Iconic Italian Food & Wine

Italy has dozens of unique styles of wine that have become world-famous, both in their own right and as wonderful accompaniments to food. We’ve chosen five archetypal examples and matched each one to a delicious dish from our recipe archives that show them to their greatest advantage.

Terre Del Barolo Barolo Docg

A cooperative of around 400 growers send their fruit to the Terre del Barolo winery. This approachable Barolo ages for 38 months in oak, emerging with a complex bouquet of cassis, cherry and plum, with plenty of spice and a hint of tar. Serve with Slow-Roasted Shoulder of Lamb with Roasted Garlic

Fantini Farnese Numero Uno Primitivo Igp

Primitivo (a.k.a. Zinfandel) loves the scorching summers in Puglia (the “heel” of Italy’s boot). Soft tannins and a sly acidity keep the ripe fruit in check. Smooth, full of spicy cherries, with decent length. Serve with Braised Short Ribs.

Tenuta Sant Antonio Amarone Del Val Selezione

Here’s a big, intense Amarone full of black fruit, prunes, peppery spice and a hint of leather. Its ripe, raisiny flavour is balanced by a final note of dry bitterness. Serve with Braised Venison with Cherries. Save a glass to sip with some Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese after dinner. 

Ruffino Chianti Classico Riserva Ducale Docg

Two years in oak smooths this delicious, medium-weight vino nicely. Woodsy aromas and lovely lingering red cherry flavours show how elegant Chianti Classico can be. The wine’s food-friendly acidity en- hances our Tuscan-style Balsamic Flank Steak.

Bartenura Moscato

Made in Lombardy, this wine shows all the classic qualities of Moscato — low in alcohol (5%), sweet but not cloying, slightly sparkling and full of Muscat grape, peach and orange blossom aromas. It’s a delicate, charming way to end any dinner party. Serve with Grand Passion Fruit Pavlova.

Other Italian Stars

Here are more of the many unique and wonderful Italian wines to watch out for.


Valpolicella Ripasso

From the same blend of grapes as Amarone, this is Valpolicella enriched and deepened by a second fermentation on amarone skins. Great with rich tomato pasta dishes.


Nero d’Avola

Sicily’s big red has a growing fan base. Dark and ripe, it still has a tangy acidity that works well with red meats and spicy vegetable dishes.



Barolo’s neighbour, also made from Nebbiolo grapes, rose to fame in the 1960s as a red of power and subtlety. Try it with calf’s liver and mushrooms.