When I think of Italy, I think big.
Big passion. Big hand gestures. Big food. Big wine. And just a big love for life. To me, it’s the perfect country (sorry France) for big romance. So, for Valentine’s Day I had to highlight 4 affordable Italian wines.
Brilla! Prosecco DOC Rosé
I can’t think of a better bottle to celebrate new love than Prosecco. This Brilla! Prosecco Rosé is fun and light and everything romance should be at the beginning. The beautiful blush color is perfect for Valentine’s Day.
The fruity nose gave me initial notes of strawberry, followed by stone fruits and some citrus. It’s a bit drier than other Proseccos I’ve tried, which I appreciated. It’s the ideal bottle to start your V-day evening. Sparkling rosé pairs easily with a variety of cheeses so lay out your cheese board with your favorites from brie to some aged Italian varietals.
11 Minutes Rosé Trevenezie 2022
If you prefer your rosé still and unusual, I have the bottle for you. The 11 Minutes Rosé Trevenezie is the most unique rosé I’ve sampled recently. If you’re used to a French Provence rosé get ready to transport your tastebuds to a new way to rosé all day.
This rosé is made from Italy’s Corvina grape and also includes Syrah, Carmenere and Trebbiano grapes. The 11 minutes references the brief amount of time the grape’s juices and skin are in contact.
The wine is like a good relationship with each grape giving a special something to the wine. The Corvina delivers floral notes and acidity, the Syrah keeps the spiciness alive, Carmenere provides the foundation for stability and the Trebbiano’s elegance helps the wine go the distance.
When I first tasted the rosé I got a grapefruit taste which surprised the heck out of me. As the wine sat in the glass it began to deliver more of the taste I would expect from a rosé. It was fresh, fruity and balanced.
The wine comes with a glass cork, which means you remove it pushing it up with your thumb.
Passione Sentimento Rosso Veneto IGT 2020
Born in the land of Romeo and Juliet, this wine from Verona is the perfect red to have on your own balcony this Valentine’s Day.
The Veneto region is the home of the special Amarone wine and this blend of Corvina (a grape in Amarone) Croatina and a splash of Merlot employs the Appassimento Method of drying used in Amarone. The winemaker picks ripe grapes, but then lets them dry out before fermentation. This creates deep flavor.
The Passione Sentimento has the scent of smoke and spice on the nose. It sings with red fruit and the Merlot helps give the wine a velvety mouthfeel and balanced tannins.
Il Nespoli Romagna DOC Sangiovese Superiore Riserva
The Emilia Romagna region is the region for foodies…and wine lovers. This Romagna DOC Sangiovese Superiore Riserva is a classic expression of the varietal with cherry and black fruit notes mingled with hints of coffee and smoke. It’s a bit less fruit-forward than some Sangiovese exuding more of an earthy note. I tasted the 2019 and I imagine the wine would evolve if left to age a bit more. I chose to decant it to try and coax some of what I’d expect to see from the future wine now.
If you’re a meat lover it will pair well with a steak Valentine’s dinner, or if you’re a veg head like me I paired it with a jackfruit BBQ sandwich enjoyed while watching the Superbowl.
Travel to Verona: The City of Love
Three of my Italian Valentine’s Day wine picks come from the ultimate city for lovers, Verona. If you want to make this V Day even more special, surprise your sweetie with a getaway to the city of Romeo and Juliet. Stop and see the famous balcony, leave your own letter to Juliet and stay at either the Byblos Art Hotel Villa Amista or VISTA Palazzo Verona.