The Italians are known for their delicious sparkling wines, their standard table wines, and some delightful red varieties you don't typically see grown anywhere else. Whether you're looking for a Prosecco or a Chianti, an Italian wine will hit the spot like nothing else.
When you're buying Italian wine, you might notice that the label tells you the place where the wine was grown and made, but not the type of wine. To figure out what's actually in there, you need a bit of knowledge about the growing regions in Italy. Thankfully, for the most part, the winemakers are happy to let you know what kind of deliciousness lies inside.
What Wines Is Italy Known For?
Though you can get a wide variety of wines from Italy, you should always go for something specific to Italian winemakers, like a Barolo or a Prosecco. Barbera is a great option if you're into red, while Soave is a delicious choice of white.
Barolo is an Italian wine well-known as the best red the country produces. It comes from the Piedmont region and is full-bodied with a lot of acidity and tannins. When you sip a Barolo wine, you're likely to get rose, tar and dried herbs.
Also, aging is a huge thing. It's aged for at least two years in oak, and then for at least one year in a bottle. Try this with your favorite darker meats, like roast goose, braised beef or even raw beef. You can also do a dish heavy in truffle flavors. Don't try any pungent cheeses, but milder cheeses are perfect with Barolo.
If you've ever seen a bottle of wine with a little straw holder, that's Chianti. This dry red wine can handle a lot of food pairings, so if you're not sure which red wine to bring to a party, Chianti is a great bet. Chianti wines are made in the Chianti region and are mostly comprised of Sangiovese grapes.
Tannins and an earthy taste characterize Chianti, so it's not a wine to drink if you're unfamiliar with wine. Try it with Italian classics like spaghetti, or eat it with your hamburger, because it's delicious regardless.
Italians make Prosecco in a tank, which adds the delightful bubbles in a different way than they do in Champagne. You'll taste delicious undertones of green apple, cream or honeysuckle when you drink Prosecco. Pair this bubbly with foods that are slightly sweeter, like sushi or cured meats.
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