One of the best ways to learn about Italian wines is to try them with local foods. You might be lucky enough to dine at a friend’s home when you’re in Italy, but for most of us, a trattoria, osteria or ristorante will be our dining experience.
There are so many wonderful eateries in all of Italy, but for me the greatest number of these are concentrated in a small area of the province of Cuneo in Piemonte. This is the area that is home to the charming Dolcetto, a red wine with delicious black raspberry and cranberry fruit; the tangy Barbera with plenty of spice, high acidity and very light tannins and the regal red pairing of Barolo and Barbaresco, both made exclusively from the Nebbiolo grape. Continue reading “Dining in Piemonte – Part One”
T Tazzelenghe Red variety of Friuli with harsh tannins that inspired its unique name, translated as “cutting the tongue.” Teroldego Red variety of Trentino with deep color, ripe berrry fruit and good acidity. Timorasso High acid white variety of Piemonte. Often used in the production of grappa, though a few producers – most … Continue reading Italian Varieties – T to Z
P Pecorino White variety from Abruzzo and Marche. Generally aged in stainless steel, though some vinters barrel age it, achieving a creaminess. Pear and apple aromas. Piedirosso Lovely red variety of Campania, literally meaning “red feet,” a descriptor for the birds that sit on the vines when they eat the ripe berries. High acid, … Continue reading Italian Varieties – P to S
M Magliocco Ancient variety of Calabria; black cherry fruit and firm tannins. A few producers, most notably Librandi are working with this grape. Malvasia One of Italy’s most widely planted white varieties, this found in several regions, including Tuscany, Lazio, Sicily, Umbria and Basilicata. There are several clones and subvarieties of Malvasia. Generally produces a … Continue reading Italian Varieties – M to O
D Dolcetto A red variety grown in Piemonte that literally means, “little sweet one.” Light tannins, balanced acidity and juicy fruit flavors of raspberry, mulberry and cranberry. Dolcetto produces a wine that is very charming and easy to drink in its youth. E Erbaluce White variety grown in north central Piemonte; the most … Continue reading Italian Varieties – D to L
No one really knows how many grape varieties are planted throughout Italy today for the production of wine. There are at least 300, but the number could be as high as 1000 – or perhaps even higher. The reason that there is not fixed number is that growers are constantly finding a … Continue reading Italian Varieties – A to C
Sicily, the lovely, rugged island at the southern tip of Sicily, has a wine discipline that is not hampered by the strict regulations found in other Italian wine regions. Given that, you might expect a wide variety of wines to emerge from this land, but in truth the climate – it can be … Continue reading Nero d’Avola