Italian Red

Italian Red

Shmorgasbord of Grapes
Italy has over 2,000 indigenous varieties, 20 wine regions, and almost 1 million vineyards. The reds of Italy are plentiful. Beyond Barolo and Chianti lie a host of delicious and affordable red wines. The majority of Italian red wine is not imported, but consumed throughout the country by the Italians themselves. For Italy, wine is food, and drinking wine without food or eating food without wine is an anomaly.

Notable Facts
A few exported Italian reds of note:
Lambrusco, from Emiglia-Romana, a light red, slightly fizzy, and best served cold. These wines are unique and lovely. Amarone, a wine made in the Veneto region from the Valpolicella grape, produces a dense, raisin-like red wine, produced from very ripe, dried out grapes. The Valpolicella grape also makes lighter red wines from the region of the same name - Valpolicella. Down in Abruzzi, the red wine of note is the Montalpulciano d'Abruzzo. Here, the grape is Montapulciano, not to be confused with Vino Nobile di Montalpulciano of Italy - that's made with a Sangiovese clone in Tuscany. Montapulciano d'Abruzzo can be somewhat rustic, but it's a great value for the round, red, fleshy fruit it gives in the mouth. Easy drinking and none too tannic or acidic.

Summing it up
Other Reds: Lambrusco, from Emiglia-Romana, Amarone, from Veneto, Valpolicella from Valpolicella (in Veneto), Montalpulciano d'Abruzzo from Abruzzi.

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