In this blog post I wanted to discuss 5 different types of Italian red wines, and give a little insight into how they vary, to assist you in choosing the perfect wine for you. When buying wine, it can sometimes be difficult to distinguish between all the different wine varietals available. And if you are not a wine connoisseur, perhaps you are just choosing your wines based on the best looking label? I definitely know that I have been guilty of this in the past.
These red wines have been selected in collaboration with Independent Wines, an online wine shop that specializes in Italian red wines.
Disclosure: This is a partnered post
Choosing the Perfect Italian Red Wine
When choosing an Italian red wine, it is important to consider several factors if you want to buy a wine that you know you will enjoy. It is recommend that you check the following:
- What flavors do you enjoy? This will determine what varietal you should steer towards.
- What standard has the wine been produced to? Did you know there is a set of rules to determine the ‘standard of quality‘ of Italian wines? There are 4 standards and obviously the higher standard they are produced to, the better quality wine.
- Is the wine from an established red wine region? Whilst there might be hundreds of types of grapes in Italy, if you want to drink good red wine, then choose a wine from a region that is well regarded for that wine varietal.
- Has the wine won any awards? It sounds like a no-brainer, doesn’t it? But it does help you to easily identify a winemaker’s credibility and prominence.
And if you are going to all of this effort to find an excellent Italian red wine, why not indulge with a wine and cheese pairing.
#1: Chianti Classico (Sangiovese)
A Chianti Classico will generally display flavor profiles of red cherry, raspberry, chocolate and dried herbs. This particular red wine is a delightful example of a Chianti Classico and has been produced by the Beretta family at their vineyard in Radda – the very heart of the Chianti Classico region! From this wine expect aromas of sweet black plum, liquorice, chocolate, and violet. It is made using the highest and most strict set of rules for Italian wines, and notably won a gold award from Decanter. So you know you are going to be in for a treat with this Italian red wine.
#2: Barbera d’Alba (Barbera)
From a Barbera wine you can expect flavor profiles of fresh red cherries, leather and tobacco. This particular wine from Francone is made from Barbera grapes which have been grown in two different vineyards. The location of the vineyards has allowed the grapes to ripen well. And as a result, the wine is well-balanced and fresh, with elegant and pronounced aromas of raspberry, red cherry, strawberry and spices. This dry and full-bodied wine has notably been awarded 94 points by Luca Maroni, meaning it is a pretty special wine to enjoy.
#3: Barolo (Nebbiolo)
Flavor profiles of dried roses, dried cherries, chocolate, liquorice, sweet tobacco and leather is generally what you can expect from a Barolo wine. As 2015 was possibly this decade’s best year for Barolo, this is a delicious wine to drink now or cellar for a while. This wine has been made following the strict DOCG regulations which means it is on its way to being one of the best Italian red wines. Its a deep ruby colour, dry on the palate and has pronounced aromas of black cherry, raisins, dried herbs and spices. It is a 2 x gold medal award winning wine, meaning it is a brilliant example of a fantastic Italian red wine with great complexity and character.
#4: Barbaresco (Nebbiolo)
A Barbaresco wine tends to have flavor profiles very similar to the Barolo varietal i.e. dried roses, dried cherries, chocolate, liquorice, sweet tobacco and leather. The wine in question is a deep ruby colour. It is rich and complex, with pronounced aromas of fresh strawberry, raspberry, almond and spice. On the palate the wine is dry, with soft tannins and high acidity.
There are only 3,000 bottles produced per year of this Barbaresco by Francone, meaning this a seriously exclusive wine and one you must try. It was also the recipient of a Decanter Gold Award.
#5: Super Tuscans (blend with Sangiovese)
Unlike the other Italian red wines I have discussed above with distinct flavour profiles, a Super Tuscan flavour profile can vary somewhat depending on the blend. This Super Tuscan wine is a classic blend of 60% Merlot and 40% Sangiovese and is produced by a small, organic-certified winery in the Montalcino area. The wine won a Silver Decanter Award and was awarded a high score of 94/100 from James Suckling, who notes that this is a “new wine to watch out for”.
About Independent Wines
Independent Wines offers premium wines, predominantly from Italy, from their online wine shop. The wines available have been expertly hand selected from ethical and fair trade vineyards. And best of all, they offer next day UK delivery – what more could you want?
We hope this post has encouraged you to try some different types of Italian red wine. A little bit of knowledge about Italian red wine can go a long way, and ensure you choose the best possible bottle to suit your taste and enjoy. Saluti!