We already know Italy’s claim to fame in the wine industry- it’s the number one producing country in the entire world and is home to some of the oldest vineyards on the planet. The entire country is full of gorgeous wineries creating some fabulous ones, but there’s one in particular that constantly gains international attention.
Piedmont, Italy is located in the northwestern corner of the nation and is considered to be one of, if not the most, prestigious wine region in all of Italy. It shares a border with France and Switzerland (which should tell you something about the culture and culinary magic there) and wines that hail from this region are called Piedmonte. Because it’s surrounded by the Alps on one side and gets the warm Mediterranean air on the other, the hilly area gets an abundance of sunshine which means happy grapes.
One of the best parts of this region is the grapes grown that are unique to Italy. The most well-known of these wines is probably the Nebbiolo, a highly tannic red grape full of rich flavors like cherry and rose. It’s made within many of the subregions of Piedmont so there are variances between bottles, especially those that have aged about 15-20 years.
Next are Barolo and Barbaresco, which is a designated origin within Italy and tends to be on the more expensive side (but worth every penny). These bold, slightly more alcoholic red wines are aged for at least in barrels for at least eighteen months but won’t even be released until after three years.
Dolcetto, although the name may make it sound like sweet wine, is actually a dry and tannic red. It’s similar to a Beaujolais, particularly in its tendency to be an everyday drinking wine to have with a meal, unlike a Barolo which is for special occasions.
Although most of Piedmont produces red wines, there are a couple notable whites: Gavi and Arneis. Both are fairly dry with Gavi being especially pronounced in acidity and Arneis being a little less acidic with a much richer texture.
One of Piedmont’s truly famous wines is the Moscato d’Asti, which most people don’t realize actually comes from the same region as Barolo. We tend to think of Moscato as sickly sweet and not for the sophisticated drinker, but this isn’t the case for the Asti bottles from Piedmont. Moscato d’Asti is just a tiny bit bubbly and is quite sweet but with full flavors rather than just the taste of sugar, and Asti Spumante is a fully sparkling wine with higher alcohol content.
The greatest part about Piemonte, or wines from Piedmont, Italy, is that they are so incredibly popular and can be found all over the world. This is a fabulous region to sample from if you’re looking to expand your wine palette.
What’s better than great wine and artisanal pizza?
The New York Times described Ridge Monte Bello as “America’s greatest Cabernet Sauvignon.”