A journey from North to South to discover wine, one of the most typical products of our country. Discover 10 Italian wines perfect to savor at home.
White, red, sparkling. For appetizer, main course or dessert. Italian wines are countless, eclectic, each one different from the other. And each of them brings with it the characteristics of the territory where it is produced.
Let’s start then for a wine tour from Northern to Southern Italy and up to the Islands. We’re going to discover the locations and the characteristics of 10 unmissable Italian wines, which are perfect to savor at home in order to enjoy every time the most authentic flavors of Italy. Always remembering that, as a famous Italian proverb says, age and glasses of wine should never be counted!
A journey among 10 unmissable Italian wines
Italian wines, cellar - Image by Marmax via Pixabay
Barolo, Chianti, Greco di Tufo, Vermentino and more. It is very hard to choose only 10 of the many delicious Italian wines in a country with such a varied and complex food and wine culture like Italy.
That is why we are not proposing a specific ranking, but instead we offer a journey within the most unique and authentic places, scents and flavors of Italy.
10. The King of Italian wines: the Barolo of Piedmont
Langhe, Piedmont - Image by MaxCandela via Pixabay
Known as the King of Italian wines, Barolo is one of the symbols of the Langhe, Piedmont. It’s an area with beautiful hilly landscapes that became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2014 also because of the richness of its products, from wine to truffles and DOP cheeses.
Barolo is a very complex DOCG red wine. In particular, the "Priore" Barolo DOCG 2018 - Cantine Povero, with a garnet red color, has a bouquet of elegant aromas typical of the Langhe: hazelnuts and mushrooms, ripe red fruits, floral hints of purple and wild rose, balsamic notes of licorice, tobacco and leather. Finally, there’s also a note of vanilla given by the aging in oak or chestnut wood barrels, for a warm, intense and full taste.
It should be combined with important meat dishes, such as roast pork, braised and fillet of beef or veal cooked on the grill, and aged cheeses. It is also excellent as a meditation wine.
9. Franciacorta, Lombardy
Franciacorta grapes - image by alessandropepi via Pixabay
One of the Italian wines not to be missed is undoubtedly the sparkling wine. In the hills between Brescia and Lake Iseo, in the heart of Lombardy, we find one of the most important areas for the production of high quality classic method sparkling wine: Franciacorta.
The Franciacorta Brut di La Montina is composed of two international grapes, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Elegant, fragrant and suitable for any occasion, this wine, with a straw-yellow color with golden reflections, releases delicate aromas of white fruits and flowers, up to more evolved scents given by bottle aging, like a pleasant smell of bread crust.
It is excellent as an aperitif or combined with appetizers, but also suitable for a first course of fish or vegetarian, or for white meat and unprocessed red meats.
8. Prosecco, Veneto
Aperitif with Prosecco - image by SplitShire via Pixabay
Among the hills of Veneto in the province of Treviso, in the areas of Conegliano and Valdobbiadene (another UNESCO World Heritage Site), there’s one of the most famous and appreciated Italian wines in the world: the Prosecco.
The Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore Extra Dry DOCG di Villa Sandi is produced 100% from Glera grapes, a semi-aromatic grape typical of the region, which gives the wine a fruity scent of green apple and acacia flowers. This wine in particular has a crystalline straw-yellow color, with a fine and persistent perlage. In the mouth it’s perceived fresh, soft, with a pleasantly fruity and harmonious finish.
Given the sugar content, it is an optimal wine to drink in company, perfect for an aperitif but also suitable both for fish dishes and pasta dishes based on vegetables.
7. Lambrusco, Emilia-Romagna
Among all the most prestigious Italian wines, Lambrusco is the most sold and exported in the world. A true symbol of Emilia region, the Otello Nero di Lambrusco Emilia IGT is considered the undisputed masterpiece of the Ceci Winery.
Deep and enveloping, this sparkling wine has an intense ruby red color with violet reflections. It has aromas of red fruits such as strawberries, blackberries and raspberries, while at the taste has a delicate and non-invasive perlage. It is a pleasing wine, almost sweet.
Lambrusco goes well with traditional dishes of Emilia, like the gnocco fritto with salumi, pasta and risotto with complex ingredients, pumpkin ravioli, medium-aged cheeses and grilled meats. Like Barolo, it is ideal as a meditation wine.
