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What is a Light Italian Red Wine?

What is a Light Italian Red Wine?

Bardolino offers light Italian red wines at an excellent value. Produced using Corvina and Rondinella grapes, Bardolino makes for an affordable alternative to more prestigious regions like Valpolicella.

Wine made from this grape is typically light-bodied with tart and juicy red fruit flavors and may feature spicy accents.


Italian wine boasts an extraordinary range of light-bodied red wines that are both delectable and versatile, as described by Susan Hulme MW in an article for Decanter. Hulme described Schiava (also known as Trollinger and Hampton Court Vine) from Trentino-Alto Adige region as being especially versatile and delicious.

Physical characteristics of grapes make them perfect candidates for producing light wines, such as its thin skins which allow the fruit flavors to intensify while keeping alcohol levels down.

Schiava is the primary grape variety found in Santa Maddalena DOC wines, where it's often blended with Lagrein from nearby (see Lagrein in the Smooth Style ) as well as used as the foundation for all bottlings of classico Caldaro DOC bottles (at least 85% Schiava must be present in each bottle of Caldaro DOC classico Caldaro wines); its aromas feature floral tones and fruity notes from strawberries and rose petals, creating bright and refreshing wines bursting with floral aromas from fruity red berries like strawberry and rose for added dimension.


Grignolino (pronounced green-yo-leen-oh) likely derives from Piedmontese "grignole," meaning seeds or pips, which is apt since these wines often carry substantial tannins that can leave one grimacing with irritation; yet these wines still possess undeniable charm and energy that make for enjoyable sipping experiences.

Heitz Cellars makes an enthralling red grignolino wine that should convert any doubters of saignee into believers. With its deep pink hue and aromatic bouquet of flowers and fruits like wild strawberry and thyme, Heitz Cellars' red grignolino should become your go-to red grignolino wine of choice.

Grignolino wines are versatile enough to pair well with all first courses, from pasta dishes and soups to grilled meat and poultry, while its light body and acidity also make it an excellent selection for Thanksgiving charcuterie plates.


Light Italian red wines with deep garnet or scarlet hues that exhibit floral aromatics with red plum notes, as well as notable yet balanced tannins are known as rubie wines.

Dolcetto can be consumed fresh within a year of its release, unlike many Piedmont wines like Barolo and Barbaresco which require time in the cellar to reach their peaks. Dogliani region in Piedmont boasts some remarkable examples that age well with time; there you'll find exceptional examples made of Dolcetto.

Dolcetto boasts an intoxicating blend of black cherry, licorice and prune fruit flavors with subtle floral nuances, making for an easy drinking wine with moderate acidity and balanced tannins that pair perfectly with pizza, pasta with tomato sauce or mushroom dishes. Also referred to as Acqui, Bathiolin or Crete de Coq Bathiolin - Dolcetto offers the perfect way to discover Piedmont's cultural depth!


Montepulciano wine is an ideal wine choice for both novice and seasoned wine enthusiasts, due to its powerful fruit aromas and subtle tannic structure, making it suitable for pairing with various cuisines.

Montepulciano can be found throughout central Italy, from Le Marche and Umbria to Abruzzo where it dominates Montepulciano d'Abruzzo DOC. Montepulciano may also be combined with Sangiovese, Canaiolo, Trebbiano, Colorino or Dolcetto varieties to form blends or found alone as an estate wine.

Montepulciano wines are typically aged in either stainless steel barrels or oak casks - particularly the more costly Riserva versions - before being placed in bottles and consumed. As their alcohol content generally ranges between 10%-12.1%, these Montepulcianos can be enjoyed young while maturing well for 10+ years in storage, pairing well with rich dishes like bolognese, ragu, tomato-based pasta and pizza dishes, grilled meats such as sausage or bacon with mushrooms as well as dark chocolate desserts.


Deeply opaque wine from this grape, with either savoury or sweet profiles depending on how it's processed. Wines produced from this variety must be aged for at least 37 months before release to market. Due to its thick skin and low yielding nature, passito wines produced using this grape are commonly seen with sweet flavors balanced against its strong tannin content - perfect for producing passito wines!

Recent research comparing Sagrantino with Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Tannat revealed it may contain the highest concentration of polyphenols of any wine worldwide due to its naturally high tannin levels which are softened through maceration and aging in large oak barrels.

Sagrantino di Montefalco earned DOCG status in 1992 and remains one of Umbria's acclaimed wines. Producer Arnaldo Caprai, particularly since handing management to his son Marco in the early 90's, has played an instrumental role in elevating this variety and its wines to prominence. To this end, he enlisted University of Milan academic Professor Leonardo Valenti to study clonal selection techniques, vineyard techniques, production limitations, zoning issues and production limitations among other topics.

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