This post was sponsored by the Italian Trade Agency as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own
What’s up, Nomsters! I’ve partnered up with the Italian Trade Agency to give you our suggestions for exploring all of what Italian wines have to offer. What you may not have known is that Italy has 20 wine-producing regions with over 500 grape varieties and possibly as many as 3,000 with hundreds yet to be catalogued – the most of any country in the world – and is the largest wine-producing country by far. Many of their wineries have maintained their styles and preparation methods that date back over 4,000 years; talk about a true (and delicious) heritage and legacy!
Each of the regions has its own unique flavors, varieties, and wines, so there is an almost endless amount to taste and experience. If you’re brand new to Italian wines, one of our favorite regions is Veneto. It’s a great place to start your journey because it’s the largest and one of the most famous regions for wine in Italy. I find the reds from that area to be particularly rich and full-bodied. They produce 19% of Italy’s wines, and of the three main wine production areas, Verona and its Valpolicella and Bardolino regions are definitely our favorites!
If you can find any combination of Corvina and Rondinella grapes, definitely try it! Corvina grapes are on the tarter side, while Rondinella grapes have a more lighter flavor profile. There are even some wines from Verona that combine fresh grapes with partially dried grapes for super unique tastes and velvety textures. So, while Valpolicella on a label may indicate a fresh red, if it’s a Valpolicella Ripasso you can expect riper, sweeter flavors with a super smooth finish. If you want to spluge, go for an Amarone della Valpolicella, a rich, lush, off-dry red made from 100% air-dried grapes.
If you’re a red wine kind of person, make sure to also check out the wines from Tuscany, such as those made from Sangiovese grapes – derived from Latin meaning “the blood of Jupiter”. These have a naturally fruity taste that’s almost like strawberries with a little spiciness. If white is more your thing, take a look at the Lazio region (where Rome is located!). The hills there get tons of sunshine and benefit from fertile volcanic soils, and 80% of the Lazio region’s production is white wine, including denominations like Frascati and Est Est Est!
Our favorite wines from the Veneto region are on the heavier side and go extremely well with cheese and charcuterie boards with stronger, more intense flavors. Whenever I host family get-togethers, I get a full-bodied red wine and pair it with pieces of Parmigiano Reggiano DOP and Gorgonzola DOP cheeses. The Parmigiano is a little milder than the Gorgonzola so if strong cheeses aren’t your thing, I still have a great option on the table. Despite the difference if flavor, both cheeses go perfectly with the bold red wine. Throwing in some nice, salty or spicy salame is also an awesome idea that goes super well with the wines.
Be sure to check out Extraordinary Italian Wines for literally everything you could ever want to know about wines from all the various regions, their histories, and loads more information!
The last time I was in Italy was when I was 12 years old, but I remember being blown away by the food and the beauty of the country. It’s at the very top of my bucket list of places to revisit and I can’t wait to explore the wines, food, and culture at an age when I can truly appreciate it. There’s such a rich history there and even just getting a taste of it through imported Italian wines reveals so much about the care, passion, and history that goes into the craft. I highly encourage everyone to experience it for themselves! As always, please drink responsibly. Till next time, Nomsters!