. It’s also great for cutting through rich and fatty foods such as lamb and steak.
Although full bodied reds can be enjoyed such as Amarone wine or the famed Barbaresco, most Italian wine is medium bodied. This includes the most widely sold wine in Italy, known simply as ‘Vino’ or table wine. Produced to be enjoyed with a relaxed Italian meal, this inexpensive option doesn’t disappoint on flavor. It doesn’t overpower foods and you can drink it with everything from pizza to cheese and even fish dishes.
The terroir and climate of Italy differs greatly to those of France or other major growers including California and Australia. The rich soil of the fertile land comes through in every bottle of Italian wine. You’ll taste subtle hints of soil, minerals, mushrooms or grass. It’s this subdued earthiness that makes the wine uniquely Italian and yet again, makes for a great pairing wine.
Be sure to sample some of the beautiful wines of Italy and experiment which different food pairings. Once you’ve found the perfect red, you’ll never look back.