The Italians are masters of wine making, and since the time of Rome they have indulged in this fine art. Thus, they have many great recipes that could bewilder the minds of many. However the Italians are not very fond of exporting their wine, they consume almost 90% of their total wine production.
Italians produce many wine types, probably over 50. More than half of them are red wine types. Most wine regions specialize in both red and white wine types, however we shall go through a list of red wine types, and will ignore white wines since they are different in many ways.
This grape is known as the “noble from the south”, from Basilicata. It’s used to make full-bodied wines, rustic and powerful. The thick skin ensures a spicy aroma and a strong feeling. This wine was borrowed from the Greeks, originally known as Hellenic.
Another strong red grape, however this one is mostly grown in the island of Elba. But other regions like Puglia also produce wine from this grape. This wine has a Mediterranean feeling which you will surely notice from the first tasting.
This one is much more famous than most others. It’s history is not very bright, however recently the wine from Barbera is meticulous, with bright fruity cherry flavors and a very dark color. This makes it a memorable wine and it also pairs well with many dishes.
This grape is grown in a very beautiful landscape, the province of Sardegna. You might know it as the island of Alicante. It is said that in the 13th century this red wine grape had been imported from Spain.
This grape is the principal ingredient in the famous wines from Veneto. The names of these wines are Amarone and Valpolicella. It’s more or less the same wine, here’s the deal. Valpolicella is a wine with dark cherry flavors. Take this wine and send it through a drying process called passito and you get a wine that is called Amarone. This Amarone is a very special wine that can age for more than 40 years. It has very high alcohol content and is full of syrupy fruits to balance it.
Remember Barbera from Piedmont, well, Dolcetto is a grape that grows alongside it’s brothers, Barbera and Nebbiolo. Dolcetto is a easy growing grape, much unlike Pinot Noir, and it makes spectacular wines very easily. Normally it is flavored with blackberries and herbs.
It’s planted mainly in Sicily. The resulting wine is usually light in body. It’s used to make the famous Sicilian Cerasuolo. Frappato is likely to be a crossing between Sangiovese and another unknown grape variety, since it has similar characteristics.
Another grape grown in Piedmont. This vine is very vigorous. The grapes are almost black, with some blue hints. The red wines are usually sweet, though not too sweet. It also has sparkling qualities, and sparkling wines are produced commonly.
Lambrusco is a slight sparkling red wine, as well as the grape from which it’s made, which is already interesting enough. Other interesting facts include the high value it had during Roman times, since it has high productivity and yields much more wine than many other varieties. Definitely one to try.
Now it’s grown in a variety of wine regions in the world. However in the past it’s origins were the Mediterranean regions, Madeira, etc. While most Malvasia varieties produce white wine Malvasia Nera produces red wine of a dark color. It’s grown in the Piedmont region as well as Puglia.
This red wine comes from the Montepulciano grape. It comes from the region of Abruzzo, located in east Italy. However the grape is highly recommended to almost 2 dozens of wine regions. The wine is normally dry and has soft tannins, so it doesn’t age very well.
In Piedmont it makes for the great wines of Barolo and Barbaresco. It is the most noble Italian variety. The wines are lightly colored but have strong, high tannins. When aged it takes on a orange tint and brings into light many flavors such as violets and tar.
A province in the region of Veneto is called Negrar. They specialize in agriculture, producing mostly cherries and red wine. Valpolicella is common, and also Recioto is note-worthy.
Native to south Italy it’s grown in Puglia. The resulting wines are of very deep color. Often times you get a rustic feeling, as it combines bitterness with perfume. They make for some of the best red wines in Puglia.
Italy’s best indigenous variety. It’s mainly used in the production of Sicilian Cerasuolo, where it is blended with the Frappato variety. The resulting wine is often times compared to Shiraz.
Actually the Dolcetto grape, but this time grown in the province of Liguria. You can find similar wine types as in Piedmont.
A name that should bring good memories to you. It’s the main ingredient in Mustilli’s best red wines. The grape is mostly grown in the Campania region and is considered a specialty of the region.
Remember those Californian Zinfandel’s you tried and loved. This is sort of a close cousin. It originates from Croatia and it’s used in Puglia. Salice Salentino is a very famous wine that is blended with this grape.
Similar to how Primitivo is a cousin to Zinfandel, Prugnolo is a cousin to Sangiovese Grosso. Well, more like a clone really. It’s used to make Vino Nobile di Montepulciano.
Refosco defines a family of dark-skinned grapes. They are all native to the Italian regions of Friuli and Trentino. The wines are usually powerful, they have a deep, usually violet, color. It also has high tannins and strong currant flavors. After moderate aging (up to 10 years) it takes on floral aromas as well.
This grape is most often blended with Corvina and Molinara as the trio of grapes that produce Valpolicella and, more importantly, Amarone. The vine is very resistant to vine diseases and is usually favored for high productivity as well.
This grape is grown primarily in the village of Montefalco. It is indigenous to Umbria. This wine is not very famous due to the low production, however it’s among the most tannic varieties in the world.
If Italy is known for anything, it’s known for Chianti Classico, and that comes from the Sangiovese grape. Regarded as the flagship red wine of Italy.
While we have gone through many red wine types this list is still not exhaustive. You can find even more red wine grape varieties in Italy. This goes to show just how evolved the Italians are when it comes to wine making.
- Red And White Italian Wines - Italy is one of those countries that could turn any grape into wine. It is one of the oldest winemaking countries being known to produce since antiquity. One of the key factors that makes Italy such a good place for...