5 Italian White Wines You'll Love
If you're fairly new to Italian restaurants and cuisine, you probably equate table wine with Chianti and other rich, red varietals. However, not all Italian food pairs well with red wine. Many people are surprised to learn that much of everyday Italian cooking involves fish and poultry rather than red meat and red sauces, especially during summer when evening temperatures call for a lighter touch, and white wine often pairs better with these foods. Following are five excellent white Italian wines you can enjoy with an evening meal or simply sip after dinner.
This is a Tuscan wine that's full-bodied enough to pair well with seafood dishes featuring strongly flavored sauces. It's got a fruity bouquet that makes it an ideal choice for after-dinner sipping with a bowl of fresh fruit as dessert. Orvieto is also a good choice as a first-course wine if paired with hors d'oeuvres crafted with white cheese such as Mozzarella and white meats such as prosciutto or chicken pate.
Sparkling and slightly sweet, Asti is an excellent alternative to French Champagne when the occasion calls for a celebratory beverage. Its slightly sweet tang pairs well with crab, lobster, mussels, and shrimp, and it's also excellent when served at the end of a meal with fruit-based desserts and can be pleasant paired with caramel and white chocolate.
Frascati is a perfect choice for those who prefer their white wines on the slightly dry side. It makes an excellent choice for serving with pasta primavera, with rosemary chicken, or with pan-fried oysters or yellowfin tuna. Steer clear of serving it with fruit, however, because it simply doesn't have the necessary sweet side to provide a proper complement to fruit.
The crisp taste and texture of Verdicchio combined with its medium-bodied flavor profile makes it ideal for sipping with autumn stews crafted with freshly picked root vegetables and seasoned with kitchen-garden herbs. Like Frascati, it's not at all sweet, so avoid serving it with fruit. It's got middle notes of ocean air and mineral, making it a natural selection for serving with fresh seafood.
Pinot grigio is a light, fruity wine that lends itself perfectly to picnics and other casual summer meals. Its light texture and relatively low alcohol content make it a great choice for those who want to enjoy a glass of wine with their midday meal. Pinot grigio is especially good with summer salads made with fresh greens and just-ripe tomatoes.