Italy has a great reputation when it comes to wine. This is not just because it makes and exports so much wine, but might also have something to do with the fact that Italy's countryside is perfect for growing many different types of grapes, which allows for a huge variety of wines. Wine producers in Italy have quickly moved to the top of worldwide winemaking. They have worked to improve the winemaking techniques and learned to make wines that are of the highest quality and class in every Italian region, whether it's in the north or the south. Italian wines not only come from the wide variety of native grapes, but most Italian wines now feature many different international kinds of grapes.
Wine experts around the world rate the premier wines of Italy among the finest across the globe. From Sangiovese to Trebbiano and the many viticultural varieties all between them, it is easier than you might think to find the perfect wine to go with lasagna and can actually be quite fun when you know a little bit about Italian wines.
Although Italy has been successful in planting the many international varieties of grapes, it is the domestic vines that are the base for the authentic characteristics of flavor that can be found in Italian wines. There are hundreds of different wines created in Italy each year, so it can be a little bit daunting to choose the perfect Italian wine.
In most cases, Italian wines fall under one of two categories: Table Wines and "Higher End" Italian Wines. Before the individual benefits of each wine are discussed, it's important to remember that all Italian wines are made to compliment Italian food. Good Italian wine and traditional Italian foods are meant to work together and much like a happy marriage, they only serve to complement each other.
Italian Table wines tend to cost less and come in red or white versions. They are meant to be enjoyed in a casual atmosphere, like that of an Italian style family meal. These wines often come in large jug type of bottles and most Italian dining tables are never without these wines. Table wines tend to be a little bit fruitier in flavor, which makes them a bit sweeter than other wines. Some of them are sparkling and most are light or medium bodied. They often work well for those who don't drink wine that often. Lambrusco is a common table wine, and some enjoy this wine very much, while others don't like it at all. Lambrusco is a dry red wine that is slightly sparkling. It has a reputation for being more about the amount and less about the quality of it. Many enjoy the authentic Chianti that seems to cover the entire genre of Italian wine. Others like to choose a Chianti Classico. It costs a bit more, but when it comes to great wine, a couple of extra dollars is well worth it.
Super-Tuscans are wines that are made mostly of Sangiovese that are combined with Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah or Cabernet Franc. These blends usually signify a bit more quality, which makes them slightly more pricey. It's difficult to pin Super-Tuscans to one particular style or stereo type because of the individual blends and territories they come from. A couple of the Super-Tuscan producers to look for include Viticcio and Antinori.
Good Barolo and Barbaresco wines that are made from the Nebbiolo grape are kept aside for special occasions. This could be due to the fact that this kind of grape is considered to be noble. Wines of this kind can cost anywhere from $35 to over $100 per bottle, depending on who produces it and the vintage of the wine.
Most of the Amarone wines are produced in the area of Valpolicella, which is in the northeast corner of Italy. These are often said to be the bigger, bolder red wines that come from Italy. Amarone wines have a bit of a fruity flavor that includes raisins, plums, spice and cherries. They are produced from grapes that are partially dried and throughout history have a higher alcohol content. Some of the best Amarone producers to look for include: Masi, Speri, and Allegrini.
If you're looking for the higher quality Italian white wines, you should consider a good Pinot Grigio. This kind of wine has a bright white color and is not only aromatic, but very flavorful as well. If you're new to this kind of wine, check out Elena Walch, Santa Margherita, Walch J. Hofstatter, or Weingut Niklas for the best choices in Pinot Grigio.
No matter if you're working to learn more about good Italian wines, or you want to have a Chianti that compliments your meal well, you'll find that there are many different Italian wines to choose from to complement every situation.