Most people think of red wines when they think of Italian wines – Dolcetto, Sangiovese, and Barbera, to name a few. But there are also some Italian white wines that are well worth investigating. It’s not enough to just choose a Bianco from Italy – that simply means white. You’ll need to look at the type of grape, of course, as well as a few other key factors you will find on the label. For information on choosing delicious Italian white wines, as well as some guidance on Italian wines in general, see below.
Italian wines will be labeled with one of Italy’s four classes of wine – table wines (look for VDT or IGT) or the EU category Quality Wine Produced in a Specific Region (QWPSR). To break this down further, VDT (Vino Da Tavola) just means the wine was made in Italy, nothing more. IGT are table wines that are of a little higher quality but don’t conform to a wine region’s guidelines. QWPSR wines are further classified as either DOC or DOCG, with DOCG being the best quality. There are over 300 “zones” in Italy classified as QWPSR. Confused? Don’t be – it’s easier than it sounds. Once you get used to looking for these classifications, it will be no more difficult than deciding between a Texas or an Oregon wine.
The most popular Italian white wines include Soave, Pinot Grigio, Arneis, and Asti, but there are many other varieties to choose from. Verdicchio, which is very light, and Chardonnay (yes, Chardonnay) are also worth exploring. If you are interested in trying some outstanding Italian white wines from different classes, try a few of the ones below. These wines range in price from $5.00 to $30.00, and all are excellent choices. Italian white wines should be served chilled but not icy.
Baglio del Sole Inzolia Sicilia IGT 2009
This Italian white wine is a superb blend of white wine grapes. It has a very nutty aroma, and flavors of citrus and fresh herbs. This is a great table wine to serve at a casual get together with friends.
Pieropan ‘La Rocca’ Soave Classico 2008
This is a dry white wine from the Veneto region in northeast Italy. It has aromas of floral and stone fruit, and flavors that include melon and green plums. Serve this white wine with grilled salmon or sea bass, or even an elegant chicken dish.
Alois Lageder Pinot Bianco 2009
This Chardonnay-like white wine is perfect with seafood or light pasta. It’s a very clean, elegant wine, with fruity aromas of apple and peach and flavors touched with vanilla.
Terre di Paolo Falanghina 2008
If you enjoy aromas of peach and citrus fruits, this crisp Italian white wine is for you. Its flavors include pears and cherries, and this wine is an excellent choice for serving with lighter dishes with lots of fresh or grilled vegetables.
Teruzzi & Puthod Terre di Tufo 2008
A gorgeous Italian white wine with aromas of floral and peach, followed by flavors of apples and vanilla. This wine is a good choice for an elegant dinner, and its flavors can stand up to heartier meat dishes.