Whether or not you realize it, you have almost certainly enjoyed an Italian wine before. In fact, the Italian peninsula used to be known as the “land of wine” because of the vast varietals of grapes available and the acres devoted to growing them. Italy is the home of much of the world’s wine, and for a great reason—it has the perfect climate, geography, and geology for great grapes. Here’s a brief primer on Italian wines, like those we serve at Basta Pasta with our delicious Italian dishes.
Italian Wine Terminology
Italy is currently the second large wine producer in the world, second to only France. Italy has in place a strict appellation system to help enforce the wine’s quality, labeling, yields per acre, vineyard quality, and more. Italy is home to about 50,000 wineries that all benefit from such strict controls, as their wines get to be labeled with prestigious and quality names. Italy uses DOC (Denominazioni di Origine Controllata) and DOCG (Denominazioni di Origine Controllata e Garantita) labels for their wines, and there are over three hundred different classifications within those two labels.
The Major Italian Wine Regions
Northern Italy is famous for the use of Nebbiolo grapes in Barolo and Barbaresco wines, named after the two hilltop places where they were born. In the Veneto region of Northern Italy, Italian wine is made from raisins that are dried out on straw mats. Amarone is the signature wine of this region, and it has a higher concentration and alcohol percentage than most other wines. The Veneto region is also known for its wonderful white and sparkling wines that pair great with all sorts of food, including crab cakes.
Central Italy is home to Tuscany, perhaps its most famous wine region. Tuscany is home to Chianti Classico, Brunello di Montalcino, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, and Maremma reds. Central Italy is also home to a couple other locales famous for their wines, including Montefalco and it’s Sagrantino, Abruzzo and its dark Montepulciano, and Le Marche and its delicious white Verdicchio.
The South & The Islands
Southern Italy and the island of Sicily have less strict regulations than the rest of the country, so many more experimental winemakers flock there. Campania is home to delightful white wines like Fiano and Greco di Tufo that benefit from the mineral volcanic soils. Sicily is home to many of the most sensuous and rich of the dessert wines, including Passito di Pantelleria. Southern Italian wines have a lot to offer up and down the tasting spectrum.
Enjoy Family Style Dining 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!