A bold statement, such as “Italian’s Do it Better” will constantly be up for debate depending on ones personal experience (or influence from the queen of pop). However, all judgments aside — if the ladies in the bathroom can’t stop talking about these euphoric nights with feisty, passionate Italians then by all means fill up my glass, because apparently it’s been half empty.
However, before riding the Italian train a word of caution is necessary for the inexperienced, as the Italian wine region can be as complex as its men. With styles that are diverse and abundant while remaining loud and expressive you’ll be in for challenge. It takes a good eye to accurately sift through labels, which can be categorized by region or grape variety. To find the true Italian gems a basic understanding of the sub-regions of this country are required to help you avoid an accidental encounter with a “wanna-be,” (think Jersey Shore) and fall in love with the real Italiano’s (Fabio Cannavaro #EnoughSaid).
Here’s the breakdown:
*Piedmont: Home to the regions of Barolo and Barbaresco where the Nebbiolo and Barbera grapes thrive
*Tuscany: Home to the familiar region of Chianti and its Sangiovese-based wines (winemakers are required to use at least 80% Sangiovese grape to produce Chianti)
*Veneto: Home to the regions of Valpolicella (province of Verona) and Soave where consistent, easy to drink wines made of Garganega, Corvina Veronese, Rondinella, and Molinara can be found alongside the famous Amarone.
Look for these key regions and grape varieties to help guide you in the right direction when looking for an Italian wine. You’ll be sure to impress any fellow enthusiast by moving beyond the usual suspects of France and California.
Vixen’s Hot Date of the Week:
I’ve been smitten by the Casa Vinicola Zonin family that’s dominating the Italian vineyards like the ‘Good Fellas.’ Masterfully crafting wines for the past seven generations they are the “largest private vine growing and winemaking company in Italy” #GangterStatus. With vineyards located throughout seven regions of their country, the Zonin family has a reputation of crafting some of Italy’s finest wines (There’s nothing better than an Italian with experience under his belt). After a night spent with their appealingly full-flavored Tenuta Ca’ Bolani, Pinot Grigio, I’ll be sure to revisit this well-balanced and persistent Italian a few times over. #ItaliansDoItBetter #MadonnaWasRight