Cav. Modesto Marini guides you through six of the best wine regions in Italy
When we think of Italian exports, many things come to mind. Art, fashion and food are all intrinsically linked with Italy and its culture. But as one looks across the Italian countryside, one cannot escape gazing upon perhaps Italy’s proudest export; vineyards and the wines they produce.
Nothing complements a fine-dining experience than a wonderfully-complemented wine. With over 20 wine-producing regions across Italy, we asked Cav. Modesto Marini to guide us through the key wine regions from his home country, pick five of the best vineyards and teach us a little Italian along the way.
When it comes to traditionally famous regions for wine in Italy, you will definitely have heard of Piedmont, home to two of the most famous red wines in the world, the Barolo and Barbaresco. Both these wines are made from the Nebbiolo grape, a grape with a foggy interior (Nebbiolo means “foggy” in Italian) and the veins and colouration which give it its name.
Piedmont is also the production capital for Moscato d’Asti wines. These white wines are known for their delectable innate sweetness, and are hand-picked from the very best Muscat grapes.
Another region of note for their wine is Veneto. Although its world-renowned capital city is Venice, in this region its wine capital is Verona, famous for the Shakespearean drama involving the doomed young romantics. Home to the Vinitaly, a competition held every April attended by winemakers from all over the world to showcase their best products, the high standards of its competitors force local vineyards to produce their very best – and it shows in their local wines. The Veneto region is famous for wines such as Amarone and the light, bubbly Prosecco.
Also known as the Italian Champagne, Prosecco is a sparkling white wine known for its dryness on the palate. Used as the main component in the infamous Bellini cocktail, Prosecco is fermented using the Glera grape.
Tuscany is known for its rustic regional cuisine, and as one of the most beautiful and quintessentially-Italian regions, its one of the most-visited places in Italy. Known for its red wines, no wine is more recognisable than Chianti. Known for its iconic bottle shape called a fiasco (Italian for flask); the Chianti is a strong and deep red wine which uses the Sangiovese grape.
A region of note for its white wines such as Riesling, Pinot Bianco and Pinot Grigio, Friuli-Venezia Giulia produces some of the most high-quality white wines with its local grapes. Because of its positioning at the border of Italy with Slovenia and Austria, the white Collio Goriziano has its roots in Germanic and Slovenian influences, giving it an intriguing flavour.
Umbria in central Italy is famous for its white wine the Orvieto. This wine is predominantly made from the Grechetto and Trebbiano grapes and carries a palate of a somewhat mid-dry to sweet.
Umbria also produces red wines but not to the degree of concentration it does for white wines. The most famous red wine from this region is the Sagrantino di Montefalco, made from the Sagrantino grapes, which is a dry wine.
Abruzzo vineyards, famous for Montepulciano d’Abruzzo
Regionally famous for its Montepulciano d’Abruzzo red wines, this wine is made from Montepulciano grapes, renowned for their pepper and spice notes. When in Kuala Lumpur, do look out for the Castorini produced from this region available exclusively at Marble 8 and Marini’s on 57 – for wine connoisseurs, this is definitely one you wouldn’t want to miss.
Although we’ve picked five of Cav. Modesto Marini’s favourite regions in Italy for wine, it would be a disservice to suggest that Italy’s many other regions don’t also produce exquisite wines. As always, a great sommelier that understands pairing wine with your plate will always make the difference in choosing the finest wine for the situation. At Marini’s we only seek to bring the best of the best; our sommeliers are expertly-trained in offering guidance and introductions in types of wines.