Rosé wines are neither masquerading whites or would-be reds, often offering the refreshing characteristics of a white along with the rich structure of a red. Italy offers a variety of pink-hued possibilities that span the entire peninsula, each deeply tied to their respective terroirs. From Sicily’s volcanic soils to Franciacorta’s morainic amphitheater, there is something for every palate—and dish. As Italian tradition dictates, wine is meant to be enjoyed with food. Here are some Italian rosato suggestions to pair with classic summer fare.
Mattia Vezzola, considered one of the foremost rosé experts in Italy, has made it his mission to promote this history-rich appellation on Lombardy’s Lake Garda that’s been producing rosés since 1896 by increasing quality production in the area. Daughter Nicole Vezzola reminds us that rosés should be considered a category all their own and for food pairings suggests, “crudi, but also spaghetti with clam sauce and chopped tomatoes—the wine’s savory elements help clean the palate, while boosting the flavor of the clams.”
Pietradolce is devoted to all things Sicilian, but especially Etnean. The eco-friendly winery complete with rooftop garden is located on Mount Etna, which regularly rears its fiery head. Lava from past eruptions has enriched the soils with an abundance of minerals that lend themselves well to the making of fine wine. Though the winery is young, their vineyards are not—the Nerello Mascalese grapes for their rosé come from 40-year-old vines. “Our rosato has character, prominent minerality and freshness,” says Owner Michele Faro. “It stands up to strong flavors, such as Sicilian-style grilled tuna with sweet-and-sour onions.”