Cortese is a noted wine variety with crisp, lime-scented characteristics. The white Cortese grape is known for its bracing acidity and hints of honeydew, peach and apple flavors. The wine itself also boasts hints of light herbal or grassy aromas with almond.
The Cortese grape has been grown in northwest Italy's Piedmont region for hundreds of years. This grape was first documented in the 17th century and has long been considered the region's finest white-wine variety. In fact, Cortese is lauded as the wine that introduced the world to Italian whites, making it a superstar in the wine world.
While Cortese has been replaced in popularity by Moscato d'Asti and Arneis, it remains a solid choice for white wine lovers everywhere.
Cortese is a medium-bodied white wine with high acidity. It's typically a light, straw yellow hue with hints of green. Expect to find tasting notes and aromas of ripe fruit, pears, citrus, green apples, moss, grapefruit and minerals. Cortese offers a long and elegant aftertaste that's pleasantly bitter and fresh. As such, it's the perfect choice for an aperitif.
Overall, it's important to note that Cortese is a dry white wine with low tannins and a light-to-medium body.
Cortese pairs well with light fish, hors d'oeuvres, risotto, shellfish, vegetables and light snacks. It holds up particularly well to Bruschetta and other Italian-inspired appetizers, but don't try to serve it with rich, meat-heavy dishes. It's best served with lighter fare, especially if the food has a citrus sauce or glaze. You can also enjoy Cortese on its own, as its dry fizziness is delightfully refreshing.
Serve chilled in your favorite wine glass.
Cortese is known by many names, including Corteis, Bianca Fernanda, Cortese Bianco, Cortese Bianca, Courteis, Cortese d'Asti, Fernanda Bianca, Cortesi, Courteisa and Raverusto.
The name is pronounced Kohr-TAY-zee.
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