Most Popular Italian Wines

With over three hundred wine grape varieties to choose from, choosing a great Italian wine can be a hassle. We will break down the most popular grape wine varieties as well as some excellent wines that you can enjoy.


When it comes to red wines, this grape variety is among the leading options. And why is that? Well, it has a lot to do with the fact that this variety is widely available across Italy. For this reason, most of the wineries in the country have had the chance to play about with different techniques, thus resulting in excellent wines.

Also, this grape variety has quite some outstanding features. With high tannins and high acidity accompanied by leather, tart cherry, and dried rose flavours, this medium-bodied wine has grown to be a favourite in the region.

Sangiovese wine

Some of the wines that you should try in this regard are the Brunello di Montalcino and the Chianti.


Nebbiolo wine

When people think of Nebbiolo grape varieties, they think of high-quality red wines. They feature high tannins, pleasant scents of roses and tar as well as high acidity. The striking thing about these wines is that they tend to lose colour over time. For this reason, you are likely to come across Nebbiolo wines with a lovely brick-orange hue. In this case, the wine has been around for a while. This full-bodied wine is also fruity with hints of cherry.

If you wish to sample this variety, how about trying the Barolo wine which has made a name for itself over the years?


If you’re new to wine, you may be hesitant about reaching for an expensive bottle of wine which you might have a hard time drinking. That’s where Barbera comes into the picture. This light-bodied wine is excellent for beginners as it is not only rich but also easy to drink. One might wonder how the wine can possess both these features, but it’s all about the staining. You will notice that the wine has an intense hue owing to the dark staining colours in play.

Also notable in the wine are the sour cherry and strawberry flavours coupled with high acidity and light tannins. The result is a juicy wine with notes of vanilla and lavender. Try the La Roncaglia Barbera D'Alba Superiore in this regard.

Barbera wine


Lambrusco does not refer to one grape variety, but rather it is a collective word used for a ton of grape varieties. As of now, there are about sixty grape varieties under this umbrella. This brightly-coloured grape grew in popularity towards the end of the twentieth century. At the time, the demand for wines was quite high and this variety provided wine-makers with the opportunity to produce large volumes of grapes for wine-making at an affordable price. Thus, they were able to keep up with the demand without altering their prices.

Lambrusco wine

Given that they undergo fermentation in large volumes, one would think that they were not very good. But this could not be further from the truth as they have grown to be one of the best wines in the region.

With strawberry and blueberry tastes accompanied by a slight bitterness, these wines are spectacular. One of the leading wines from this variety is the Cleto Chiarli Lambrusco Vecchia Modena.


With this grape variety, you can expect cinnamon, and cherry liqueur tastes with notes of chocolate and green peppercorn. If you can get your hands on an old wine, you can enjoy flavours of fig and brown sugar as you sip on this medium-bodied wine. It perfectly balances high alcohol with high acidity. It owes to the residual sugar in the wine that also adds a touch of boldness to this flavourful wine.

One great Amarone wine in Italy is the Venturini Campo Masua Amarone Della Valpolicella Classico which continues to please wine lovers’ palates to this day.

Amarone wine

Primitivo (Zinfandel)

Primitivo (Zinfandel) wine

The Primitivo grape variety boasts of high tannins as well as high alcohol, resulting in a flavourful wine. It also has a deep red hue owing to the dark skin of the grape. With notes of cinnamon and clove aromas in play, it is not a surprise that this wine has come to be a favourite in the region. Try the Tenute Tocci Carus Primitivo Di Manduria the next time you are in the mood for something different.

Italy is a country bestowed with hundreds of grape varieties and having some knowledge as to what they comprise goes a long way in helping you select what’s best for you. That said, this list should come in handy the next time you are at the store.