Viva Bianco: Italy's white wines

Sep 10, 2019 207

BY: Dan Berger

Twenty-odd years ago, in a small café in western Milan, I asked a waiter for the wine list. He simply said, “Non carte di vini, solo rosso e bianco,” and on speaking that last word, he winced and slowly shook his head. As if to say, “Forget the white.” Today, if I asked 1,000 American wine consumers to describe an Italian wine, probably 700 would say “Chianti” and about 300, the most sophisticated, would say something about it being red.
I’m guessing that even dedicated wine lovers would never describe an Italian wine as being white. Indeed, until recently, white wine from Italy was such an afterthought that almost no one ever ordered it. (Except for a lot of blah Pinot Grigio…) But when it comes to red, Italy is filled with the stuff. And a lot of it is really good for aging in a cellar: Barolo, Barbaresco, Brunello, Aglianico, Sagrantino, Barbera, Amarone and more.

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