Italian Sweet Red Vermouth Tasting Guide
This is where it all began, the real meat of this entire project. With Antonio Benedetto Carpano’s first vermouth, the Italians laid their claim to one of the finest forms of aromatized wine.
When a cocktail recipe calls for sweet vermouth, we’re likely reaching for something Italian, and for good reason. Most known for sweet red vermouth, Italy produces some of the best vermouths on the market. Typically the sweetest of all vermouths, Italian sweet red vermouth is marked by the most apparent bitter and herbaceous notes.
It’s worth noting the original sweet vermouths weren’t defined by their dark red/brown coloring, but were naturally colored by their botanicals.
Standout bottles that represent the category include the bitter Alessio Rosso, Cinzano 1757 Rosso, Contratto Rosso, and Scarpa Rosso. For an extra bitter cola flavor, try Punt e Mes. The herbaceous is the finest of the savory, herbal Italian sweet reds.
For something sweeter and more dessert-like, try the much-loved vanilla bomb Carpano Antica Formula, the chocolatey Cocchi di Torino, and Martelletti Classico for its cream sherry notes.
For something lighter, don’t turn your nose up at the incredible value of the cola bomb that is Cinzano Rosso. Boissiere Sweet Vermouth also provides a more delicate, Chambery-style alternative to the typical heaviness found in the Italian sweet red category. And please, do yourself a favor and give Mancino Rosso Amaranto a shot there’s nothing else quite like it.
Italian Dessert Wines From Tuscany And The Tuscan Islands
There are a few Italian dessert wines from Tuscany that simply should not be missed and deserve their own section. Weve covered Passito di Pantellaria already, but there are some other Tuscan varieties that deserve further attention. The region is, after all, one of the most unique and fertile regions of Italy. The region is well-known not only for its wine although Chianti from Tuscany has gained world-wide fame but also for its white truffles and high-quality pork .
Redigaffi 2017 Tua Rita
Description: It opens in a kaleidoscope of aromas between notes of blueberries and blackberry jam followed by a more austere character of dark cocoa powder, cardamom, incense and undergrowth. The palate with a silky tannin and a good acidity that favors drinkability. Great flavor and excellent persistence.
Grapes: Merlot 100%Tuscany region
One of the best interpretations of Syrah in Italy. Sapid and seductive with intact fruit of great intelligibility, embellished but not masked by the tertiary notes. Fully among the most famous and best Italian red wines for the enhancement of the vine of the famous Middle Eastern variety.
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Which Red Wines Are The Least Sweet
Lets take a closer look at the drier end of the red wine sweetness chart. While popular favorites Merlot and Pinot Noir are considered dry red wines, they have higher levels of residual sugars than the very dry options.
Tempranillo is considered a very dry red wine. Hailing from Spain, this full-bodied red is high in tannins, high in acidity, and boasts delicious notes of dried figs, cherries, and tobacco.
Cabernet Sauvignon is another popular full-bodied wine with high tannins. Along with lovely fruit flavors like black cherry and black currant, Cabernet Sauvignon has gorgeous savory notes such as cedar.
Nebbiolo is an Italian powerhouse. This full-bodied, highly tannic red wine is considered bone dry, giving it the bottom spot on our red wine sweetness chart. This heavy red has great savory notes such as leather balanced with fruity, floral notes such as rose and cherry.
Why We Love Dry And Sweet Red Wine
While we definitely have our favorites for different occasions, when it comes to red wine, we love them all. Sweet red wines are the perfect addition to sweeter dishes, and often boast some of the fruitiest flavors in the wine world. Those on the other end of the scale pair beautifully with a range of fatty dishes, balance dark fruit flavors with savory notes, and offer the drinker a mouth-puckering experience like none other.
Whether theyre decadently sweet, straddling the dry-to-sweet border, or bone dry, each of these wines have a special place at our table.
For a taste of the dry side, try our Usual Red, a red blend with notes of cherry, raspberry, and savory flavors like fennel.
