Vino Italiano – a Primer
Collioure on 12/13/2008
|This is an informative quiz on Italian wines. |
A few principles:
1. Most of the grapes are unique to Italy (except for a few experiments in the New World), the wines are acidic (somewhat bitter) and they pair up best with Italian cuisine which also is acidic. They don’t pair well with much else, certainly not French or continental cuisine (which is too "sweet").
2. Unless you’re in Italy you probably can’t buy the best examples of Italian wines. Instead you’re looking at wines made by big names with purchased grapes, instead of wines made by independent producers.
A good example is Soave which is a nice Italian white wine with antipasti or simple fish. You probably know the name on the bottle of very ordinary Soave available to you. That Soave comes from the plain, and, of course, good Soave comes from the hillsides. Better wines always come from the hillsides where the vines are stressed.
I’m going to do this in a way that you learn the good food pairings for these wines, rather than have you guess the wine for the food.
In France most wines are named after the location. In the US wine names denote the grape variety. In Italy both naming methods exist, but it seems that vintners also create a new name every day. So understanding what’s inside the bottle is not always easy.
Italy is the second most prolific wine-producing country in the world, just behind France. Lord knows, there are so many different wines there.
Let’s do the better Italian wines – the ones you are most likely to encounter and the ones most worth seeking out.
Information is from Cal-Italia.com, Wine Info website, Wikipedia, PlatsNetsVins, all-free-recipes, cooks.com, foodnetwork, frasi.net, italianchef.com, italianfoodies.blog, ricetteveloci.org, mangiabenepasta.com and "The Right Wine" by Tom Maresca.
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