the Authentic Italian issue

Lombardy Franciacorta, Italy’s prized sparkling wine, is produced in Lombardy using the “méthode champenoise” style, which involves a second fermentation in the bottle. It’s howChampagnes and good sparkling wines get their bubbles. In Italian, it is called metodo classico (“classic method”). Valle d’Aosta This is the smallest wine region in Italy. Its wines are not commonly found in the United States. Veneto Veneto is situated in Northeast Italy. It is bordered to the west by Lombardy and to the south by Emilia-Romagna. Verona, where Shakespeare’s tragedy Romeo and Juliet is set, is the wine capital of the region. It is also the home of Vinitaly, the enormous annual wine and spirits exhibition held every April. The province is best known for sparkling Prosecco wine; Soave, Lugana and Pinot Grigio whites; and Amarone, Valpolicella and Bardolino reds. Our Sommelier suggests trying Soaves from Bertani or Bolla. As for Proseccos, you have some choices on the menu: Ruffino, Mionetto, Riondo, Avissi, Lunetta, Benvolio, Torresella, Santa Margherita, Bolla and Bisol Jeio.

Friuli-Venezia Giulia Some of Italy’s best Pinot Grigio and Sauvignon Blanc can be found in Italy’s northeast regions. Friuli-Venezia Giulia shares borders with Austria and Slovenia, touches the Adriatic Sea, and is adjacent to the Veneto region. The area’s flagship white wine (and popular choice of locals) is Friulano, but don’t overlook their Merlots and Cabernet Sauvignons. Abruzzo The Abruzzo region’s most popular white wine is Trebbiano d’Abruzzo. It is home also to Colline Teramane Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, a DOCG wine made with Montepulciano, a medium- bodied red grape. (After Sangiovese, it is the second most planted red grape in Italy.) Molise Located right on the ankle of Italy’s boot, Molise is famous for its three DOCs: Biferno (named after the region’s largest river), Pentro di Isernia and Molise del Molise. Wines from the first two can be red, white or rosé. Molise del Molise, the newest of the three, encompasses the entire region and produces white, red, rosé and even sparkling wines. Tuscany Almost all of Tuscany’s best wines are red. The area has five major wine regions, including Chianti, where the country’s best-known wine is produced. The basis for Chianti wines is the Sangiovese grape. Other varieties include Carmignano, Brunello di Montalcino and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano (not to be confused with Montepulciano d’Abruzzo).Tuscany’s most famous white wine is Vernaccia.The region is famous also for the dessert wine Vin Santo. According to our Sommelier, you can’t go wrong with any of the following Chiantis: Banfi Classico, Banfi Superiore, Monsanto, Ruffino Aziano, Ruffino Il Ducale, Rocca, Antinori, Santa Cristina, Santa Margherita, Tenuta Arceno and Volpaia. If you like whites, try the Rocca delle Macìe and Vernaccia di San Gimignano. Central Regions

Trentino-Alto Adige The mountainous Alpine area of Trentino-Alto Adige, located on the Austrian border, is Italy’s northernmost wine region. While Trentino is classically Italian and almost entirely Italian speaking, Alto Adige, located just north of it, has a predominantly German- speaking population. Because foreign grape varieties perform well in this region, its reds and whites should sound familiar: Pinot Grigio, Pinot Bianco, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. Lagrein, made with an indigenous red grape, is a local favorite.



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