Some terrific wines have landed from some of Italy’s hot spots this month and as the sun finally shakes off its winter manacles now is a good time to think about summer eating, i.e. al fresco dining and good food wines.
Italian wines by nature are designed for food and sitting outside eating fresh pasta served with char-grilled/barbecue chicken and salad washed down with a vibrant Italian red is nothing short of bliss.
Whites too are equally tempting and the top pick this week is Bertani Collezione Lugana €12.99 (was €15.99) made from vineyards bordering Lake Garda this is rapidly becoming one of Italy’s most fashionable whites. So good in fact are the wines from here that the grape variety is no longer believed to be Trebbiano but something unrelated and unique to Lugana – locally called Turbiana. Match this cool, apple and pear white with fried clamari or grilled trout and enjoy.
Salads/Pizza/Pasta Pomodoro all have relatively high acidity perfectly suited to the refreshing character of Italian reds so La Piuma Montepulciano €8.99 (was €10.99) is a brilliant little red for this sort of thing. Ideal if you are having a crowd around this weekend, its abundant juicy, red-berry fruit and smooth profile make it a proper little crown pleaser.
If you are ramping it up a notch or two and a more potent red is called for then Porta Nova Ripasso €12.99 (was €19.99) is not to be missed. This is the epitome of modern, fruit - rich Ripasso, big and smooth with tonnes of fruit but never heavy. Most importantly is that lick of sour cherry on the finish which makes this wine such a great match for so many meater, piquant recipes.
Lastly for a real treat and a wine to match especially well with pork or poultry dishes or even game then Rizzardi Munus €14.99 (was €20.99) is back. Munus is made from old vines from two vineyards in Bardolino by family run, top-flight, estate Guerrieri Rizzardi and is one of the most elegant, complex reds from Italy you are likely to meet. Indeed this vintage has an almost Burgundy-like feel to it and as there are only a couple of hundred cases left snap it up quick – fans of Munus are never long in whipping through the stocks!
Whatever you do this weekend Italy has most of your food & wine solutions covered so pop instore or check out the web for a bit of the dolce vita!