Friuli Venezia Giulia |

Friuli Venezia Giulia

Most people don't know much about Italian wines, so Ive decided to go through and explain what Italy has to offer region by region.
An area known mainly for its whites, Friuli Venezia Giulia is the north eastern most region of Italy and borders Slovenia and Austria. There are 10 major wine zones, 2 of which contain the areas DOCG's, Ramandolo and Picolit. These are both desert wines; the Ramadolo is made from the Verduzzo giallo grape and has intense yet delicate fruit and floreal perfumes with hints of baked apple, peach, honey and dried wisteria. Soft and velvety, its definitely a warm wine with its 14% alcohol, but still balances out with its acidity and freshness. It is great to be paired with dry deserts that have almonds, chestnuts or honey.

Picolit on the other hand is produced from the grape of the same name. It is extremely rare since this particular grape is prone to 'acinellatura' which pretty much means that the grapes don't develope correctly or sometimes at all. It has an intense yellow color bordering on amber with elegant perfumes of almonds, peaches and nuts followed by hints of honey, spices and matured apricots. Its a great wine to be drunk by itself or with deserts similar to what you'd have with the Ramandolo or with sharp cheese like Stilton or even duck liver.
Other areas include Colli Orientali, Collio Goriziano, Isonzo, Annia, Aquileia, Latisana, Grave, Carso and Lison-Pramaggiore. Colli Orientali, probably the most important of zones (since it also cotains the two DOCG's) carries many types of grapes both white and red. Ribolla Gialla which is indigenous to the zone- a fragrant and floreal white that has a delicate and fresh taste with hints of limoncella is great to be paired with cold antipasti and first dishes like risotto with asparagus or fish. Other whites are international like Chardonnay, Sauvignon, Pinot Bianco and Grigio and Reisling, and are some of the most fresh and best that Italy has to offer. Friuli born reds offer a greater variety including Refosco, an easy drinking berry flavored intense wine- Schioppettino (my favorite to pronounce!) a litter red with a bit of frizziness and great to be had with red meats or pheasant- Pignolo, classifed as the most indiginous of Friuli, has a grand structure with a bouquet of prunes and black cherry, and is dry, warm, fresh, tannic and great with spicy salami or grilled red or wild meats- Tazzelenge, the least known of reds, but has a great amount of tannins leaving a dry mouth. Erby and fruity, leathery and spicy, it can be aged a long time in barrique. Great with red or wild meats, aged cheeses, and grilled meats.
Other grapes/wines important to Friuli are reds like Merlot, Pinto Nero, Cebernet Sauvignon and Franc, and whites like Malvasia, Tocai Friulano, Muller Thurgau, Verduzzo, Vitovska and Traminer. Malvasia, also known as Malvasia Istriana, which probably arrives in Italy from the Croatian area of Istria is an aromatic wine (which smells and tastes like the grape) and is very fruity and fresh. Vitovska, also white is autoctonous and almost unknown. It is elegant and fresh with soft perfumes, great to be paired with fresh cheeses or risotto. Tocai Friulano, not to be confused for the Hungarian Tokaji, this white is young and fresh with hints of almonds and wild flowers. It is a dry wine that is intense mineral and full bodied. Great with dishes like Prosciutto and fig, orzo and beans, rise and potato based soups, gnocchi and frittate.


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