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Frequently Asked Questions About Italian White Wine


What does Italian Pinot Grigio taste like?


Italian Pinot Grigio is most often described as being dry with high acidity. They usually have floral aromas as well as notes of green apple, lemon, and lime. Pinot Grigio grapes can have a pinkish-red hue.


What does Soave taste like?


Soave also comes in three styles: there is a still and dry Soave, a sweet Recioto, and a sparkling Spumante. Dry Soave is known to be delicate, light, and crisp, but so are most produced varieties these days, which can also have a crunchy fruit character. Soave can be enjoyed before a meal by itself, or paired with pasta, appetizers, seafood, and fish.


What is Vernaccia di San Gimignano like?


Fruity and floral aromas often characterize this wine. It’s well-structured, bright, and fresh, and leaves a characteristic aftertaste that will remind you of marzipan or almonds. Each vintage’s best grapes are kept for the Riserva label and aged in wood or steel barrels. This adds a mineral character to the wine. This wine works incredibly well with white meat or seafood.

Information About Italian White Wine


Italian wines equal diversity of style, and due to the sheer volume of choice, you could find yourself a bit overwhelmed when out shopping for an Italian white. Many of the grape varieties also have similar-sounding names, which doesn’t make things much easier. To help you out, here are a few to keep in mind:


Arneis


The Arneis grape variety is native to Piedmont and grows spectacularly in the area of Roero. Here, the Arneis grapes are made into the famous Arneis DOCG. The history and origin of this grape aren’t known, but it’s rumored that Arneis grapes have been grown in Piedmont since ancient Rome.


Did you know? The Arneis was on the verge of extinction during the period between the two world wars. It was reintroduced in the 1960s, as wine producers saw its potential to make excellent dry whites and sparklings.


Fiano


Mostly grown in the south-west region of Italy in Campania, Fiano grapes are an old Italian variety that, since the 1980s, has seen a considerable revival. This variety ripens early and is low-yielding, but is known to create aromatic and crisp wines that boast a fruity and herbaceous character.
Typically, Fiano wines are medium-bodied with an intense flavor. When aged, they develop a spicy yet smoky flavor with a presence of hazelnut. Young wines, on the other hand, often have notes of honey. The aromas of this wine are perfectly balanced with its crisp acidity.


Garganega


The Garganega grape variety is planted throughout different regions in Italy, but you’ll find them produced mostly in Veneto. Garganega grapes are one of the most highly-regarded varieties in the country. They are also one of the oldest. The color of the wines that are Garganega-based vary with age; mostly straw-yellow, although older vintages have a more intense color. This grape variety is extremely versatile, and although wine producers usually use it to make dry white wines, they also produce sparkling and dessert wines. Dry Garganega wines have a flowery aroma with notes of apples and almonds, making it perfect as an aperitif. However, they also pair excellently with white meats, vegetable dishes, seafood, and cheese. The dessert-style wines are sweeter and have notes of honey.


In Veneto, the Garganega grapes are used to make not only Gambellara DOC, but also the well-known Soave wines. These two wines fall under the DOC appellation, but Garganega grapes are also used in the slightly superior Soave Classico DOCG.


Gavi


Gavi is a highly-prized wine originating from the region of Alessandria, where the Cortese grape variety is grown. Gavi is made exclusively from Cortese grapes.
Gavi wines are best known for being balanced and possessing a moderate acidity. They perfectly accompany vegetarian appetizers and seafood. The best Gavi wines are crisp and fresh, with notes of not only citrus fruits, but also apples, peaches, pears, and honeydew melon. They also have notes of white flowers.


Pinot Grigio


Pinot Gris, or in Italy, Pinot Grigio, is from the Pinot family, and is genetically similar to Pinot Noir; however, it’s a white mutation of this cultivar. It also shares links with Pinot Blanc and a few other varieties. Pinot Grigios are synonymous with being light wines that are sometimes produced at an accessible price, most commonly in northern Italy. In general, it is considered to be an easy-drinking, everyday wine.


Soave


Originating from the north-east area of Veneto, Soave is produced primarily around the city of Verona (the Soave region), to its east. We’ve previously briefly mentioned Soave when talking about the Garganega grape variety, as Soave is predominantly made of these grapes, but sometimes with small amounts of Chardonnay, Trebbiano di Soave, or other varieties. Soave can have different quality designations, and like Chianti, you can find a Soave Classico, specifically produced in the designated hillside vineyards of Soave.


Verdicchio


The region of Marche is generally known for its grape offering called Verdicchio. This variety of grape can be used in a multitude of blend combinations, resulting in a lighter taste profile, perfect for a hot summer’s day, or alternatively, for a more full-bodied variety. Verdicchio usually carries fruity citrus flavors, along with nutty (think marzipan) and even floral aromas. This results in a dessert-like or even cake flavor, giving it a timeless quality.
These wines are great to kick off an evening paired alongside any hors d’oeuvre dish, such as fish, chicken, or pasta dishes. Marche is home to two fantastic varietals, namely Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi and Verdicchio di Matelica.


Vernaccia di San Gimignano


Vernaccia di San Gimignano originates from the small Tuscan village of San Gimignano and gives rise to its appellation, which is named after the main grape used in its production, Vernaccia. An important thing to note is that the Tuscan Vernaccia has no relation to the Sardinian Vernaccia di Oristano.

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