italian red wines

10 red wines to try before you leave Italy

If you are coming to Italy, and you are looking forward to taste the amazing and affordable Italian red wines, this list is for you.

It is a shortlist of Italian red wines. I like to recommend to my foodie friends who are traveling all over the country. Surely, it does not include the great variety of Italian wines, but it consists of those kinds of wines in which you can find the soul of Italian regions and traditions.
Here you are the top 10 Italian red wines you should try before you leave.

1. Amarone della Valpolicella (Veneto)

With its intense spicy taste, this wine is like a serenade to a lover.
It is produced with a particular process starting from grapes partially dried, then fermented until all sugars turn into alcohol. The result is a full-bodied wine with a high level of alcohol (often over 15°) and elegant tannins, also suitable for long aging.

  • To pair with: herb cheeses, gorgonzola, smoked cheeses, risotto Milanese style.
  • Category: DOCG.
  • Try: classic Campolongo di Torbe 2009 Masi (wine shop ave. price: € 98,00 bottle).

2. Barolo (Piemonte, Langhe e Roero)

This wine is produced with grapes of high hills, and it is very different according to the year of harvest, the location of the vineyard and the age of the plants.

  • Taste: amazing nose with complex and intense sensations of red flowers, black cherries, licorice, and tobacco. As well as spices and balsamic herbs. It is smooth and strong at the same time, with powerful and rounded tannins.
  • To pair with: Brasato al Barolo (meat marinated in wine)and  roasted lamb. Also Grana Padano cheese,Parmigiano Reggiano and grilled beef.
  • TryBarolo Bricco Boschis Vigna San Giuseppe Riserva 2009 (wine shop ave. price: € 85,00 bottle).

3. Barbera (Piemonte)

  • Taste: strong acidity able to balance a high content of alcohol. Its flavor is powerful and elegant at the same time. In fact with typical cherry and red fruits flavor turning with age to spicy and cinnamon. Sometimes licorice and mushrooms.
  • To pair with: sheep cheeses, pig’s trotters and  carpaccio. In addition tortellini, boiled meat, taleggio cheese and fontina.
  • TryBarbera d’Asti Superiore Nizza 2012 Olim Bauda (wine shop ave. price: € 25,00).

4.Brunello di Montalcino (Toscana)

  • Taste: soft rounded tannins, salinity and  moderate alcohol. Splendid nose sensation of roses and red fruit followed by mineral notes and licorice.
  • To pair with: pork, roasted meat (duck, chicken), hare. In addition pecorino Romano.
  • Try: Brunello di Montalcino Montosoli 2010 Fattoria Altesino (wine shop: € 35,00 bottle).

5.Sangiovese (Emilia Romagna)

  • Taste: fruity nose with the sensation of black raspberry, spices, and wood. Nice salinity, full-body, elegant tannins, and spicy aftertaste.
  • To pair with: pasta al ragù, meat, aged cheeses and game meat.
  • Try: Sangiovese AVI riserva 2010 San Patrignano (wine shop ave. price: € 16,00 bottle).

6. Montepulciano d’Abruzzo Colline Teramane (Abruzzo)

  • To pair with: smoked beef, Alto Adige speck and  smoked prosciutto. Also with spaghetti al ragù, roasted lamb, pasta amatriciana and  sausages.
  • Try: Colline Teramane Pieluni Riserva 2010 Illuminati (wine shop ave. price: €22,00 bottle).

7. Aglianico del Taburno (Campania)

  • Taste: delicate nose fresh grass and wild flowers.
  • To pair with: fish and meat.
  • Try: Vigna Cataratte Riserva 2008 Fontanavecchia (wine shop: € 25,00 bottle).

8. Frappato (Sicilia)

  • Taste: fresh and delicate wine, lively and persistent with fruity sensations.
  • To pair with: roasted chicken, and pasta with meat sauce.
  • Try: Il Frappato 2013 Occhipinti (wine shop ave. price: € 25,00).

9. Etna Rosso (Sicilia)

This wine comes from the vineyards that grow on volcanic soil, and it is full of minerals.

  • Taste: red fruits, aromatic herbs, and salt.
  • To pair with: pecorino romano, pecorino sardo and  escalopes with marsala. Likewise with tripe.
  • Try: Etna Rosso San Lorenzo 2013 Girolamo Russo (wine shop ave. price: € 38,00).

10.Sagrantino (Umbria)

  • Taste: powerful and intense nose very complex. Moreover fruity and aromatic herbs, cherry, mint, and oregano. Full body and persistent taste. Therefore it needs a long refinement in the bottle.
  • To pair with: roasted meat, red meat, braised, hare and aged cheeses.
  • Try: Montefalco Sagrantino Chiusa di Pannone 2008 Antonelli (wine shop ave. price: € 30,00).