Friday, September 2, 2011

Italian Wine: An Overview

Many of you already know what kind of wine you like and many have a preference of what region or grape you prefer. However, it is always good to broaden your horizons, so as we address the wine regions of Italy throughout the month, here is a brief overview of some of Italy's most recognized types of wines. Salut!
Super-Tuscans, comprised of mostly Sangiovese, blended with Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot or Syrah, typically quantify quality, and are thus on the upper end of the price spectrum (ranging from $25 - $100+). Due to unique blends and varied growing terroirs , Super-Tuscans cannot be easily pinned to one style or stereotype. Super-Tuscan producers to scout for include: Viticcio , Antinori , and Tenuta dell'Ornellaia.
Barolo and Barbaresco Wines
Good Barolo and Barbaresco wines, derived from the noble Nebbiolo grape are typicaly reserved for Sunday dinners or celebrations. These wines can range in price from $35 - $100+ depending on the vintage and producer.
Amarone Wines
The vast majority of Amarone wines come from the Valpolicella area, in Italy's northeast corner. They are typically considered one of Italy's big, bold red wines, Amarone has fruit-forward flavors of cherry, raisins, plums and spice. They are made from grapes that have been partially dried and historically have had higher alcohol contents (14-16% range). Top Amarone producers include: Masi, Brigaldara, Tedeschi
Pinot Grigio
As for better quality Italian white wines, often Pinot Grigio comes to mind. For Pinot Grigio, Alto Adige has it going on. Deeply aromatic, vivid white wines with flavor and presence - Try one of the Top 20 Pinot Grigios from Alto Adige, the white wine for summer sipping.
Whether you are looking to expand your wine horizons or just hoping to grab a good Chianti with dinner, Italian wines are a cornerstone of today's wide world of wine.

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