Today we talk about Italian wines and Italian food! Indeed, Italy is a culinary and wine paradise. It is composed of a great variety of landscapes, each one more beautiful than the other, and this is also reflected in the wines! Many great appellations such as Barolo, Brunello di Montalcino, Chianti… make the country great. There are famous producers such as Gaja, Biondi Santi, Frescobaldi… with mythical wines such as the super Tuscan Masseto or Sassicaia.
Countless grape varieties contribute to the diversity of Italian wines and to the local specificities. Among them, the best known are undoubtedly Sangiovese and Nebbiolo, but there are many others such as Fiano, Nero Mascalese, Aglianico, Verdichhio…
The Italian Food
And if there is one fundamental thing to remember it is that Italian wines work perfectly with their local food! They usually have a marked acidity, which helps to balance dishes that also have a good proportion of it. Especially with all tomato based dishes.
Italian food has at least as many specialties as there are wines!
This is a great strength of Italy, but it can also be its weakness. Because it can be extremely difficult to find your way around! There are countless styles, grape varieties, but also dishes depending on the region. It is therefore necessary to devote time to discover these numerous specificities. But this is good news because it means that there are always beautiful things to discover!
The main types of wines
- First, the red wines, like the famous Barolo (Nebbiolo grape) is one of the best known wines, with its extraordinary tannic power, the pride of Piedmont. There is also Chianti, in Tuscany, with its sweet red cherry notes obtained from the Sangiovese grape.
- Then the white wines. There is Pinot Griggio or the Soave appellation with the Garganega grape in Northern Italy.
- There are also many sweet white wines produced in the different Italian regions, such as Vin Santo in Tuscany.
- And of course sparkling wines with the famous Prosecco, Lambrusco, Asti…or Franciacorta.
Some pairings by region
Each region has many different types of wines that have their own specificities. But they also have local specialties where the gastronomy draws its source, its very essence. We have put together a small selection of those that we particularly liked!
In Northern Italy
In the famous Piedmont region, Brasatto al Balaro, or Braised with Barolo. This typical dish of the region is composed of pieces of boiled meat and is garnished with vegetables and various herbs such as thyme or rosemary. For the sauce, the whole is crushed and reduced. You can use brandy or Grappa to enhance the sauce. Save your Barolo for the final tasting of the dish. This wine is very tannic, and contains beautiful fruity and spicy nuances that will transport you to this famous region of Italy!
In Veneto, Risotto with Radicchio is a specialty from Treviso. Raddicchio is a variety of red salad that will color your Risotto. Sprinkled with Parmesan cheese, we recommend you to turn to another local typicality, the Amarone della Valpolicella. This wine, made from grapes dried using the “appassimento” method, has, like this dish, a bitterness that always remains under control. The pairing should offer you balanced and high-flying nuances!
For the center of Italy, let’s marry two great Italian classics! Lasagna with Chianti. Here the lasagna is made mostly with spinach. The red Chianti wine has some fine herbaceous notes that can act as a reminder. The wine will complement the dish with its beautiful fruity notes, especially cherries. It can stand up to the power of the Parmesan, and its freshness will balance the béchamel. A treat in perspective!
And in Southern Italy
While Chianti can work perfectly with pizza, we chose a different pairing. We turned to Naples, which is THE original city of pizza! And to combine with the traditional side, head for the Vesuvio appellation in Campania! There are many references such as the famous “Lacryma di Christi” which is widely distributed, and which can be found in many pizzerias.
And to make the most of all these wines, don’t forget your Aveine connected wine aerator!
We wish you a “bon apetito, e salute”!