Also known as Corvina Veronese, this red is a true gem. Get your red wine glasses ready and treat yourself to a healthy pour of Corvina.
What Is Corvina?
For many wine lovers, Corvina is a bit of a mystery. It tends to be bright red in color, light in structure and high in acidity. Most bottles have very little tannin, so Corvina is a far cry from most full-bodied red varieties.
Where's It Produced?
Italian wine lovers, take note. Corvina grapes hail from northeast Italy, primarily the Veneto region. The small, blackish Corvina grapes aren't exactly easy to grow, but this type of fruit thrives in the volcanic soils predominant in this area. Some of the best bottles come from the hills of Valpolicella, northeast of the historic city of Verona, where the climate accommodates this grape's tendency to ripen late in the season. Low-maintenance this grape is not.
Though Corvina has been around for centuries, let's just say that the methods for processing these grapes have evolved over time. For the past 30 years, some enterprising Corvina growers have begun experimenting with barrel aging and extended maceration times, which deepens the normally light color. Since these techniques seem to lend themselves to higher quality bottles, they're likely to become the new norm for Corvina.
What's It Taste Like?
Well, that depends. Its most distinctive flavor note is sour cherry. Since Corvina is common in blends, though, the flavor profiles can be all over the place. Some are on the lighter side with berry notes, while others are sweeter and have more of a Port-like vibe. Try a few till you find one you like.
Why You'll Love Corvina:
No two bottles of Corvina are alike. No, seriously. While you can get bottles of 100 percent Corvina, they're pretty rare. Instead, Corvina is popular in blends. Most bottles have around 70 or 80 percent Corvina, along with 20 or 30 percent other types of grapes.
Valpolicella, for instance, contains mostly Corvina, along with Negrara, Molinara and Rondinella grapes. Bardolino and Amarone are other popular Corvina blends. All of these make for awesome table wines, so grab a big bottle and pour away.
Great Food Pairings for Corvina:
The fruitier and more aromatic Corvina blends serve as great complements to zesty pasta dishes and bowls of soup. The more aged and robust blends are better pairs for heavier meals like roasted meats and hearty stews. The lightest Corvinas can even do double duty as dessert wines, as they're great for washing down pastries or cheese plates.