Italian wine code

In Italy, it is considered essential that a wine is closely matched in taste and “weight” to the main course. Pairing wine and food is somewhat of a science, but this list, compiled from a variety of sources, should get you started. Just keep in mind that tastes vary and if you are trying to come up with a selection of wines to be served at a function you will need to run some tests!  It is surprising, however, how just reading these descriptions seems to make sense. Why, of course, white wine would go well with salted pork! The good news is that Italian wine still remains overshadowed by the product of French vines, and current wine prices reflect this strange phenomenon. So, you can experiment with your own wine and food pairings without having to pay too much.

Baked fish white: Soave Classico Superiore, Vernaccia di San Gimignano, Fiano d’Avellino, Montepulciano Cerasuolo.

Boiled meats red: Dolcetto d’Alba, Dolcetto di Dogliani, Barbera d’Alba, Barbera d’Asti, Bonarda, Valpolicella Classico Superiore

Cheese with a light flavorwhite: Grave del Friuli, Greco di TUfo, Bianco di Custoza

Cheese with a strong flavor red: Barbaresco, Barolo, Gattinara, Chianti Classico Riserva

Chocolate dessertswhite: Passito di Pantelleria

Cold chicken and tuna dishes red: Sylvaner, Gewürztraminer

Creamy dessertswhite: Moscato di Cagliari, Malvasia delle Lipari Dolce Naturale

Fish soup or stewwhite, rosé, red: Novello, Colli del Trasimeno Rosso.

Grilled Meat – red: Chianti Classico, Rosso di Montalcino, Torgiano Rosso, Sangiovese di Romagna, Velletri Rosso, Chianti Rugina, Rosso Piceno.

Mushroomswhite: Montecarlo Bianco, Collio Tocai Friulano rosé: Terentino Marzemino

Pasta & Rice with tomato-based saucesred: Sangiovese di Romagna, Barbera d’Alba, Valpolicella Classico, Torgiano Rosso

Pasta with mushroom sauce rosé: Bolgheri Rosato, Alezio Rosato, Bardolino Chiaretto, Lagrein Kretzer

Pasta with vegetables white: Locorotondo, Alcamo, Vermentino di Gallura

Pizzared: Barbera d’Alba, Dolcetto di Dogliani

Red meat, stewedred: Barolo, Barbaresco, Gattinara, Amarone, Brunello di Montalcino, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, Taurasi

Roast beef red: Sylvaner, Gewürztraminer

Roast Chicken red: Sangiovese di Romagna

Salamired: Barbera d’Asti, L’Oltrepò Pavese Bonarda, Lambrusco Salamino di Santa Croce

Salted porkwhite: Alto Adige Sauvignon, Santa Maddalena, Morellino di Scansano

Sausage, salami red: Lambrusco

Seafood platterwhite: Spumante, Gavi, Collio Ribolla Gialla, Greco di Tufo.

Shellfish and crabwhite: Alto Adige Sauvignon, Malvasia Istriana, Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi

Smoked salmon red: Gewürztraminer

Spaghetti with clam saucewhite: Gavi, Verdicchio dei Colli di Jesi, Fiano di Avellino

White fishwhite: Chardonnay, Ribolla Gialla, Vermentino di Sardegna, Lugana, Bianco di Custoza.


See also:
Italian wine customs and etiquette
Traditional Italian Meal Structure
Italian cheese
Traditional Italian toasts

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