Tenuta_La_Presa
Shaina Wizov

Rosé All Day — The Italian Way

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Rosé is having a moment, and not just in the United States

It’s no secret that rosé is having a moment in the United States, what with so many popular brands boasting their own varieties, and frosé taking center stage during the hot, summer months. It’s also no secret that the French produce some pretty stellar rosé wines, most of which can be found on any U.S. restaurant wine list or in any U.S. wine shop. But let’s look past the obvious, and travel deep into the Northern parts of Italy, onto the shores of Lake Garda, into the region of Veneto, where the lake breeze and high mineral content of the soil have an astounding effect on its inhabitants, and where, since the 2014 harvest, the Rosé Revolution has been alive and well in the form of Chiaretto di Bardolino — the Italian Dry Rosé.

Monte Zovo

Shaina Wizov

What exactly is Chiaretto (pronounced key-ar-et-toh)? This leading Italian rosé is of the dryer variety and pale in color; after all, chiaro means “pale” in Italian, and chiaretto refers to a shade that is even paler than pale. This distinct color is a direct result of limited contact with the skins of the grape used in production, mainly Corvina in this case, along with smaller amounts of locally grown grapes such as Rondinella and Molinara. Although the skin of Corvina is red, its flesh is white, which explains why such little contact with the skins allows the color of Chiaretto to remain a very light shade. With longer contact, the wines can develop a deeper, darker shade, as seen in other wines that also use the Corvina grape, including some of Italy’s most prominent reds, mainly Amarone, Valpolicella and of course, Bardolino.

One of the most prominent wines in Veneto, Italy’s largest wine producing region, is the D.O.C. red wine produced on the shores of Lake Garda, Bardolino, mostly made up of Corvina, followed by Rondinello, and a blend of other local varietals. Now, its “sister wine,” Chiaretto is carving a name for itself, and it’s high time we keep an eye out for these wines to slowly but surely make their way into mainstream U.S. wine territory.

There are 8.5 million bottles of Chiaretto produced each year across 2,700 hectares (6,670 acres) of land from 100 different producers; and while it’s mostly sold in the Italian and German markets, interest has been on a steady increase in the U.S., Canada and Scandinavia. The Italian winemakers of Chiaretto dream that one day when people all over the world discuss and drink rosé, the conversation won’t just center around France, but will also include Italy. With its fresh citrus notes and aromatics, hints of spice, and ability to easily pair with a variety of food, this global recognition of Italian rosé may come sooner than they anticipate.

vineyards

Shaina Wizov

Chiaretto is an easy-drinking wine, best served young and chilled. Whether you enjoy it as a midday aperitif, during the summer at a pool or beach party, or even in the cold winter curled up by the fire with a big bowl of comfort food, it’s never going to let you down. One of its most popular pairings is, surprisingly, pizza. Throw away the stigma that only a cold beer can wash down a slice; rosé and pizza have found promise in one another, and the pair is here to stay.

Here are twelve Chiaretto wines to look out for:

Albino Piona Bardolino Chiaretto

  • Grapes: Corvina, Rondinella
  • Serving Temperature: 10-12℃
  • Alcohol: 12-12.5%
  • Aroma: Tangy, floral
  • Flavor: Delicate, savory, refreshing
  • Serving Suggestions: Sea or lake fish, soft cheeses, charcuterie, vegetables, white meat, pizza

Cantina Di Custoza Chiaretto Classico

  • Grapes: Corvina, Molinara, Rondinella
  • Serving Temperature: 9-10℃
  • Alcohol: 12.5%
  • Aroma: Pleasing, delicate, fruity
  • Flavor: Fresh, delicate
  • Serving Suggestions: Sausage, pizza, ravioli, cheese sandwiches, fish soup, grilled trout

