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Explore the wonderful wines of Italy with us - part 1

We lay our first scene in fair Verona

Valpolicella is a viticultural area in the province of Verona, Italy, east of Lake Garda.

The well known Amarone della Valpolicella, usually just known as Amarone, comes from this region and is widely recognised as one of the great Italian reds. There are of course also many other excellent, less well known wines that are also produced in this region!

We suggest trying Valpolicella Ripasso that is made with fresh juice which is fermented with the partially dried grape skins that have been left over from making Amarone. This richly flavoured dry red wine is truly one of Italy's finest and age-worthy wines.

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Tuscany, where Sangiovese thrives

Here we explore some of Tuscany's greatest wines. Whether you are drinking Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino or Rosso di Montepulciano, sangiovese is always the dominant grape.

Chianti is a vast area in Tuscany, divided into 7 sub-zones, each one producing its Chianti with a specific name and label. With so much out there to chose from and a huge range in terms of price point and quality we selected a Chianti Classico. The expression Chianti Classico indicates the oldest and most genuine area in the region and produces some of the finest Chianti available. It’s generally worth the extra few $ for a Classico.

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Brunello di Montalcino is a red DOCG (highest classification) Italian wine produced in the vineyards surrounding the town of Montalcino in the Tuscany wine region. This area is warmer than Chianti and the limestone soils give the sangiovese extra power and ripeness. The tannins are grippier, which means that the wine benefits from more ageing.

Brunello is the only appellation that requires the wine to be made of 100-per-cent sangiovese. (Chianti and Rosso di Montepulciano allow small amounts of other grapes for blending).

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If there’s a red wine that you don’t know but should, it’s Tuscany’s Rosso di Montepulciano. Not to be confused with Montepulciano d’Abruzzo (made from the Montepulciano grape which we will cover next week), this Sangiovese-based red is just as delicious as its better known neighbours Chianti and Brunello.

In its youth, Rosso is vibrant and fresh in the glass, giving gorgeous aromas of bright red fruit. We love drinking this younger style in Singapore, it’s a great medium bodied red for the hot climate. However, thanks to its solid structure and acidity, Rosso can also be aged.

Image from Wine Folly - get it here