Major Italian White Wines
Part of the Italian Wine For Dummies Cheat Sheet
Asti: Sparkling wine made from Moscato grapes around Asti, in Piedmont. Deliciously sweet, low in alcohol, with pronounced fruity and floral flavors. Usually non-vintage, but freshness and youth are essential to its quality.
Frascati: From the Frascati area, south of Rome, and mainly Trebbiano grapes. Dry or slightly off-dry, light-bodied, and un-oaked with crisp acidity and subdued flavor.
Orvieto: A generally medium-bodied wine made mainly from Grechetto grapes around Orvieto, in the Umbria region. Dry, crisp, with flavors of pear and apple and a pleasantly bitter finish.
Pinot Grigio: Generally light-bodied, dry, and crisp, with subdued aromas and flavors and no oakiness. Made from Pinot Gris grapes, usually in Northeastern Italy. Wines from Collio or Alto-Adige DOCs (controlled origin denomination) are usually the best.
Soave: From the Soave zone in the Veneto region, made mainly from Garganega grapes. Generally dry, crisp, un-oaked, and light- or medium-bodied, with subdued flavors of pear, apple, or peach.
Verdicchio: Dry, medium-bodied, crisp white with minerally flavor and a sea-air freshness. From Verdicchio grapes in the Marche region.