Let’s face it: when temperatures drop and it’s rainy and gray outside, there’s nothing better than spending evenings at home, maybe in front of a fireplace with a blanket, a good movie, and a glass full of good wine.
In winter, food also changes, and on the table, there are dishes of greater structure and complexity which require to be paired with wines that can keep up with strong and persistent flavors.
Here is a selection of the best Italian wines that will be the perfect companion for a warming winter evening.
Italian Red Wines
Noto Nero d’Avola “Santa Cecilia” 2018 – Planeta 23,50 €
From the sunny island of Sicily, Nero D’Avola is a hearty wine with a powerful structure, the perfect red for a dinner with friends.
It has charming aromas of Mediterranean scrub, earth, and eucalyptus. Balance, intensity, and depth are excellent. It is not a subtle wine, but not too rough either: it is in fact velvety, and harmonious.
A must try with Lasagne alla Bolognese!
Amarone della Valpolicella
Probably the most popular Italian wine in the world, Amarone della Valpolicella is the ideal partner for an evening in front of the fireplace.
It is intense and complex with hints of wilted flowers, ripe red fruit, and cherries in alcohol. With age, aromas evolve into tobacco, licorice, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Despite its structured tannins, in the mouth it is never too aggressive. It is a wine of great elegance and persistence with a characteristic alcoholic warmth.
Always best to serve it in a large glass and decant it in advance. It is delicious with pot roast or aged cheeses.
Those who like big and bold wines should definitely taste Aglianico.
From the volcanic areas of Southern Italy, this powerful red has an intense dark ruby color and a warm bouquet of aromas ranging from ripe red fruits to spicy notes. On the palate it is full-bodied, elegant, and characteristic, while its alcohol content is sweetened by the long aging in barrels.
It’s the perfect match for the game, but it’s great on its own.
If reds are by far the most appreciated winter wines, the cold months are actually an opportunity to bring to the table white wines of great structure and body, perhaps aged in wood.
Italian Winter White Wines
Venezia Giulia Malvasia Istriana IGT 2017 – Damijan Podversic – 46,50 €
Among Italian wines, Istrian Malvasia is probably the best choice as a winter white.
The color is bright with golden hues; the wine is dense with an elegant balance between minerality and glycemic fatness. It is round, but very fresh, citrus, and with hints of aromatic herbs. When aged in oak, it takes on some spicy notes.
A rich fish soup it’s the best match for this wine.
Vernaccia di Oristano
This Sardinian treasure is an extraordinary choice for an elegant winter dinner. The production method is similar to that of Sherry or Marsala.
The wine has a wonderful bouquet of ripe fruit, honey, wilted yellow flowers, with beautiful notes of hazelnuts, almonds, salt, algae, Mediterranean scrub and warm and pungent spices. On the palate it is full, reminiscent of the saltiness of the sea, and with a distinctive and intense minerality.
It is a delicious aperitif.
No matter which wine you love; red or white, there is always the perfect Italian wine to pair with your favorite dish.
Article by Anthony Ryan for Easy Milano
Featured image by Kelsey Knight
Support Easy Milano by ordering your favorite wines from Giordanowines.com – ships worldwide.
Easy Milano, Ask an Expat in Italy
Easy Milano offers private coaching and consulting for expats planning to live in Italy. Save time researching and ask someone who lives here. Get practical tips that will help you prepare and plan out your relocation to Italy. Learn about key information and essential insights about living in Italy that will help make your transition smoother. Schedule a call.