Quick Infographic Guide to Italian Red Wine Grape Varieties
Italian cuisine is known for its bold flavors, and their red wines are no exception.
We could spend hours exploring the different grape varietals that Italy has to offer; they are countless!
In the northwestern region of Piedmont, this grape is known for its rich, dark color and vanilla and chocolate flavors, making it the perfect side-kick to your bold and flavorful Italian cuisine.
The wines are noticeably fresh aromatically with notes of not-too-ripe berries, and always with a more solid acidity than many Italian reds.
The Barbera grape is a favorite among winemakers, making it one of the five most planted grapes in Italy and the top fifteen in the world.
Find out a great example of a Barbera wine with 2014 Bruno Rocca Barbera d’Asti.
Nebbiolo is the grape variety behind most of the top-quality red wines of northwestern Italian region of Piedmont. The most notable appellations using Nebbiolo at the highest quality level are those around the famous villages of Barolo and Barbaresco which have their own DOCG (Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita).
This grape ripens in the late fall when fog tends to surround the area, this is where it gets its name.
Nebbiolo is considered the King of Italian red wines, dating back to the 13th century.
This wine is perfect if you are looking for something larger than life with complex aromas and stout and dense flavors. It is no surprise that you find these qualities as it goes through decades of aging.
Check out wine reviews of solid typical plonks made from Nebbiolo by Bruno Rocca in Barbaresco.
Originating from the central Italy region of Umbria, the Sagrantino grape is of high alcohol content making it a robust and vigorous wine.
This grape offers blackberry and black cherry fruitiness with a mention of spicy and earthy flavors.
Sagrantino is a deeply colored grape variety producing some of central Italy’s most tannic red wines.
The most famous and noteworthy wines come from the area around the town of Montefalco which has been the variety’s home for centuries.
With possible Greek heritage, this grape was only recently claimed as an Italian born grape.
Grown in Campania around the city of Naples and all around the Southern part of Italy, this grape offers fruity flavors and aromas of roses and minerals.
The wines are known for being full-bodied reds displaying musky berry flavors, firm tannins and for the fine examples a very good aging potential.
Some of the best Aglianico wines come from the DOCG appellation of Taurasi.
The advantage of the grape is that even when grown in hot Southern Italian Mediterranean climate, Aglianico is capable of keeping high levels of acidity providing freshness to the wines.
5- Nero d’Avola
Known as Calabrese in Italy, but as Nero d’Avola to the rest of us, Italians went gung ho for this grape leading to overproduction followed by a decrease in the quality of the wines.
Those days of poor quality are long gone, and the superiority of the grape is headed back in the right direction.
Still, Nero d’Avola widely planted red wine grape variety pm the Italian Southern island of Sicily.
Nero d’Avola translates into “Black of Avola” wich is a reference to the grape’s distinctive natural dark color.
This easy-drinking wine is perfect for any occasion displaying aromas of plum and red fruits, and sometimes even chocolate. It typically has quite high tannins and a medium acid.
For more on the history of these five intriguing red wines check out Joe Robert’s take on The Grapes Behind Italian Red Wines.
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