Cantine Tinazzi Campo Delle Rosse Bardolino Chiaretto

  • Grapes: Corvina, Molinara, Rondinella
  • Serving Temperature: 9-10℃
  • Alcohol: 12.5%
  • Aroma: Red fruit, raspberry, wild cherry
  • Flavor: Round, fresh, intense, long finish
  • Serving Suggestions: Fish, white meat, seafood risotto, pasta
     

Domini Veneti Bardolino Chiaretto Classico

  • Grapes: Corvina, Rondinella, Molinara
  • Serving Temperature: 10-12℃
  • Alcohol: 12.5%
  • Aroma: Tea-rose, violet, red berries
  • Flavor: Full, balanced, fresh, strawberry and raspberry
  • Serving Suggestions: Grilled fish and meat, pasta, grilled sausage, soft cheese

Guerrieri Rizzardi Chiaretto Bardolino Classico

  • Grapes: Corvina, Rondinella, Sangiovese, Molinara
  • Serving Temperature: 10-12℃
  • Alcohol: 12.6%
  • Aroma: Pleasant, light, floral
  • Flavor: Dry, fresh, intense
  • Serving Suggestions: Prosciutto with melon, insalata caprese, rice or pasta, white meat, seafood, mild curry dishes

Le Fraghe Rodon Bardolino Chiaretto

  • Grapes: Corvina, Rondinella
  • Serving Temperature: 8-10℃
  • Alcohol: 12%
  • Aroma: Wild rose, strawberry, red currant
  • Flavor: Crisp, full body
  • Serving Suggestions: Antipasti, lightly flavored meat, fish soup, eggs, young cheeses

Monte Del Frá Bardolino Chiaretto

  • Grapes: Corvina, Rondinella, Sangiovese
  • Serving Temperature: 10-11℃
  • Alcohol: 12.5%
  • Aroma: Raspberry, red currant, wildflowers, green apple, subtle spice
  • Flavor: Red berry fruit
  • Serving Suggestions: Prosciutto with melon or figs, sliced cold cuts, rice, pasta, fish and vegetable tempura, white meat, fish

Monte Zovo Bardolino Chiaretto

  • Grapes: Corvina, Corvinone, Rondinella
  • Serving Temperature: 10-12℃
  • Alcohol: 12.5%
  • Aroma: Fresh red berry, strawberry, rose
  • Flavor: Savory, fresh, fruity
  • Serving Suggestions: Pasta and rice with fish, shellfish, salmon hor d'oeuvres

Poggio delle Grazie Bardolino Chiaretto

  • Grapes: Corvina, Rondinella
  • Serving Temperature: 10-12℃
  • Alcohol: 12%
  • Aroma: Red fruits, eucalyptus
  • Flavor: Currants, citrus fruits
  • Serving Suggestions: Pasta, risotto, white meat, sea or lake fish, pizza

Santi Infinito Bardolino Chiaretto

  • Grapes: Corvina, Rondinella, Molinara
  • Serving Temperature: 8-10℃
  • Alcohol: 12%
  • Aroma: Ripe strawberry, wild cherry, black currant
  • Flavor: Fresh, fruity, well-balanced
  • Serving Suggestions: White meat, seafood, salad, pasta

Vigneti Villabella Bardolino Chiaretto Classico

  • Grapes: Corvina, Rondinella
  • Serving Temperature: 10-12℃
  • Alcohol: 12%
  • Aroma: Citrus, floral, hints of sage
  • Flavor: Acidity, hints of citrus
  • Serving Suggestions: Insalata caprese, prosciutto with melon, carpaccio, pizza, paella, black summer truffle
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Tenuta La Presa Baldovino Bardolino Chiaretto

  • Grapes: Corvina, Rondinella, Molinara, Sangiovese
  • Serving Temperature: 10-12℃
  • Alcohol: 12.5%
  • Aroma: Pink flowers, wild strawberries, red currants, pink grapefruit, aromatic herbs
  • Flavor: Refreshing, tangy, citrus finish
  • Serving Suggestions: Hors d’oeuvres, fish, white meat, soft cheeses