If you have already tried a Valpolicella or an Amarone, you’ve already had a taste of wine from Veneto. This Italian province produces the largest quantity of wine and is well-loved for the diversity of its products, amongst other reasons.
Located in the northeast, Veneto cultivates its own native grape varieties that are typical to the region and rarely found elsewhere on the planet. For example, wines from the famous Valpolicella appellation are made from Corvina, Molinara and Rondinella grapes. Great ambassadors for the region, Valpolicellas are diverse, yet generally light, fresh, accessible and drinkable. Valpolicella is the kind of wine best served slightly chilled and shared with friends around a caprese salad.
Amarone, otherwise known as Amarone della Valpolicella, comes from the same area as Valpolicella and contains the same varieties of grapes. But it is made according to a unique method in which the grapes are harvested, then dried to concentrate the sugars and aromas. These raisins are then turned into wine, which makes the final result rich, intense, complex and delicious.
But Veneto’s best kept secret is its white wine. Not everything good in Italy is red—many affordable whites also display a remarkable finesse. Such is the case with wines from the Soave appellation, highlighting Garganega grapes. These are fine wines with accents of pear, almond paste and flowers that pair very well with pasta dishes featuring seafood, cream and lemon.
Here are a few suggestions featuring typical Veneto wines.
A classic Valpolicella, for serving at the start of a meal: