This post was sponsored by the Italian Trade Agency as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.
Italy has a special place in my heart because I spent so many summers there studying music. I first learned the expression, “la dolce vita” back in 2008 – man, that was a long time ago. It translates to “the sweet life,” but think of it more as “the good life.”
After hours and hours of practice, I’d head to the nearest restaurant with friends and enjoy a glass of red with THE most delish food you can think of. There’s nothing better than having a productive day and then relaxing with your loved ones. Good food, good drink, and good company – it doesn’t really get much better than that!
I’ve always loved Italian culture – the country, the people, the food, the drink – so I partnered up with the Italian Trade Agency today to tell you guys a bit more about some of my favorite vino.
Italy produces the largest volume of wine in the world (!!!!!), and the country may have as many as3,000 varieties of grapes, many of which have yet to be classified. If you love wine as much as I do and want to learn more about it, definitely make sure to keep reading. Plus, I’m sharing some bomb foodporn so there’s that. We’ll be focusing on three main regions (Tuscany, Sicilia, and Calabria) so I hope you’re excited. Yay learning!
Tuscany is Italy’s 6th largest wine producer – they excel at classic reds based on the Sangiovese vine. Some common grape varieties grown in the region include Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Alicante, but they’re best known for the wines of Chianti. Chianti’s actually the name of a region located in the heart of Tuscany, and there are seven subzones within the smaller historic zone that produce their famed “Chianti Classico.” It’s high in acidity and has fruity undertones (think cherries) so it pairs well with noms like pasta al pomodoro, salumi, and pizza.
Sicily mostly produces white wine, but I’m a big fan of their Cerasuolo di Vittoria Classico, which is a potent red made from Nero d’Avola blended with Frappato. Cerasuolo mean “cherry” so you can count on smelling and tasting cherry notes like the Chianti mentioned above. It’s usually a beautiful ruby red color, and you should be able to taste berries, plum and pomegranate as well. And yes, I’m obsessed with fruity vino.
This region only accounts for 1% of Italy’s wine production, but that’s fine because it’s about quality not quantity. Their Gaglioppo – grown at high altitudes in mountainous Cirò – is seriously delish, its crushed berry flavors work beautifully with its cherry and spicy secondary notes. The full-bodied vino pairs well with pasta al pomodoro, pasta bolognese, and both light and dark meats so go wild!
Although I enjoy all three reds regularly, I decided to have a beautiful Chianti Classico for brunch. I paired it with some unconventional brunch dishes because, why not? Viva la dolce vita! As mentioned previously, this vino goes well with pasta al pomodoro so I decided to try it with shakshuka, a Middle Eastern dish with poached eggs, stewed tomatoes, chili peppers, and onions. I also got a duck confit benedict, a beautiful charcuterie board (because red wine and salami are two peas in a pod), and hashbrowns with sunny-side up eggs, sausage and cheese.
I love that Chianti Classico goes well with both “fancy food” and “casual food.” It was the perfect wine for brunch, and I can’t wait to indulge again next week! What did you guys think about today’s food post? Did you have fun learning all about Italian wines? Have you tried any of the varietals I talked about? Definitely let me know by leaving me a comment below.
Anddd make sure you try a Chianti Classico yourself (as long as you’re 21+)! I promise that you’ll love it, and if you’re interested in learning more, definitely make sure to check out the Italian Trade Agency website and follow them on social – you can find them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Until next time, friends! Happy eating. Enjoy responsibly!