The vino Italiano lovefest continues with three more beautiful regions to sip through: Alto Adige, Piedmont, and Abruzzo. We have selected two medium-bodied whites of inimitable character and two medium-bodied reds with unsurpassed gusto. Body style aside, these wines possess their own unique personalities and offer remarkable versatility; a reason why Italy will always be synonymous with excellent wine–no matter the meal, the mood, the conversation, or the person with whom you are sharing it, there is an Italian wine perfectly suited for all of life’s drinkable moments.
To begin: A Pinot Grigio is not simply a Pinot Grigio. A grape that, at times, takes on a very standard role in the mind of the wine drinker, akin to ordering a Coca-Cola at a diner (you know it will always taste the same), saying, “I’ll have the Pinot Grigio” when choosing a wine, almost always guarantees a pleasant, crisp, and refreshing experience. This is great for Pinot Grigio, but it deserves some serious kudos for its often overlooked panache. This brings us to Italy’s Trentino- Alto Adige region and the Rottensteiner Pinot Grigio. What’s that? Sounds a bit… Austrian you say? Well, let us explain. Trentino Alto-Adige (Alto-Adige is also known as Südtirol) is Italy’s northernmost region. Its northern border is adjoined to Austria, Alto Adige’s former keeper until the end of World War I; here, in this striking region, German is the predominant language spoken and the wines are a reflection of the region’s fascinating cultural heritage. The Rottensteiner is grown in the villages of Branzollo and Frangarto within the district of Bolzano (those sound more Italian) where Pinot Grigio has become the most widespread grape. This Pinot Grigio bears a lovely pale yellow hue and exudes marvelous floral, herbal, and vanilla notes. It has pronounced minerality but also some heft to it, with a soft elegance that will pair well with a variety of fish dishes and appetizers, while standing up quite well to savory white meats. Yes, it’s true; we’ll have the Pinot Grigio.
On to Piedmont! Recognized by wine connoisseurs around the world as home to some of the greatest reds known to mankind, this northwestern region is responsible for big bad Barolo and Barbaresco, many magnificent sparklers, and fragrant, highly regarded whites. In the Roero appellation the Arneis varietal reigns and this brings us to our second white, Collina Serragrilli Arneis. A wine of very fine quality, this beauty is intense in both flavor and aroma. Brimming with notes of pineapple and grapefruit, melon, and hints of sea salt, this hidden treasure can certainly be savored solo or accompanied by anything from seafood to charcuterie. Now we travel a bit south and east of Roero, to the rolling hills of Alba, where we are greeted by the Sordo Barbera d’Alba. Deep and rich in color, this youthful red exhibits aromas of scorched earth, coffee, plum, and clove, while notes of blackberry, raspberry, and licorice play on the palate harmoniously, making this round and supple red with velvety tannins an instant favorite, sure to become a staple at home. Pair with hearty red meats, earthy mushrooms, blue cheeses, and root vegetable dishes.
For our final red we make our way to central Italy, to the mountainous region of Abruzzo, where the Montepulciano grape thrives. The Villa Medoro Montepulciano d’Abruzzo is a stunning ruby red with aromas of cherry and spicy oak. Pleasant tannins and perfectly balanced acidity form a synchronicity with the ripe berry fruit, cocoa, and pepper present on the palate. Fantastic as an everyday red to pair with everyday fare such as pastas with tomato-based sauces, pizzas, various cheeses, grilled chicken, sausage, burgers, and almost anything you fancy having alongside it.
So, how’s your Italian? We hope it’s improving as you read and taste through these selections. We love our wine, and more than that, we love sharing it with you. Cent’anni!