The Italian Wine Guide: Exploring The Flavors & Aromas Of Italy’s Vineyards (Plus Perfect Food Pairings!)

Ahhhh, wine. It’s an ancient drink enjoyed all over the world, and has been since the beginning of recorded history. The early Greeks and Romans certainly loved their fermented grapes, and modern Italians have carried on the tradition of winemaking, elevating it to a complex art form.

As such, wine has evolved over the years into a major industry in Italy; in fact, Italy is one of the largest wine producers in the world. With 20 major wine regions and well over 2,000 different varieties, Italy edged out France in 2011 as the world’s largest producer, but fell back to the number two spot in 2012.

Different wines have vastly different flavor profiles, physical characteristics and lifespans. Because of this eclectic nature, some wines pair better with certain foods than with others. Now, no one is saying you need to be a “wine snob,” or exclusively drink red wines with red meat and white wines with fish or poultry, but knowing some of the basics of Italian wines will allow you to gain a greater appreciation of how wines and foods go together, leading to a greater depth of gastronomic enjoyment.

Knowing the regions that produce specific wines and flavors, and knowing which flavors go best with which foods can also drastically alter the experience of a meal for the better.

Our interactive Italian wine guide contains all of the major wine regions of Italy along with the specific varietals for which each is known. We’ve also provided the best food pairings that go with each wine. So fire up the grill, unwrap your finest crystal goblets, skewer the veggies and get ready to unveil your perfect wine combinations.