Regions in Italy
The first thing to know about Italian wine is the different regions, there are 20, and in those regions 350 varietals have been recognized. Each of these regions is known for specific grapes, for example in Piedmont you find Nebbiolo, Barbera, Dolcetto and the sweet Moscato varietal. Tuscany wines are under the moniker Toscana, and include some of the most well known wines you see today including Chianti and Montepulciano, both of which are primarily made with the Sangiovese grape. Of course, these grapes grow in other regions too, and the other divisions more commonly seen consist of Puglia, Lombardy, Umbria, Emilia Romagna, and Sicily, which also grows the popular red wine grape Nero d’Avola.
“In terms of specific Italian wines, we will start with appellations, and my favorite has always been Brunello di Montalcino,” says Amatuzzi. “It’s the most famous red wine from Tuscany, and to me, the wines have a combination of power and intensity but are also silky, soft and really beautiful.” At Eataly, you can find the 2007 La Rasina Brunello di Montalcino at the pizza and pasta section or in the shop, as well as the 2008 Banfi Brunello di Montalcino.
For Emily Hand, she thinks about more in terms of region than in red and white. “Each Italian region is treated as its own separate entity and the locals are proud of their particular cuisine and the wines that happen to go with it,” she explains. “That hand-in-hand relationship gives you a glimpse of the region as a whole.” One of her favorite appellations is Barolo in the Piedmont region, the place she claims is where she got “bitten by the wine bug.” In the Grand Rossi, or “Big Red” section of Eataly’s wine menu, $188 will get you a bottle of 2001 Lazzarito by Fontanafredda or, for a more economical choice, order the $67 bottle of 2008 Mirafiore Barolo.