You might think of Veneto as the home to Venice, but please remind yourself that there’s more. Veneto’s big. It’s the eighth largest region of Italy and it’s sandwiched between the Dolomite Mountains and the Adriatic Sea. There’s a lot going on here, and it has more to do with grapes and wine than canals.
Veneto can be divided into two separate wine areas. The eastern part near Venice and the Adriatic Sea is most famous for its Glera (or Prosecco) grape. The production of this wine is as lively as its bubbles—Veneto just can’t keep a cork on its popularity. To the west, near the city of Verona (the wine capital of Veneto) a second famous white, Soave (so-AH-vay) is produced. Today, the Veneto is one of the largest wine production regions in Italy, with 28 DOC and 14 DOCG designations. In a good year, it can be the number one producer for all of Italy.
Like everywhere else in Italy, if a good wine is on the table, you can expect good food, too. The food tends to be simple, and it suits the wines. You’ll see risotto and polenta, served with meat, fish, vegetables or cheese. The Asiago plateau is famous for its alpine cheeses and the locals of northern Veneto anticipate the porcini mushroom season. If you can get your hands on some sopressa, an incredible aged salami made in Veneto, you’re set. It would be time to pop that bottle of Prosecco!
A perfect pairing...
Try a fresh baked prosciutto, mushroom, spinach & Tellagio flat bread
You can't go wrong with wine from Veneto and a chunk of aged Italian cheese, there are few better food and wine matches around. Ditch the pasta and go for rice based dished with these wines and whip up your favorite risotto - and don't forget the aged parmesan cheese.
Bubbles for Every Occasion
It's hard to beat Prosecco. This hugely popular sparkler is from the Glera grape using the Charmat method, where the second fermentation occurs in steel tanks versus individual bottles as it is in the case of Champagne. From this less complicated process comes the two traits Prosecco is loved for: approachability (think light and spritzy) and affordability.
Prosecco drinkers love the out of the gate flavors: apple, pear, peach, and apricot. It’s famously paired with fresh white peach juice for a Bellini, the cocktail created at Harry’s Bar in Venice. So what’s the difference between Prosecco and Champagne again? We like this quick three-part answer:
- Prosecco is from Italy’s Veneto region. Champagne is produced in the Champagne region around Reims, France. They’re both protected sparkling wines from respective places.
- Prosecco’s made from the Glera grape; Champagne is made from Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier grapes.
- Prosecco has a brief (only months long) secondary fermentation in a large closed tank and it’s not meant to be aged. It’s easy on the budget and ready when you are! Champagne’s fizz comes from a secondary fermentation in the bottle that takes up to three years or more. This lengthy (and costly) aging allows a rich, complex profile to emerge.
Amarone della Valpolicella D.O.C.G.
- 70% Corvina, 15% Corvinone, 15% Rondinella Grapes
Food Pairing: Served best with game meats and braised red meat
Ripasso della Valpolicella D.O.C.
- 60% Corvina, 20% Corvinone, 15% Rondinella Grapes
Food Pairing: Try this wine with red sauce dishes or spicy antipasto