December is a big month for wine, and Italian reds are a great addition to any Christmas meal. But before rushing out to make sure you have enough wine, it’s important to understand what Italian reds pair with what you’re serving. Below, we provided the characteristics of Italian red wine to help you find the perfect choice.
Characteristics of Italian Red Wine
There are three major types of red grape varieties in Italy. Sangiovese is planted throughout Italy (especially in Tuscany), and its medium in body. Wines made from Sangiovese grapes have flavors of cherries and herbs. Nebbiolo is specific to the Piedmont region, and wines made from Nebbiolo grapes are known to age well. Wines with Nebbiolo grapes will have flavors of mushrooms, strawberries, and truffles. Barbera grapes are some of the most planted in Italy. It’s known as a lighter grape with little tannin. It has high acidity, and its fruit flavors will be more pronounced.
Christmas Dinner List
Most Christmas dinners will have turkey as the main course. With rich stuffing, roasted vegetables, and a variety of sauces, wine enthusiasts will want to pair their meal with red wines that bring out the herbal tones of the food being served. If you have duck, you will need Italian reds that pair well with the fatty profile of the duck. You will also need a wine that pairs with the gaminess. If you’re serving prime rib, you’ll want to pair it with a wine that can bring out the nuances of the meat.
List of Italian Reds
Amarone is full-bodied wine that comes from partially-dried Corvina grapes. It’s from the Veneto region, and it’s known for being ripe and having a hint of sweetness. If you’re serving rich foods and flavorful cheeses, pair it with Amarone. Salice Salentino is a full-bodied wine from the Puglia region. It’s dry and has flavors of baked fruit and ripe plumbs. Salice Salentino has a rich texture and is best served with robust foods. Barolo is a dry wine that has complex aromas. It has flavors of herbs, strawberries, and earth. It drinks best after it has been aged 10 to 20 years. Barbera is mostly produced in the Piedmont region. It has a very intense berry flavor. It is very versatile wine for food pairing, so this Italian red will be a big hit at Christmas dinners.
Enjoy Italian Wine at Basta Pasta
For over 12 years, Basta Pasta has been providing Marylanders with delicious Italian specials cooked from fresh, delicious, high-quality ingredients. Enjoy a taste of classic Italian food with spectacular pasta dishes, unlimited salad and breadsticks, and sumptuous fine Italian wines. To make a reservation at our Timonium location, contact us online or give us a call at (410) 308-0838. To make a reservation at our Fallston location, contact us online or give us a call at (410) 692-5200. To find out more about our menu, follow us on Facebook and Twitter!