6. Chianti, Tuscany
Chianti, Tuscany - image by 3225479 via Pixabay
Chianti, in the heart of Tuscany, is a region dotted with sweet and green hills, villages, vineyards and wineries. In fact, Chianti Classico is one of the most prestigious Italian wines ever.
The color of the Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG 2019 from the Ducale Ruffino winery is ruby red with garnet reflections that denote the aging of wine. Its aroma is very complex: there are notes of ripe red fruits, such as cherry and black cherry, spices, dark chocolate and vanilla, with a leather perfume released at the end.
Chianti combines perfectly with Tuscan dishes, such as fresh pasta with important sauces and, of course, grilled or even wild meat.
5. Verdicchio, Marche
Considered one of the most representative Italian white wines, Verdicchio Castelli di Jesi is typical of the Marche region.
In particular, the Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico Superiore 2021 di Villa Bucci is made from 100% Verdicchio grapes. Fragrant and balanced, it ages in large steel tanks to maintain its freshness and its fruity note of golden apple.
It’s a wine with an intense straw-yellow color and a delicate aroma. At the palate it is dry, fresh, full-bodied and with a persistent finish in which, in addition to the golden apple, there are hints of almonds and acacia flowers.
Verdicchio is exquisite for aperitifs and combined with fish dishes, shellfish soups and white meats. In addition, it does not disdain fresh cheeses.
4. Greco di Tufo, Campania
Greco di Tufo is a white wine originating from the area of Avellino in the Campania region, so called for the single-grape used to make it. Greco is a white berried grape that finds maximum expression in this particular territory thanks to the richness of Tufo (Tuff), a magmatic rock that absorbs water and releases moisture to grapes. The chalky soils of Tufo give the grapes freshness and minerality typical of Southern Italian wines.
The Greco di Tufo DOCG – Feudi di San Gregorio has a straw-yellow color and an intense and persistent scent. On the nose there are notes of white fruit, at the taste we can perceive the acidic note and the classic minerality of the tufo soil .
It’s served with the traditional dishes of Campania such as Buffalo mozzarella, raw seafood, white meat and, why not, also pizza Margherita.
3. Primitivo di Manduria, Apulia
One of the most representative wines of Apulia region is the Primitivo di Manduria, a wine that has the highest starting percentage of alcohol in the world (13%) and that is typical of the provinces of Taranto and Brindisi. The grapes used come from the Primitivo vine, so called for the early ripening of the grapes.
It is a very particular wine, with an intense ruby red color. It gives off a scent of ripe red fruit, blackcurrant, cherries in alcohol, plums and jam berries, with pleasing notes of cocoa and vanilla.
In particular, the Primitivo di Manduria DOP Talò of the San Marzano winery is very structured, thanks also to the 6 months aging in French and American oak barrels.
Given the high alcohol content, it fits well with some important dishes of Italian cuisine: lamb, game with elaborate sauces and hard cheeses.
2. Donnafugata, Sicily
Sul Vulcano Etna Rosato DOC 2021 of the Donnafugata winery is produced from 100% Nerello Mascalese grapes. The choice of the name “Sul Vulcano" (on the Volcano) is a declaration of love for a unique and almost mystical place, Mount Etna. This rosé wine stands out for its freshness and fragrance.
The color is a delicate pale pink, at the nose we can perceive fine floral notes of wisteria accompanied by fruity notes of plum and pink grapefruit. The taste is fresh, savory and mineral.
It goes well with exquisite fish and white meat dishes. It's ideal with raw seafood, vegetarian dishes, fresh cheeses not seasoned, white not spicy meats and Asian dishes.
1. Vermentino, Sardinia
Our journey to discover Italian wines ends in the enchanting Sardinia with Vermentino.
In the subregion of Sulcis, in the south-west of the island, the Giunco Vermentino di Sardegna DOC produced by Mesa winery has a bright straw-yellow color. With great freshness and minerality, and characterized by a marine appeal, this wine has intense aromas and flavors of citrus fruits, tropical fruits and white pulp fruits, with balsamic notes of Mediterranean scrub and iodized hints given by the proximity to the sea.
Vermentino di Sardegna is perfect paired with fish soups and shellfish, delicate stuffed pasta, fish dishes, white meats and fresh and creamy cheeses.