Different Types of Italian Wines

Italy is famous for its cuisine, and more for the wines it produces. Here is a comprehensive list of the different types of Italian wines.
Tastessence Staff
Some of the world's best wine-producing regions are found in Italy. The country is the biggest producer of wine. Little wonder then, wine consumption in Italy is almost 70 liters per person annually! The climate is extremely conducive for the cultivation of vineyards, and they can be found in the northernmost tip in Alps, to the southernmost tip of the country. The geographical diversity offers varying degrees of altitudes and soil conditions for growing different varieties of grapes. Some of the most well-known wine producing regions of Italy are Tuscany, Piedmont, Veneto, Lombardy, Liguria, and Aosta Valley.

Italian Wine

Italian wines can be widely grouped into two varieties: red (rosso) and white (blanco), and are generally named after the variety of grapes used in their production.

Types of Italian Red Wine
Amarone
This wine, which is full-bodied, has a very low acidity, and is usually served with pasta, beef, and blue cheese.

Aglianico
These are full-bodied, strong-flavored, and garnet-colored wines, and goes well with pizzas and roast lambs.

Barbera
These wines are medium-bodied and have a deep pink color. They make a good pairing with pizzas, lasagnas, and roast beef.

Dolcetto
Sometimes flavored with berries and herbs, this wine is usually dry. During meals, have them with soups, lasagnas, or enchilada.

Gaglioppo
These are full-bodied wines with a relatively high concentration of alcohol. Have it with grilled and roasted beef, or pizzas and pastas. Try it with seafood if you are an adventurous foodie!

Lagrein
This type of wine is dark red, full-bodied wine, sharp and sour to the taste, with high levels of acidity. Have a glass of lagrein with fish or poultry dishes.

Lambrusco
This is a dry red wine, which can range from mildly sweet to very sweet. Highly acidic and berry flavored, these wines are popular in America. The mildly sweet version goes well with fish, whereas sweeter versions are best paired with fruits.

Malvasia Nera
This wine boasts of a rich aroma and dark colors. Plums and chocolates are used to flavor this wine. It is a good beverage when eaten with roasted meats and pork.

Montepulciano
These wines are sweet, deep red, with just the right level of acidity, neither too high, nor too low, but a slightly higher level of alcohol content. Food pairing ideas for this wine include lasagna, sausages, or even plain cheese pizaa.

Nebbiolo
Powerful and strong, these wines possess strong aromas of mushrooms, truffles, and roses. The word Nebbiolo means little fog, since the grapes are grown during fall, when the region is covered with light fog, suitable for the cultivation of grapes required for this particular wine. Food pairing suggestions include tomato sauce-based spaghetti, stews, and roasted meats.

Negroamaro
These wines go well when blended with Malvasia Nera or Sangiovese. The wine can sometimes be pink, and not deep red. It tastes best when eaten with leg of lamb and all kinds of pastas.

Sagrantino
The name refers to dessert wines as well as dry wines. It's a beverage best had with cheese, and stewed and roasted meat.

Sangiovese
Strongly flavored with blackberries, currants and plums, this world-famous wine, mostly paired with pasta and pizza dishes with tomato sauce.

Valpolicella
These can be full-bodied red wines to sparkling and even light-bodied dessert wines. Seasoned poultry dishes, pork chops, and meat dishes are good food pairings for this wine.

Types of Italian White Wine
Arneis
In the local dialect, the word Arneis means little rascal. The wine is sometimes delicately flavored with fruits, such as peaches, apricots, and almonds. It goes well with appetizers during an Italian meal.

Catarratto
This fruity white wine is primarily from Sicily, since the hot climate in Sicily is suitable for the growth of grapes needed for this variety. This wine goes well with baked seafood and orange salads.

Fiano
The wine has a nutty flavor since it is most often flavored with hazelnuts and pine nuts. This wine should ideally be served with a variety of seafood and pasta dishes.

Grechetto
This wine is usually blended with Verdello, Trebbiano, and Malvasia. It is well-known for its tropical fruits and floral aroma. Have a glass of grechetto with pasta and vegetable dishes, or white meat and fish.

Malvasia Bianca
This wine has a rich, fruity flavor, and can be flavored with honey and pears. It complements a variety of fish, sauteed chicken, and salad dishes.

Moscato
This sparkling white wine comes from the Piedmont region in Italy. These grapes are also used in the production of Asti Spumante, popularly known as Asti, arguably the most famous sparkling Italian white wine. Asti spumante goes well with most desserts, including cakes and tiramisu.

Nuragus
This white wine, with a sharp flavor, makes for an excellent appetizer. Pair it with seafood dishes and starters for a good meal.

Picolit
This wine is a popular form of dessert wine. A fruity wine, it can also be served as an appetizer, especially with blue cheese.

Pigato
A very aromatic wine, it makes an excellent beverage when served with seafood.

Pinot Grigio
It is a full-bodied wine, very crisp to the taste. This is probably the most famous variety of Italian white wine in America. Lit complements light pastas, seafood dishes, and possibly even cheese crackers!

Ribolla Gialla
The wines are light-bodied and possess a floral aroma. Good food pairings include grilled fish, and seafood soups. Try something unique, have a glass with grilled corn on the cob that's coated with butter!

Soave
This hugely popular, crisp, white wine comes from the Veneto region in northeast Italy. Ideal for serving with cheese, especially ricotta, appetizers, and risotto with vegetables.

Tocai Friulano
This aromatic white wine is very commonly citrus-flavored, as also with peaches and pears.

Trebbiano
This dry, white wine is usually neutral-flavored and is commonly used as a simple table wine. It can be had with a variety of meals, ranging from veal dishes, seafood entrees, and even grilled white meats.

Verdicchio
This wine can possess nutty almond flavors as well as a sweet honeyed aroma. It is greenish-yellow, hence the name (verde means green). It complements most fish dishes, including halibut, brill, and even salads.

Verduzzo
These can be either dry wines or dessert wines. The dry wines are a lot less sweeter than the medium-bodied dessert wines with an aromatic honey flavor. It goes well with not only appetizers, but seafood and white meat dishes.

Vernaccia
A crisp wine that blends well with Trebbiano, and possesses a citrus essence. Have it with different kinds of fish, or even as an appetizer.

Vermentino
Both sweet and sparkling, these wines go well with seafood.

Italians and their love for wine is unmatched. The aromas and flavors of Italian wines are distinct. Now that you are armed with some knowledge about Italian wine, it should be fun and easy to buy a bottle which will complement your next meal. So if you haven't yet sampled an Italian wine, try out any of the sensational wines listed above, and embark on an eternal adventure in taste.