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List Of Sweet Red Wines Well Worth Trying
Karen is a wine, cocktails, and food enthusiast. She holds a California Wine Appellation Specialist certificate from the San Francisco wine school and a Bar Smarts mixology certificate and bartends for charitable events.
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While red wine is often an acquired taste, sweet red wines are a way to introduce the health benefits of red wine to a generation raised on sweeter flavors. There are a variety of sweet reds sure to match your taste buds, so consider giving one a try.
Two Italian Red Wines To Buy For Next Week
7. Barbera d’Asti’
The Italian red grape Barbera makes delicious wines with bright acidity and soft tannin. Hailing from Piedmont, these delightful red wines are crowd-pleasers.
8. Dolcetto d’Alba’
Dolcetto is another red wine from Piedmont. With more noticeable tannin than Barbera, but not as much as Nebbiolo, wines from Dolcetto strike a nice balance.
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Barolo Riserva Monfortino 2013 Giacomo Conterno
Description: It is olfactively articulated in a kaleidoscope of floral timbres among which wisteria and violet stand out followed by small red fruits and officinal herbs, embellished with suggestions of austere spices, tobacco, goudron and blood shades. On the palate it is rich and enveloping, with compact and powerful tannins that evolve in progression towards an extraordinary persistence finish in which the fruit echoes the protagonist.
Alcoholic fermentation in 61 hl oak vats with long maceration on the skins malolactic fermentation in Austrian oak barrels of different sizes.
Grapes: 100% NebbioloPiemonte region
A historic and iconic wine born from the best vintages and the best grapes of the renowned cru Francia in Serralunga dAlba in 1978. Undisputed protagonist in the history of the Langhe: titanic, exciting and sensational persistence and evolutionary potential. Without a doubt one of the most iconic, historical and best internationally recognized Italian red wines.
How To Serve Lambrusco
Like other sparklers, Lambrusco is a proper choice for a toast when celebrating. With this red, sweet drink, you might surprise your guests who expect a traditional dry Champagne or Prosecco.
But as we will discuss later in this article, the Italian sparkling wine pairs very well with different types of food. So, you can also serve it with the main course or with dessert during a dinner party.
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Flaccianello Della Pieve 2016 Fontodi
Description: On the nose it spreads intense notes of ripe cherry and red orange peel followed by autumn spices and juniper berries. Well-defined and measured tannins and pacing acidity that gives great freshness and drinkability.
Grapes: Sangiovese 100%Tuscany region
Considered among the most famous Supertuscan, a wine that has marked generations of enthusiasts all over the world. A long-limbed and vibrant wine. Among the most historic and best Italian red wines for maximizing the varietal character of Sangiovese.
Faqs About Italian Wines
Is Italian wine good?
Yes, Italian wine is really good and its all thanks to the low alcoholic levels these wine have and the higher acidity and mix of different fruits that make Italian wine special and truly unique, especially when they are enjoyed without any social pressure.
Are Italian wines sulfites free?
No, not all Italian wines are sulfites free, but most of them dont include it in their labels because its completely normal for the countrys laws, whereas in the US its mandatory that in the label is stated when wines contain sulfites.
How can I avoid headache from wine?
The best way to avoid tomorrows headache is by staying hydrated, consume wine with food and drink lighter reds which contain lower tannin levels.
What is the best Italian wine for cooking?
Cooking with wine is an old tradition which makes meals jucier, and full of different flavors depending on the wine chosen, so some of the best sorts to cook with are Pinot Grigio for chicken or seafood, Sauvignon Blanc with pasta and sauces and Merlot for meats and sauces.
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Brunello Di Montalcino Madonna Delle Grazie 2015 Il Marroneto
Description: Faceted, fine and complex character: it opens on exposure on berries and ripe cherries, embellished with spices, blood notes, licorice and officinal herbs. Great extract in the mouth with compact tannins of great thickness and finesse. Excellent persistence and elegance.
Grapes: Sangiovese 100%Tuscany region
An imaginative and exciting wine, an interpretation of extraordinary elegance of Brunello di Montalcino, certainly among the best Italian red wines for sensational dialectic between fruit clarity and tertiary notes.
