Wine with food is a way of life in Italy that goes back thousands of years. Romans were actually pioneers in wine production and storage techniques like barreling and bottling. This centuries-old passion for wine and winemaking may help to explain why Italians lead the world in wine consumption by volume with 70 litres per capita consumption.
Italy also offers arguably the greatest variety of wine in nearly every color, flavor and style. This is due in part to Italy’s unique geographical characteristics, from moderate coastal wine regions to vast mountains and foothills that allow grapes to be grown at different altitudes in a variety of climates and soil conditions. Italian wine is grown from the Alps in the north to the southern tip of Sicily, not far from northern Africa.
Italy produces more than 350 grapes that are authorized by Italy’s Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, along with more than 500 other documented varieties in circulation. Here are a few of our favorite wines from Italy.
2010 Tenuta delle Terre Nere Etna Rosso
At Terre Nere vinification is simple, classic, and Burgundian in technique. The color of this wine is ruby red. On the nose is slightly balsamic red fruit. The flavor is harmonic with good structure and elegance.
2009 Tenuta di Ceppaiano Alle Viole Toscana Rosso
Fantastic. Very ripe and rich, with raisin and cured beef character. Full-bodied, with big, velvety tannins and a long, long finish. A massive but impressive red. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Sangiovese.
2007 Re Manfredi Terre degli Svevi Aglianico del Vulture Basilicata
Ripe cherry compote nose. Lush, supple, juicy black fruits. Accessible, harmonious. Good length.