The 3 Best Types of Italian Wine
What are the best types of Italian wine?
Whether or not you’re a wine enthusiast, you’re likely to know that much of the world’s best wines come from Italy. People have been growing grapes for wine since the time of the ancient Romans and the popularity of this drink certainly has not let up in the recent years. But the problem is that there are so many amazing types of Italian wine that it can be hard to distinguish the very best varieties.
After all, where should you start? Which ones should you try first if you’re new to Italian wines? Keep reading more below to learn where to start.
1. Italian Wine: Chianti
Many people know Chianti wine from the movie Silence of the Lambs since Hannibal Lecter famously said, “I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice Chianti.” While you aren’t likely to drink your Chianti wine with a man’s liver, this rich red wine certainly goes well with red meat and organs (including liver, but from an animal, of course). Chianti is a type of wine grown and developed in the Italian region of Chianti. Bottles of Chianti often come in stubby bottles wrapped with straw, although today, there are many types of Chianti that come in ordinary wine bottles.
This wine is usually made from mostly Sangiovese grapes. A true bottle of Chianti Classico needs to have at least an alcohol percentage of 12. Besides that, this kind of wine needs to be aged for at least 7 months in an oak barrel. This makes the red wine especially rich and full-bodied compared to red wines that are not oaked. For basic, non-classic Chianti, the wine can have at minimum a 11.5% alcohol level.
Chianti is a DOCG wine, meaning that it needs to follow strict requirements in order to be considered true Chianti wine. Chianti Classico needs to follow more rigid restrictions compared to basic Chianti. There is also Chianti Superior wine that needs to follow even stricter requirements to ensure that the wine is very high-quality.
Chianti as a wine has been around for hundreds of years, so you should expect that every bottle is very high-quality. This Italian wine has delicious flavors of dried herbs, dried fruits, smoke, and cherry. Due to its rich flavors, it goes very well with savory meat.
Amarone is sometimes known as Amarone della Valpolicella. It is a red wine made from Corvina grapes. It is known to be dry and it is yet another DOCG wine, so you can be sure that each sip will be quality. This type of wine comes from the Valpolicella region of Italy. Amarone is actually quite a new wine since it was only coined in 1936 (although wine had been grown in the region for thousands of years).
The name of the wine means “Big bitter,” although this wine is known for its dryness rather than its bitterness. What is unique about this wine is that the grapes used need to be dried for 120 days before they are used to create this wine. This is unlike other wines which usually use fresh grapes. The point of this is to make the flavor of the wine far more intense than usual.
Once the wine starts to ferment, the wine will need to go through an aging process lasting 2 years. This aging process takes place in oak barrels, usually French oak. This further adds to the intensity of the wine’s flavor. As you can imagine, the result is a wine that will certainly kick you in the teeth, especially if you are unaware of its power.
Because of the long process this wine has to go through until it is drinkable, you will find that this wine is very expensive. Even so, many find that this wine is easily worth the price due to its quality. It is a wine rich with the flavors of dried fruit, spices, and even dark chocolate. This wine needs to have at least 14% alcohol, but it is usually much higher than that.
3. Pinot Grigio
This wine comes from Northern Italy, although you can find this variety being cultivated all over the world. Unlike the other wines on this list, Pinot Grigio is white and quite crisp. It is a dry white wine with a splash of acidity and it is one of the most popular types of wine in the world, especially in America.
This wine gets its name from the color of the grapes it is made from. This is because the grapes have unusual grayish skins. This wine actually originated in France but quickly became an Italian staple. Some find that the flavors and texture of this wine are uninteresting, but others beg to differ. The flavors of this wine include pear and melon with some slight hints of pepper and grassy notes.
This wine goes very well with light foods like fish, salads, and so on. Now that you know all about the best and most popular Italian wine types, you can experiment with some of these options. To get your hands on some quality wine, click here.