When you say Italy you say amazing food and wine. We’ve talked before about the food part and it was a mouth-watering experience, but now, let’s talk a bit more about the treasure of this beautiful country, a treasure that can be sipped from a tall elegant class.
Italy is the queen of wine, because almost every region is considered to be an official wine producer. It claims to have 20 major growing regions, including the islands of Sicily and Sardinia, and more than 2000 grape varietals. Visiting an Italian winery is definitely one of those things you should check in your Bucket list, and it can be planned in advance or lived to the most, spontaneously.
Tours – Do it yourself or organized?
There are wineries all over the country, as you can see in the map attached above, and each and every one of them gives you the chance to take a tour. Now it is up to you to choose what kind of experience you want to live. If you are a more organized person and you like to have everything put into place before you land in Italy, then you have to book an official organized wine tour. It includes several days of cellar visits and wine tastings, delicious meals, accommodation and transport.
If you are more spontaneous and you like to let things flow, then you can do some research and build up your own wine tour. There are some things that you can’t miss while doing that, like maps, smart phone applications, great navigation, a rented car and lots and lots of great disposition. This can be done by yourself, with your life partner or with a group of friends. Either way, we, at Italian Breaks are at your disposal with all the information you need and a list of accommodation offering also unforgettable wine tasting.
You also have to know that wine tours, organized or diy, are for all categories of people, not only for connoisseurs. If you like drinking wine, eating delicious meats and cheeses and have a particular thing for the countryside, then you just have to do this once in a lifetime. It is also really inspirational. You will learn lots of things about wine and Italy’s history and you’ll know how to buy the proper wine for your future dinners.
The Best 5 Regions in Italy
As we said before, Italy has wine written all over its map, but there are however some regions that are considered to be the best of the best, wine wise speaking. So you can’t be missing:
Veneto – with an approximate 18% DOC production
I you decide to visit Valpolicella, the region which is known for producing the famous Amarone Della Valpolicella, you can’t miss the red blends and the rich white wine called Soave. This place is filled with wine delicacies, made from grape varietals such as Corvina, Ridninella, Merlot and Molinara for the red lovers, and Garganega for the white wine passionate.
Tuscany – with an approximate 17% DOC production
Tuscany is famous for its red wines, but also for its sweet white wine, Vin Santo. It is the region of the Chianti, the king of Sangiovese grapes since the ’70s. The white wine lovers should try the most produced white grapes, Trebbiano and Vermentino. This part of the country has something magical, in the countryside way of speaking. You’ll need to take a single walk and you’ll fall in love completely with Italy and its way of being hopelessly romantic.
Piedmont – with an approximate 11% DOC production
Piedmont is the region where Nebbiolo is produced. It is a grape wih high tannin and pale color, that has been famous for a long tine for its acidity. This region is home to the great Barolo, Moscato D’Asti and Dolcetto. Just imagine tasting these amazing wines, while being surrounded by the Alps, from three sides. Close your eyes and dream!
Emilia-Romagna – with an approximate 9% DOC production
This is the region of Lambrusco. You can’t visit it and not eat the Parma cheese, while savoring a glass of Lambrusco. It is the wine that has been considered for a long time to be cheap, sweet and fruity, but is actually an amazingly dry delicacy that you have to taste once in your life. Emilia-Romagna is one of the most elegant and refined city in the world, famous for its rich gastronomy.
Lombardy – with an approximate 7% DOC production
The famous Valtellina region is close to Lake Como and is famous for its Nebbiolo light red wine, also called Chiavennasca. Lombardy is the producer of some great Pinot Noir and Franciacorta sparkling wine. They are all made with famous delicious grapes, such as Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Blanc. If you are also a fashion lover and enjoy having delicious exquisite meals, then you can’t miss this part of the country, and its capital Milan, Italy’s fashion center.
Open cellars day
If you are planning to visit Italy for wine and treats, then you have to know that there’s a major annual wine festival that you can’t miss. They call it Cantine Aperte and it is actually an Open Cellars Day, during which all the wineries around Italy open their doors for the wine lovers and enthusiasts. This event takes place on the last Sunday of May, each year, so don’t waste any more time and plan your trip. Choose a region, a partner, a beautiful Italian Breaks villa and you’re ready to taste some wine!
Top 10 Italian wines
We’ve talked about all the really great things, related to wine, Italy has to offer, but let’s be accurate and list the best of the best 5 wines in Italy every wine enthusiast has to try, according to the Wine Spectator:
1. Il Poggione Brunello di Montalcino – 2013 – 85$ -Rich, with excellent density, ripe cherry and plum fruit, licorice, earth and tobacco notes.</>
2. La Serena Brunello di Montalcino – 2010 – 60$ – Mint and eucalyptus aromas give way to dried cherry and soy flavors. Sweetness and acidity drive the long finish of fruit, spice and mineral.
3. Altesino Brunello di Montalcino Montosoli – 2010 – 123$ – A stunning red, delivering peony, strawberry, cherry and mineral flavors, accented by notes of wild herbs. Intense and deep, with great purity and elegance, a firmly wrought structure and a long finish.
4. Carpineto Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva – 2010 – 31$ – Enticing aromas of sweet cherry, leather, spice and underbrush stay focused on the palate as this harmonious red unfolds. The hint of oak on the finish suggests this still has time to evolve.
5. Livio Sassetti Brunello di Montalcino Pertimali – 2010 – 55$ – This features depth and complexity, from the cherry and menthol notes to the earth and mineral elements. Tightly wound, with a core of sweet fruit offsetting the burly tannins.
How do you pair Italian wine with food?
Ok, so you visited Italy, you bought lots of wine bottles for you and your friends and now you don’t know how to pair them with some great food. Let’s check out some delicious combinations that will change dinner with friends, family or loved one for EVER!
BEEF + PECORINO + PEPPER =BOLD RED WINES – CABERNET SAUVIGNON
PORK + GORGONZOLA + CHILI =MEDIUM RED WINES – NEBBIOLO
TURKEY + BRIE + MUSHROOMS =RICH WHITE WINES – CHARDONNAY
FISH + GREEN BEANS + OREGANO =LIGHT WHITE WINES – GARGENEGA
OYSTERS = SPARKLING WINES – PROSECCO
PROSCIUTTO + NUTS =SWEET WHITE WINES – MOSCATO
CHOCOLATE =DESSERT WINES – VIN SANTO
Wine tasting Italian Breaks Accommodation
Here you have some of the most beautiful Italian Breaks villas, all with the wine tasting option available.
So, tell us, when are you planning on coming to Italy? What will it be, red or white?