Picking Your Way Through Italian Wines

Castagnole from Gianni's

When you think about Italian wines loads of people think about things like Chianti, Prosecco, and Pinot Grigio. And why wouldn’t you? We all walk into wine aisles and see the shelves rammed full of those three. But what do you do when you want to start exploring Italian wines a bit more? Where do you start?

Life gets a bit easier when you break it down into regions. Italy’s full of different and fiercely proud regions. Italians aren’t from Italy, they’re from Umbria, or they’re from Sicily, or from Puglia, and so on. Italy’s only been a country for 150 years or so, and the separate ways of food and drink and culture are still there. It makes it an amazing place to visit and explore, but tricky when you’re trying to scratch the surface.

My advice is to pick yourself 2 or 3 different regions to start with. Doesn’t matter which ones. Best thing would be to jump on a plane and head over to each one, but I know life doesn’t really work like that. You could just have a flick through the internet for what foods and wines are from that region, and then just try them out. See what you like about them.

As a food loving wine-o, it’s hard to limit myself to 3 regions (and I just don’t bloody want to), but it’s not hard to decide what has to be in there before all else…Piemonte, up in the North West!




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