The World In Wines – The Veneto
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Tags: Amarone Bardolino Corvina Italian Wine Procecco Veneto
Over the years, one of the many things we’ve really enjoyed about traveling is the opportunity it has given us to explore and appreciate exciting foods and the diverse wines of the country or region we were visiting.
This exploration has led to us develop a real passion for wine. Although this has become a somewhat expensive hobby, coming to appreciate wines of the world has also given us the freedom to travel and explore amazing and sometimes obscure corners of the world without ever leaving the comfort of our own living room or patio. No, we’re not talking about “beaming up” to Piedmont “a la Star Trek”! But if you can’t actually get to Piedmont, exploring the terroir with your taste-buds may be the next best thing.
If you’re willing to invest a little time to develop your palate and tasting skills, we believe a good bottle of wine can be a truly transformative and sensory experience. It can take you back to the vineyard where the grapes were born, and allow you to feel and experience the terroir the way it was when the grapes first came to life. Lets call it “Theatre of the Mind….. and Nose”!
When you think of Italian wine, what comes to mind? To many it’s a superb Barolo from Piedmont, a complex Super Tuscan, or a feisty Brunello di Montalcino from Central Italy or perhaps it’s a crisp, fresh Prosecco from the Veneto. There are so many wonderful wine experiences waiting for you in Italy, but we must pick one, so today we are heading to north- eastern Italy to explore some wines of the Veneto region.
The Veneto wine belt produces a variety of varietals. The western area around Lake Garda offers some wonderful dry whites, as well as a pink Chiarretto and a light red Bardolino, while the popular choice along the eastern boundary is Prosecco. Along the Po Valley they produce the fruity, sparkling red Lambrusco and, of course, the Verona region is known primarily for two reasonably priced wines, Soave and Valpolicella.
You can break the area down into four “catch- all” DOC’s ( Denominazione di origine controllata ) Trentino, Alto Adige,Verona and Friuli-Venezia Giulia.
Trentino runs along the Adige Valley in to the Alps and produces Chardonnay and Pinot Grigio grapes as well as Merlot , Marzemino and Teroldego. Alto Adige produces some serious reds on the bench land. The hills of Verona produce massive quanities of Soave and Valpolicella from Garganega and Corvina grapes while Friuli-Venezia Giulia has the countries most revered DOC for white wine- Colli Orientali del Fruiti.
Here are some wines we enjoy.Prosecco: Not to be confused with ” Champagne”, Prosecco is produced as a sparkling wine in either fully sparkling (spumante) or lightly sparkling (frizzante gentile) varieties. It’s a dry to very dry light and fruity wine made from the Prosecco di Valdobbiadene grape but sometimes blended with a small quantity of Pinot Grigio. It is made using the Charmat method rather than the Champagne method, the French method of making sparkling wine. Amarone: The best way to describe this wine is big and chewy. We suggest if you are trying this wine for the first time you may want to consider a half bottle. Corvina grapes are kept on the vine allowing them to achieve extra ripeness, then picked and allowed to dry for 3 to 4 months on mats to concentrate the sugar and intensify the flavour. This produces a wine with with unique character and a high alcohol content ( 15 to 16 percent). Goes great with cheese. Bardolino: This is a light red wine made on the eastern shores of Lake Garda. Corvina is widely recognized as the superior grape in Bardolino, and like it’s more famous neighbour, Valpolicella, Bardolino is made from a blend of Corvina and Rondinella. It is the Rondinella grape that gives the wine it’s unique characteristics and appealingly fresh, herby flavor, while the Corvina contributes body and color. Wines made in the original, traditional vineyard areas close to the lakeside town of Bardolino itself are labeled as Bardolino Classico.So crack open a bottle and transport yourself to the stunning Veneto. Cin cin and alla salute!