From Italy With Love!
It is no secret that Italian wines are hugely popular worldwide. What makes it even more astounding is the fact that Italy is one of the largest producer (1st world producer in 2018), exporter (2nd wine exporter in 2018) and consumer of wine in the world, an impressive feat given its size and population! So no doubt any wine produced in Italy is made with love!
Grapes are grown in every region of Italy and as a result the country boasts more indigenous grape varieties than any other one.
While some appreciate the fruity and floral flavours of Moscato, others prefer the dry and lightness of Pinot Grigio.There are also the classic Italian reds that of Amarone and Chianti that bring distinct flavours from local grown Corvina and Sangiovese grapes.
Food and Wine Pairing Made Easy
Doing the first steps into food and wine pairing can be daunting; it takes months or even years of learning about the wines and food. A good place to start for wine enthusiasts is to attend wine tastings and wine dinners to learn more about food and wine pairing.
A basic rule for wine and food pairing is to match the wine and food flavour intensity. But if you want some quick and easy wine pairings for Italian wines, read on!
Here are some examples of Italian Wine Pairing
Appellation: Chianti Classico Riserva
Grape varietal: Sangiovese
Try premium Campomaggio Chianti Classico Riserva: "Aromas of dark plums and black cherries with hints of milk chocolate. Full body, firm tannins and a rich, linear finish."
- 92 points, James Suckling 2018
Dish with tomato-based sauce such as pasta, lasagna or pizza, poultry dishes (game bird dinner to roast chicken), soft and hard cheeses (Mozzarella, Comte, Cheddar…).
The acidity and tannins of Chianti complement rich, fatty and savoury dishes. Giving this earthy nearly rustic wine an opportunity to render the richness of the terroir.
Appellation: Amarone Della Valpolicella Classico
Grape varietal blend: Corvina, Rondinella, Molinara
The name ‘Amarone’ was given to distinguish it from the sweet Recioto, wine from which it was originated. The legend recites that a producer wanting to do the Recioto with Corvina, Rondinella and Molinara desiccated grapes, forgot the Recioto in the barrels. The wine continued to ferment, all its sugars were transformed to alcohol and it lost its sweetness. For this reason, it was named “Amarone” (meaning the “Great Bitter”).
Discover multi-award winning Amarone Della Valpolicella from Biscardo Family, whose winery was founded in 1878. This Amarone has an intense colour and an important bouquet of cacao, ripe plum and cherry. The grapes are still hand-picked up and placed in wooden cases to dry during 120 days. During this period grapes will lost 40% of their water content. Following drying, end of January, beginning of February, the grapes are crushed and go through a low temperature alcoholic fermentation process. Due to the low temperatures, fermentation could last more than 40 days! Then the wine is aged
initially in stainless steel tanks and successively in barrels made with chestnut oak.
It pairs excellently with red meat, game, lamb chops and steak, stews and strong or aged cheeses and even cocoa/ chocolate.
Amarone is corpulent with robust character. The red fruit intensity contracts well with bitterness. Fat content of meat or cheese can smooth out the intense structure of the Amarone for a perfect balance.
Grape varietal: Nebbiolo
Often described as Italy’s greatest wine, Barolo is produced in Piedmont and compared to the Pinot Noir of Burgundy, France, because of its acidity, tannins and light colour.
Discover elegant Azienda Agricola Negretti Barolo from Bricco Ambrogio vineyards. "This structured Barolo offers fragrances of forest, mushroom, toasted oak and a whiff of leather. The palate shows ripe berry, with spice notes and hints of well integrated oak. It has bracing but ripe tannins and is a bit shy on length."
Kerin O'Keefe, Wine Enthusiast, Sep 2013
Food pairing: Barolo delivers its flavours with traditional Piedmontese cuisine full of tasty meat and sauce often combined with white truffle, and by extension all meat especially beef, pheasant, duck in sauce, as well as risotto with mushroom, strong cheese (for example the salty Gorgonzola), and even moderately spiced Asian cuisine.
The wine’s acidity allows matching it against higher acid foods with saltiness, but it needs to be balanced with fat (butter, fat or olive oil) to compliment the wine’s tannin.
Appellation: Moscato D’Asti
Grape varietal: Moscato
Produced in the Asti region (North West Italy), this very fragant sparkling wine is naturally sweet from the fruit, low in alcohol and has gentle bubbles, what we call “fizzante”.
Originally, it was made by the winemakers for themselves as the low-alcohol wine could be drunk at lunch time without effects on work rate in the afternoon! It is now one of the most popular Italian wines, appreciated for its soft effervescence that tickles the palate, and the refreshing and energising sensation it creates.
Discover La Gironda Moscato D’Asti. Typical aromatic Moscato grape bouquet, intense with hints of flowers: sweet, sapid, aromatic taste with light tail, rich with fullness and long finish.
Food pairing: it is usually associated with desserts especially tarts, panettone, sponge cakes using almond and dried fruit. It is also perfectly paired with savoury snacks such as salami with figs or melon for aperitif, Indian spicy food and even oysters. And of course it is perfect just served on its own!
The Moscato D’Asti has a cleansing effect in the mouth which cuts through the grease or sweetness to offer a refreshing contrast.
The above are suggestions from our wine experts but don’t hesitate to experiment with other pairings and share with us on our Instagram profile!