10 sweet wines to try before you leave Italy

Are you travelling to Italy and have in mind to be delighted by the amazing and affordable Italian wines and you are just thinking to Prosecco and Chianti? Be open minded and you’d be incredibly surprised. This is a very short list of wines I like to recommend to my foodie­friends travelling in Italy, surely not exhaustive of the great variety of Italian wines produced, but wines in which you can find the soul of Italian regions and traditions.

  • 1)Frascati Superiore (Lazio) –When in Rome you cannot miss to taste the edge of local wine. This wine is a DOCG. With an amazing straw­colour almost brilliant, with an amazing and persistent bouquet with floral scent and exotic fruit. Amazing pairing with: tonnarello cacao e pepe, fresh cheeses, shellfish. Try: Poggio Verde Principe Pallavicini (wine shop ave. price: € 12,00 bottle)


  • 2) Friuli Colli Orientali (Friuli Venezia Giulia) – the amazing elegance. Scent of hay and stones, very fresh taste rich in minerality, cedar, exotic fruit. Pairing with: soups and risotto. Try: Friuli Colli Orientali Illivio Felluga (wine shop: € 22,00 bottle)


  • 3) Chardonnay (Piemonte) – If looking for a completely different Chardonnay experience try a luxury Chardonnay produced in langhe region, in the Barbaresco area. Here every vineyard and wine producer will offer you a different wine due to the variety of soil which changes metre by metre. Be delighted by superb concentration of perfumes, mature fruit, a lively acidity and an amazing long­lasting persistency. If aged become more and more harmonic. Amazing pairing with: truffle, fish, white meat, soups and pasta. Try: Chardonnay 2013 Gaya & Rey (wine shop: € 145,00 bottle)


  • 4)Garganega (Veneto) – this lovely white wine produced with local grapes is a top expression of its land. Soil of volcanic origin, full of basalt, gives to grapes and exceptional minerality and aromatic flavour. Full in salinity. Typical straw­colour, scent of peach, apple, camomile and stone. Amazing sensations in the mouth very fresh. Perfect when paired with: pies, vegetarian meals, fried fish, chicken curry. Try: Soave Classico DOC Inama 2013 (wine shop: € 10,00 bottle).


  • 5)Vermentino (Ligura) ­ this variety, descendant of the Spanish vine present in Tuscany, Sardinia and Corsica, in Liguria produces and incredibly flavoured wine, full body and alcohol, fruity and aromatic herbs scent, lightly almond aftertaste. In Liguria more than fruity gives very delicate notes with prevalence of thymus, sage, Mediterranean scrub. Paring with: appetizers, fish, pasta. Try: Fosso di Corsano Vermentino Colli di Luni Terenzuola 2015 (wine shop: € 13,00)


  • 6)Verdicchio (Marche) – definitely one of the oldest Italian variety. Typical colour gold-green, with a typical intense almond aftertaste. Fresh and often really saline is balanced with a good alcohol quantity that makes it smooth. Perfumes of herbs, grass and fruit. Pairing with: appetizers, fried specialties, roasted fish and first courses, turkey and white meat. Try: Castelli di Jesi Verdicchio Classsico Villa Bucci Riserva 2013 (wine shop: €32,00)


  • 7)Ribolla Gialla (Friuli venezia Giulia) ­ Ancient variety that grows on hills typically flavoured as peach, pear, lavender and herbs. Complex and elegant nose. Could be your favourite wine. Very drinkable. Perfect pairing: Fish in any cooking style, appetizers, eggs, quiches, white meat with sauce. Try Ribolla Gialla Damijan Podversic 2011 (wine shop: € 30,00 bottle)


  • 8)Prosecco (Glera) Conegliano Valdobbiadene­ a status symbol and must to drink, perfect for the happy hour and more, the best Prosecco is produced on the hills in Cartizze with the Italian method Martinotti/Charmat. Dry wine with lively acidity. Inviting fragrance. Sweet acacia flowers and hazelnuts scent Perfect pairing: celebrating something. Try: Valdobbiadene Prosecco superiore di Cartizze dry 2014 Bortomiol (wine shop: € 18,00 bottle)


  • 9)Grillo (Sicilia) – Variety cultivated all over Sicily, important for production of Marsala, alone is very elegant and generous, amazing if refined in wood. Typical intense nose of candy citrus fruit. Amazing opportunity to be aged. If vinified in purity and stainless steel,become amazingly perfumed and tasty. Scent of delicate fruit and herbs. Perfect pairing:shellfishes, mussels, risotto with fish. Try : Il Grillo ’14 Feudo Disisa (wine shop: € 10,00 bottle)


  • 10)Vernaccia di San Gimignano (Toscana) ­ No Italian wine can boast a history that dates back centuries like this wine. Pale straw yellow coloured wine with golden highlights that become more evident with age. The perfume is fine and delicate, with fruity and floral scents when the wine is young. As it matures and ages, it develops the characteristic mineral scent of flint. It is a dry, harmonious and savoury flavoured wine. Amazing capacity for ageing. Pairing with: “Ribollita” soup and all variants of this found throughout Tuscany. Fish dishes any style. Fried food and eggs. White meats and medium mature cheeses. Try: Vernaccia di San Gimignano Sanice Riserva 2012. (wine shop: € 12,00 bottle)

Daniela Cassoni, Foodie & Founder @ www.gourmetaly.com, wine & travel expert.

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