In the old world, regions often take the fame, while grapes and wine names can get lost in the mix. In the Veneto it’s a little different. Products like Amarone, Soave and Prosecco are bigger names than their grapes and regional affiliation.
Prosecco is where most of my money goes these days and that feels about right; it’s something you always drink with friends. But it also helps to know what you like. There are a variety of styles and levels. For starters I like Brut (the least amount of residual sugar) and Extra Dry (a little more residual sugar) with meals better than Dry (the most sugary), which always felt like a misnomer since it’s the sweetest. Prosecco comes from the Veneto and Friuli-Venezia Giulia regions and is a wine for all occasions. It pairs well with Italian and world cuisines like Indian and Japanese.
Amarone is Prosecco’s opposite. It’s rare, for exceptional occasions and pairs better with food from the Veneto better than anything else. Verona’s own own Monte Veronese Ubriaco wine-infused cheese or the similarly stunning Ubriaco di Raboso from the Treviso area are inspiring with Amarone.
Heavy winter dishes are all over the polenta-loving Veneto, my favorite is handmade Bigoli pasta with Monte Veronese Ubriaco and radicchio. Steer clear of any too good to be true supermarket Amarone deals, it’ll have to be an honorable bottle from a knowledgeable wine shop.
Soave may be a different story. It’s Italy’s go to white for a casual aperativo. A lot of it’s pretty industrial, but that can also mean safe and friendly. It’s dry and versative. Some producers, Leonildo and Teresita Pieropan, surely, do Soaves at a very high level of winemaking. Pieropan is stunning next to a plate of warm pumpkin tortelli.