During the summertime, it’s tempting to stick to the familiar choices of Sancerre and Rose due to their refreshing and reliable flavors. However, exploring Italy’s diverse selection of white varietals can lead to delightful, refreshing and perhaps more interesting choices that perfectly complement the season’s abundance of fresh foods. Italy also offers some light-bodied red varietals that beautifully harmonize with the bolder flavors of summer, particularly grilled dishes. This summer, I highly recommend trying out these 5 delightful whites and a red from Italy that are sure to enhance your dining experiences:
ALOIS LAGEDER “PORER” VIGNETI DELLE DOLOMITIIGT
Porer is pure Pinot Grigio, but it is far from a simple wine. This is a winemaker’s wine, all about the joy of experimenting and bringing different techniques together to produce a fascinatingly complex product. Some of the grapes were pressed immediately after harvest to keep the fresh flavors and aromas. Others were kept on the skins for 15 hours while yet a third parcel was in contact with stems and skins for about one year, absorbing color, some tannin, and other rich flavor components.
GAROFOLI “PODIUM” VERDICCHIO DEI CASTELLI DIJESI CLASSICO SUPERIORE DOC
A great example of Verdicchio, from the best-known wine area of Marche, Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi DOC.
On the nose, the wine offers an enticing bouquet of ripe yellow apple, lemon zest, and hints of tropical fruits. There is a delicate floral character, with notes of white flowers and a touch of honey. These aromas come together to create a fresh and inviting olfactory experience.
The palate is vibrant and well-balanced showcasing the characteristic Verdicchio acidity, which provides a lively and refreshing mouthfeel dominated by green apple, lemon, grapefruit and mineral undertones as well as a pleasant saline quality that adds complexity to the wine.
INAMA “VIN SOAVE” SOAVE DOC CLASSICO
Vin Soave is the main production for the estate, an entry-level wine that nevertheless comes from vineyards farmed the same way as for Inama’s reserve wines. The wine is made from 100% Garganega in stainless-steel tanks to stress the importance of freshness and Garganega’s floral notes. Along with the enhanced minerality from the vineyards’ volcanic soil, the result is a wine with great versatility in combination with food.
On the nose, this Soave immediately captivates with its aromatic profile revealing a beautiful bouquet of white flowers, peach, pear and lemon peel. The aromas are fresh, inviting, and well-balanced. This Soave has great structure with a combination of ripe fruit and vibrant acidity with the peach and pear aromas following through on the palate. It finishes smooth and silky, balanced by ample acidity and lingering ripe fruit and subtle minerality.
MARCO FELLUGA “MONGRIS” PINOT GRIGIO COLLIODOC
Collio’s hilly terrain is well known for producing excellent white wines. The Mongris Pinot Grigio benefits from the mineral-rich but poor soils, producing a complex, well-structured example of this ubiquitous grape variety from northeastern Italy. The name Mongris comes from the contraction of Mono-variety Gris, referring to Pinot Grigio aka Pinot Gris.
Similar to the Imana Soave, the Marco Felluga “Mongris” offers an enticing bouquet of ripe orchard fruits, including juicy pear, white peach, and hints of tropical pineapple. Delicate floral notes and a touch of citrus zest add to its inviting and vibrant aromatic profile. On the palate, the wine strikes a delightful balance between fruitiness and crispness, with ripe pear and white peach flavors taking center stage. Vibrant acidity brings freshness, while a subtle mineral undertone adds complexity.
VIETTI “PERBACCO” LANGHE NEBBIOLO DOC
Fondly known to many as a “baby Barolo,” Perbacco is always 100% Nebbiolo sourced from some of the fifteen different Grand Cru vineyards in Barolo. Recently the winery started using a small portion of grapes from its vineyards in Barbaresco as part of the blend as well. An incredible value, Perbacco is essentially a Barolo without the official Barolo desgination—thus a highly rediuced price tag.
The wine exhibits a medium-deep ruby hue. Its aromatic profile is dominated by a generous burst of red berries, complemented by delightful floral and spicy undertones. On the palate, it presents as a medium-bodied wine, striking a fine balance between intensity and a gracefully mid-weight style. The well-integrated tannins blend seamlessly with the wine’s fruit structure. The finish lingers with impressive persistence, accentuated by a pleasant touch of freshness that leaves a lasting impression.