The Diverse World of Italian Wine

Italy is one of the largest wine producing countries. With hundreds of grapes, varying regions and styles, there is certainly something for everyone!

Pinot Grigio and Chianti are the familiar power house names, that are classic and when well made with great fruit and acidity pair wonderfully with all sorts of fare. I love pairing red wines with lighter fare, especially as spring approaches and the thing that I really like about the chief Chianti grape, Sangiovese, is that it can have lush fruit and great acidity which makes it a great pairing with fish in a citrusy herbal olive oil sauce. Think olives, basil, EVOO and halibut…so good! Pinto Grigio, is one of those wines you can just have open in the fridge to pair a glass on a weeknight with grilled chicken, a shrimp ceviche or a smattering of grilled veggies.

There are of course, other fun everyday wines. Rosso di Montalcino (baby Brunello) is a great alternative to Chianti tending to be a little heartier, so swap out the halibut for salmon. There is Prosecco, which I am pretty sure everyone knows at this point. But, while many folks drink prosecco as a starter or as a brunch drink, have you ever tried it with your meal? Try it with some trout almandine and put it over ice with a lemon twist!

Many of the classic wines we know are denoted with DOC and DOCG indicators. This has historically been a sign of quality born out of strict guidelines. Today we have winemakers experimenting with all sorts of techniques like IGT wines, which indicate a typical style of that region. AND, there are also folks who are just going for it trying new techniques and styles. We are loving this passimento style Barbera from Natle Verga, a style reserved for Ripasso and Amarone, where the juice is passed thru a “raisin’ed must” giving it a richness of flavor without the heaviness. There are also rosé wines that are beginning to find their way to the shelves. So really, gone are the days where you should only look for the governmental quality indicators.

If you are looking for value and history, there is a tremendous amount to be found in Southern Italy. Historical Vesuvian varietals kissed by sunshine give us wines that over-deliver. I personally love the Vigna Lippio Sorrentino with bright fruit, great structure and southern terrior! Or you may want to go fruity! In that case, well made Lambrusco, with lively fruit, great acidity and just the right amount of sparkle can be really gorgeous.

We really have just scratched the surface, so I encourage you to come into Twin Liquors and take a class to dive in a little deeper and try something classic against something new! We have so much to offer and are exciting about sharing it with YOU! Let’s face it, it’s easy to eat your way thru Italy but the wine can be a bit harder to navigate. Let Twin help!

Top L>R:

Antale, Pinot Grigio $; Cleto Chiarli, Lambrusco $$; Natale Verga, Prosecco $; Altesino, Brunello di Montalcino $$$; I Vernoni, Chianti $$

Lower L>R:

Moris Farms, Rosé $; Vigna Lippio, Sorrentino $$; Kris, Pinot Grigio $; Natale Verga, Passimento Barbera $; Oddero, Barolo $$$;