With our Italian wine sale kicking off this Friday the 9th , I thought now would be the perfect time to take a whistle-stop tour through Italy’s wine regions and look at some of the wines produced therein.
We start our journey in the Northwest, in the region of Piedmont which is home not just to Italy’s finest reds; Barolo and Barbaresco, but also to one of the country’s best whites in Gavi, which can be just about the most refreshing of Italian white wines with clear lemon, ripe apple and pear fruit, and an underlying stony-mineral character. An extremely elegant white, la Battistina (€11.95 down from €14.95) is easily one of the best examples of Gavi in Ireland. Enjoy it with Lemon and Herb Roasted Chicken.
Moving across to the Northeast, we come to the Veneto region, this vinous powerhouse produces more wine at D.O.C. level (Quality equivalent to AC in France) than any other region in Italy. This of course includes lots of white and sparkling wine, but the region is most famous for its red wines made using dried grapes. Porta Nova (€14.95 down from €20.45) is a big, bold, chunky Ripasso with loads of sweet, ripe, dark fruit, clever use of oak and that distinct 'sour cherry' Amarone tang. The velvet smooth texture means that this wine can quite easily be enjoyed on its own, but to see it at its best, I would serve it alongside a meaty Italian dish such as Tagliatelle al Ragù or even better with Veal Osso Bucco.
Staying east but moving down the Adriatic coast to the Marche region of central Italy we have, Marotti Campi's Albiano Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi (€10.95 down from €14.95) which has refreshing citrus fruits, zesty acidity and complex minerality as its hallmarks, when well-made like this example, Verdicchio is one of the very best whites Italy produces. Serve alongside Linguini with Clams for a match made in Heaven.
Crossing west again we come to the Tuscany region, home to what is perhaps Italy’s most renowned wine in Chianti. Made by the award-winning winemaker, Stefano Chioccioli, Volpetto Chianti Riserva (€11.95 down from €19.95), is modern Chianti at its best, packed full of juicy, ripe red-berried fruit, nice touch of oak and above all silky smooth. It's a superbly made wine that will appeal to everyone, not just fans of Italian reds. This is a wine that is crying out to be paired with slow-roast shoulder of lamb.
We finish our journey deep in the South in the heel of Italy. From the Puglia region, Luna Argenta (€12.95 down from €18.95) is made using the Apassimento method (borrowed from the Veneto), whereby the grapes are partially dried prior to vinification. This yields a wine with intense aromas of crushed black berry and black cherry with notes of vanilla and cinnamon spice, these aromas follow through on to the palate along with hints of mocha/chocolate, with this wine’s wonderfully rich style braised lamb shanks would make for a delicious pairing.
Our Italian wine sale continues right through Saint Patrick’s weekend and finishes at 10.00pm on Monday the 19th.
*Please note, prices quoted are valid from March 9th – 19th 2018, please check our website or stores for the most up to date pricing.