Bel­lis­simo! Taste tin­gling tour of Italy’s best wines

Belfast Telegraph - Weekend - - DRINK -

It’s hardly sur­pris­ing the Ital­ians live to eat, with such won­der­ful wines to help bring meals to life. If you’re on a quest for a food-friendly, good-time wine, chances are you’ll be on to a win­ner if you take your goblet on a tour of Italy. Whether you’re af­ter a fresh, fruity white, or a rich, savoury red, you’ll be in good com­pany with Italy’s unique na­tive grapes. Here’s a whis­tle-stop tour of some of our favourite Ital­ian wines to drink now... 1. M&S Grillo 2016, Si­cily, Italy, £8 (avail­able in store) One of south­ern Italy’s most de­light­ful whites, grillo ben­e­fits from Si­cily’s sun-drenched soil and is gain­ing an avid fol­low­ing for its fra­grant nose (think wafts of cit­rus groves), struc­ture and depth of flavour. With flo­ral, hon­eyed, herbal sen­sa­tions, a silky smooth palate and en­er­getic fin­ish, it’s a big hit with seafood spaghetti. 2. Ca’ Ve­gar Cus­toza DOC 2015, Veneto, Italy, £11.49, vir­gin­ Multi-lay­ered and a sump­tu­ous fruit bas­ket of deftly blended grapes, this award-win­ning wine shows lots of min­er­al­ity with plenty of ripe pears Masi and trop­i­cal Cam­pofiorin fruit flavours, 2014, Italy, a trace of al£14.99 or monds and £9.99 in a a gen­tle rich­ness Mix Six deal, bal­anced Ma­jes­tic by fresh­ness. Se­ri­ously good and worth seek­ing out. 3. Barone Bruni Chi­anti Clas­sico Ris­erva DOCG 2013, Tus­cany, Italy, cur­rently re­duced to £7.49 from £7.99, Aldi Ca’ Ve­gar Cus­toza DOC 2015, Veneto, Italy, £11.49, vir­gin­wines. One of the best-loved Ital­ian reds, chi­anti flows from the hills be­tween Florence and Siena and 2013 has been cited as a strong vin­tage for san­giovese, with bags of vivid, aro­matic fruits. Cue this scented Tus­can that’s brim­ming with ripe savoury fruit, sweet spice and soft tan­nins on the friendly fin­ish. 4. Sains­bury’s Taste the Dif­fer­ence Bar­bera d’Asti 2015, Italy, cur­rently re­duced to £6 from £8.50 If you’re feel­ing thrifty, this wine cap­tures the bright, fresh, juicy red fruits with mouth-wa­ter­ing acid­ity we look for in a clas­sic Bar­bera d’Asti. Loaded with bram­bly fruit, it’s an af­ford­able al­ter­na­tive to the posh wines of Pied­mont. And if you de­cide to branch out, Sains­bury’s has a good line-up of Ital­ians in their Taste the Dif­fer­ence range, in­clud­ing gi­ants such as Barolo and Bar­baresco. 5. Masi Cam­pofiorin 2014, Italy, £14.99 or £9.99 in a Mix Six deal, Ma­jes­tic The 2014 vin­tage wine from Masi cel­e­brates 50 years since the Verona-based wine­mak­ers cre­ated a su­per-Vene­tian in­spired by the amarone method (which means wines made from par­tially dried grapes). This rich, se­duc­tive red de­serves your best goblet. Smooth, vel­vety and laden with sweet, spiced cherry and rasp­berry fruits that glide along beau­ti­fully and de­velop a com­plex, savoury fin­ish. Barone Bruni Chi­anti Clas­sico Ris­erva DOCG 2013, Tus­cany, Italy, £7.49, Aldi M&S Grillo 2016, Si­cily, Italy, £8

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