Dessert Wine From Italy
The Italians have a very special love for sweet and dessert wines. They’d rather have ice wine. Because this is hardly possible in Italy, however, they developed a whole host of different processes to produce an excellent Vino Dolce. Good Italian dessert wines are seldom bought, because the often very small production quantity is mostly drunk in one’s own country. Exceptions confirm the rule. DESSERT WINE FROM ITALY: VIN SANTO, MOSCATO, PASSITO, RECIOTO OR VINO DOLCE. If one
This still Muscat, conceived as the “little brother” of the Torcolato and Acininobili, is a masterpiece and proves once again that Fausto Maculan is one of the world’s best producers of dessert wines. Dindarello scores with a bouquet of peaches, elderberries and aromatic herbs. These aromas accompany the wonderfully full taste until the finish. Its perfect balance between sweetness and acidity will ennoble any finish to a meal. SUPERIORE.DE
“A delicious, silky sweetie with dried citrus fruit on the nose, colored by a light, lavender-like note. Full, dense and silky, yet thereâs also a lightness of touch and lemon-cream silkiness. Seamless and effortless, this glides across the palate. Delicious.” James Suckling
- Expansion:2 months stainless steel
03080820 · 0,375 l · 26,40 â¬/l ·Price incl.VAT,excl.Shippingavailable immediately
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Dal Forno Romano Vigna Ser Veneto Passito Rosso Is The Top Pick
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Theres an unspoken misconception that wine, a drink made by fermenting grape juice, isnt meant to be sweet. While sweet bottles made up the majority of American wine production as recently as a half-century ago, the shift toward dry wines modeled after their “classic” European forebears was fairly complete by the 1980s and hasn’t retreated since. The truth, however, is that wine comes in all shapes, sizes, colors, and flavorsincluding sweet.
Even more, those who think they dont like sweet wine are missing out on exceptional bottles. There are myriad winemakers who specialize in making delicious sweet wines that you can pair with savory dishes, share with your date on a romantic evening, or even stand in for a birthday cake.
With decadent notes of plum and chocolate, Dal Forno Romano Vigna Seré Veneto Passito Rosso is our top choice when it comes to sweet wines.
Like any other wine, the choices are overwhelming, so here are the best sweet wines that prove that they’re just another part of the wine family.
Are All Lambrusco Wines Sweet
Italian winemakers produce various styles of Lambrusco:
- Wines labeled as dolce are the sweetest styles . They have more than 45 grams of sugar per liter of wine.
- Amabile wines are semi-sweet with 30 to 50 grams of sugar per liter.
- Off-dry styles are called semisecco. Their sugar content ranges between 12 and 30 g/L.
- Secco wines are dry. Nevertheless, they can have up to 15 g/L. Because of their outstanding balance of acidity and carbon dioxide, the sweetness is almost not perceivable, though.
The level of sweetness doesnt allow any conclusions regarding the quality both sweet and dry styles can be excellent.
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Three Italian Red Wines To Buy For Next Year
Gattinara is a delicious and often overlooked Nebbiolo-based wine from Piedmont. Perfect with stews and braises, these are the wines to drink while waiting for Barolo and Barbaresco to mature.
5. Rosso di Montalcino
Rosso di Montalcino is often referred to as baby Brunello. Made with Sangiovese grown in the same area, this wine is released to market the year after harvest, while Brunello continues to slumber in winemakers’ cellars.
6. Chianti Classico
Chianti Classico refers to this iconic Italian red wine’s classic, historic growing area. Produced with slightly stricter regulations than regular Chianti, these wines pair easily with a multitude of meals.
Villa Gemma Montepulciano Dabruzzo 2013 Masciarelli
Characteristics: Ripe cherry and black currant stand out in the olfactory spectrum, flanked by mineral puffs, leather and medicinal herbs. Well hatched and ripe tannins and sensational iodized flavor that amplifies the sip.
