In a few short weeks my family and I will be headed to Venice – Italy, not Florida – for a weeklong vacation. So like any tourist, the time in preparation for the trip should be focused on where to go and what to see. Well that's important, but for me, it is about what wines to drink!
Veneto is a substantial and increasingly important wine region in the northeastern corner of Italy. Venice is the capital of this region. Veneto, although slightly smaller than Italy's other main wine-producing regions – Piedmont, Tuscany, Lombardy, Puglia, and Sicily – generates more wine than any of them. Veneto has focused on producing higher quality wines and has gained world recognition for such wines as Vapolicella, Amarone, Soave, and Prosecco. Most named for the towns they come from.
So what are these wines? Will they appeal to me and my very particular red wine-only wife? So let's focus on the reds for a minute. Valpolicella is described as a fairly light, easy-to-drink red that tastes of young cherries and pepper. To me, and I'm always thinking about food pairings when I think about wine, sounds like an excellent option when we might be in the mood for a red wine and enjoying some light fare like pasta or the cicchetti that Venice is famous for. Cicchetti are small delectable tastes of food that are designed to pair with an excellent wine and great conversation. Although I've thought of Valpolicella as a pairing for these, always considering my wife's preference, it is more common in Venice to pair these with Prosecco.