Want an insider tip? Our Italian wine buyer Suzie Harrison takes her pick of our Italian wines this season. Find out what she’s excited about, and why.
The sheer variety of Italian wines can make it either incredibly exciting or a daunting prospect. Pinot Grigio is a great place to start for a light and fresh white, but with a little know-how you can find everything from textured white to full-bodied red. Primitivo is the Italian twin of California’s Zinfandel and can make lovely rich, fruity reds with lashings of dark fruit spice. If you love the rich power of Amarone, try Ripasso styles of Valpolicella which are made by fermenting grapes on the skins of Amarone pressings.
With gastronomy so high on the Italian agenda, it’s no surprise that the wines are made for food and vice versa. In both, acidity is the key factor: it’s the high acidity in tomatoes that makes your favourite tomato-based pasta dish so much more delicious with an Italian red. Try a ragu with minced boar or venison stirred through fresh tagliatelle pasta and a good drizzle of the freshest olive oil you can find – you’ll love it with a spicy Primitivo like the one below.
Whether it’s a party-perfect Pinot Grigio, a Falanghina with texture to thrill, or a ripe Ripasso perfect for savouring; now’s the time to unwrap your panettone and explore the vinous delights Italy has to offer. I can’t recommend this selection of wines highly enough – they really showcase the quality and diversity that Italy is so renowned for. So if you want to discover something new this Christmas, make sure it’s something Italian. You won’t be disappointed!
MIX AND MATCH 2 OR MORE BOTTLES FROM THIS PROMOTION
One of Italy’s great unsung white wines. Three months’ lees ageing before bottling imbues the wine with added depth and texture, but no oak is used, so the wine retains a light and fruit-driven character. Plenty of citrus fruit and faint notes of apple and quince, with the merest hint of nutty complexity.
This Primitivo is made by over-ripening the grapes on the vine, then oak-ageing after a lengthy fermentation period to create a full, rich and voluptuous wine. Expect aromas of prunes, dates, figs and sweet spice. DWWA 2014 awarded this wine an International Trophy in the ‘Red Italian Varietals under £15’ category.
This ‘Ripasso’ wine is made by enriching the wine by giving it 10 days on Amarone pressings and has a dense core of bright cherry and bramble fruit layered with lifted violet aromas. Harmonious yet muscular and well-structured, it should be left to breathe for an hour or so, then served with lamb or beef.
You can browse these, as well as our full range of fantastic Italian wines here.