Connie Blumenthal

The Most Seasoned Real Estate Connoisseur in Greater Seattle and Mercer Island Luxury Real Estate Markets

Top Wines of Italy

Cà del Bosco Franciacorta Annamaria Clementi This wine from Northern Italy is full-bodied with notes of citrus and a refreshing finish—perfect for an Italian-style special occasion dinner. “It’s often compared to the French Dom Perignon,” Reitano says.

Pair with: Parma ham or spaghetti carbonara

Buy online: $65.19; www.selectliquors.com

 

Villa Raiano Fiano di Avellino

Italy’s Campania region isn’t only famous for its gulfs and the gastronomic town of Naples. It’s also known for the strong-flavored white Fiano grape, which is grown almost exclusively in Southern Italy. “This 100% Fiano from the southern Campania region is dry, refreshing, and mineral, with apple and walnut flavors,” describes Reitano.

Pair with: Mushroom risotto

Buy online: $203.88 per case; www.grandwinecellar.com

Venica Ronco delle Cime

Closely related to a sauvignon blanc, the Friulano grape is one of the oldest vines in Italy’s northern Fruili region. (It also goes by the name Sauvignonasse and Sauvignon Vert.) Dry and fruity with an herbal finish.

Pair with: Sea bass carpaccio or sautéed clams

Buy online: $30.50; www.tcwc.com

Pieropan Soave Classico La Rocca

If you’re browsing your local shop for a bottle on this list, look for this common label. “With exotic flavors and a rich body, this is among the most long-aging Italian white wines,” Reitano says. It’s pressed from 100% garganega grapes, local from the Veneto region.

Pair with: Grilled lobster or scallops salad

Buy online: $42.22; buy.com

Giacomo Conterno Barolo Monfortino

It’s only appropriate that this wine from old vines is “probably the most long aging Italian red wine,” according to Reitano. Monfortino is a classic Barolo-style wine—designed to be aged in casks for many years and made with native Italian nebbiolo grapes. What’s the payoff of patience (and the hefty price tag)? A deep, mineral flavor with wildberry and spices.

Pair with: White truffle ravioli or grilled lamb

Buy online: $399; www.amantivino.com

 

 

 

Gaja Barbaresco

“From the world-famous Gaja winery comes a classical bodied nebbiolo—rich and mineral, with a balsamic finish,” Reitano says. Translation: It’s a wine that’ll put hair on your chest.

Pair with: Roasted duck

Buy online: $95.49 per case; www.cabriniwines.com

Zenato Amarone della Valpolicella

For the classic wine and cheese pairing, offer up this traditional red. The cherry fruit and a spicy tobacco finish complement any strong Italian cheese like Parmesan or pecorino.

Buy online: $51.95; www.budgetbottle.com

Banfi Brunello di Montalcino Poggio all’Oro

As every beginning student of wine knows, every vintage has its own characteristics. So what’s a vintner to do when certain year’s weather doesn’t cooperate? They don’t sell it. That’s why you’ll only see this available in specific vintages—and why you can trust that any bottle will be of the highest quality. The taste: “Power and balance with a lot of fruit and soft tannins.”

Pair with: T-bone steak

Buy online: $109.99; www.jjbuckley.com

Donnafugata Passito di Pantelleria Ben Ryè

If you like sweet wines, try this sugar-rich red from the small island of Pantelleria in Sicily. “The wine has a dense body with lots of dry fruit flavors,” Reitano describes.

Pair with: Cannoli

Buy online: $44.99; www.gramercywinecellars.com

Incisa della Rocchetta Sassicaia

Reitano calls this Bordeaux-style blend from the coast of Tuscany “the king of Italian wines.” It’s known as a Super Tuscan wine—a Chianti-style wine that didn’t technically meet Italy’s strict regulations to be officially labelled as Chianti.

Pair with: Baked pigeon, chicken, or game hen

Buy it: Available at specialty wine shops for around $80/bottle

 

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