Part Two … (the rest of the world’s top wine regions)
Wine Regions of Italy, Spain, the U.S., and more
Having covered the regions of France in Wine 101 Part 1, this second section now covers additional exciting wine regions to round out your growing wine experience. Look up the regions, check them out on your favorite GPS map, and try each of the varietals listed below. This will take some time, but won’t it be fun?!?
Historic and cultural, Italian wines are to be discovered and savoured.
SPECIAL ITALIAN WINES
The Piedmont region in the northwest of Italy produces Barolo, the king of Italian red wines. Made from Nebbiolo, this small appellation’s wines are beautiful to experience. Whether it is saved for years, or consumed now, this is certainly one Italian red that benefits by aging.
Also from Piedmont, this wine is made with Nebbiolo and Barbaresco (which is the queen to Barolo’s king). Appreciated for its finesse and aromas, wines of Barbaresco are among Italy’s best.
Brunello di Montalcino is the best of wines made with Sangiovese. This Tuscan red wine gets its moniker from the local name for Sangiovese (Brunello) and Montalcino, a small medieval hill village overlooking the Tuscan countryside. Brunello’s can be complex wines with good aging potential.
Amarone from the Veneto region is a concentrated and robust dry red wine made from dried grapes. Made from native Italian grapes, Amarone is a wine that impresses the palate that is looking for an intense red wine.
Image: an example of a fine Amarone!
ITALIAN RED WINES FOR EVERY DAY
Chianti Classico refers to the classic growing area of this well-known Italian red wine. Produced with slightly stricter regulations than regular Chianti, a Classico pairs easily with a wide variety of foods.
The red grape Barbera produces lovely wines with good acidity and soft tannins. From Piedmont, they please most every palate.
Another red from Piedmont. Bigger tannins than Barbera, but less than Nebbiolo, wines from Dolcetto achieve a nice balance.
Believe it or not, Prosecco is an every day bubbly, not necessarily about celebration. Have it often, it has relatively low alcohol and has a delightfully fruity and punchy experience. Prosecco is a sparkling wine made in the Veneto region around the city of Treviso, north of Venice. Made with the grape of the same name, also called Glera.
Produced using an affordable technique called the Tank Method and is thus cheaper to produce than champagne.
Rioja, Ribera del Duero, and upcoming regions are waiting to be discovered. Gorgeous wines!
We love Spanish wines. Try the wines of Rioja, Ribera del Duero, or one of the hot new regions! Spain has the largest acreage of vineyards in the world, but lower wine production than France and Italy. The largely dry climate allows for easy organic farming of the grapes (whether certified or not), and is a winemaker’s dream for the making of truly fine wines.
Major Spanish Grape Varieties
Look for any of the above three varietals in your wine shop’s Spanish section.
Wines from the U.S. have become a powerhouse of the wine business. You’ll get excellent wines for good prices from the United States.
90% of wine from the United States is from California, which has thousands of wineries in such famous wine regions as Napa, Sonoma, and Central Coast.
Major Grape Varieties
Well, that’s it. If you’ve gone over Part One and this page, which is Part Two of our Wine 101, you’re a graduate. CONGRATULATIONS. I hope you keep growing in your knowledge and appreciation of wine. – The Wine Baron