Grapes: Montepulciano dAbruzzo 100%Region: Abruzzo
Surely one of the most iconic wineries in Abruzzo: A wine that has been able to maximize the expressive enhancement of Montepulciano dAbruzzo by reaching peaks of the highest level. Deservedly among the best Italian red wines.
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Italian Dessert Wine With Biscotti
The finest Italian dessert pairing with biscotti are Tuscan versions of Vin Santo. Its intense and well-balanced flavors of sweet caramel and hazelnuts makes it the perfect companion to biscotti. Vin Santo and biscotti is, moreover, often served for a welcoming drink and snack. This combination even has its own name, Cantucci e Vin Santo.
Best Overall: Dal Forno Romano Vigna Ser Veneto Passito Rosso
Courtesy of Vivino.com
Region: Veneto, Italy | ABV: 14% | Tasting Notes: Plum, Tobacco, Chocolate
From vineyards rooted in chalky-clay soils outside the town of Tregnago, about an hour and a half west of Venice, Italy, comes this ultra-rare passito from Dal Forno. In fact, in three decades, the wine has only been produced six times. Made in the tiniest of quantities, this is a once-in-a-lifetime experience and one of the most profound sweet wines youll ever encounter.
Corvina grapes are used to make the bulk of this wine, along with 15% rondinella, 20% croatina, and 10% oseleta that are then aged for 36 months in oak. The result is rich and decadent, with sweet red-berry fruit, red licorice, crushed stones, and brown sugar-coated candied violets. All this is framed by juicy and brisk acidity, giving freshness to this wine that defies gravity.
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Barolo Lazzarito 2016 Vietti
Stratified sensations on clear scents of wild strawberries and raspberry to which are added suggestions of officinal herbs, orange peel, blood reminiscences and empyheumatic notes The sip is smooth with a well-defined tannic texture which is counterbalanced by a pacing acidity and a compact tannin sensationally dashed.
Grapes: NebbioloPiemonte region
Among the best expressions of Barolo from one of the most iconic wineries in the Langhe. Elegantly whimsical wine sui generis, adamant and emphatic with pressing tannins: great territorial identity. Fully among the best Italian and most iconic red wines.
Best Under $: Gd Vajra Barolo Albe 2016
Courtesy of Wine.com
Region: Piedmont| ABV: 14.5%| Tasting Notes: Cranberry, Rose Petal, White Pepper, Tobacco
If Barbaresco showcases the elegance of nebbiolo, Barolo is focused on the varietys power. But while these sturdy, structured wines are built to last, they still have those intoxicating nebbiolo aromatics of fragrant flowers and exotic spice. G.D. Vajra is one of the most exciting wineries in Barolo, producing some of the regions most versatile, accessible, and affordable offerings.
Albe is a blend from several organic vineyard sites across Barolo, providing a perfect snapshot of the local terroir. Tart red cherry, cranberry, and pomegranate fruit gets an aromatic boost from rose petal, tar, tobacco, spice, white pepper, and herbal notes. Albe is the perfect wine for the beginning collector to cellaralthough its so easy to drink now, its hard to believe it can continue to age for another 20 years or longer!
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Best Greek: Kourtaki Mavrodaphne Of Patras
Courtesy of Drizly.com
Region: Peloponnese, Greece | ABV: 15% | Tasting Notes: Blackberry, Fig, Molasses
The Greeks are famous for inventing dramatic theater, so it only makes sense that theyd be able to produce such a dramatic wine full of sweet pathos. The Kourtakis family founded their winery back in 1895 and continues to be one of Greeces most prominent winemakers.
Reminiscent of a fine port, this bottle is heavy on fig, raisin, and brown sugar. This also has a profound chocolate note which could help explain why it pairs so well with actual chocolate.
How Lambrusco Is Made
Lambruscos making is comparable to the production of other sparkling wines.
The harvest takes place relatively early in the year, so the grapes are not too rich in sugar. After crushing them, vintners process them into a still base wine.
Next, the second fermentation follows, during which the wine gets its fizziness. During this phase, vintners have two options:
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