Refined Ligurian Wines: how to pair them
Steep fields, warm up in the Sun and overlooking the sea.
In this natural theatre you can admire the spectacular way of cultivating grape in Liguria.
It is hard labor that the locals manage with great dedication, since Romans Age. Walking across the paths on the Ligurian hills, it is possible to see the marks that this labor left on the territory century after century. It is what the locals call terrazzamenti (terraces) that cut the promontories of the inner lands, shaping the landscape as stairs. These terraces are delimited by the characteristic “muretti a secco” (walls built and assembled without cement).
The result of this labor are refined wines DOC and DOP both red and white, with characteristics, scent and taste truly unique, that tell stories about sea and the land.
Here the most interesting and refined wines of Liguria, with some suggestions on how to pair them during meals.
1. Rossese di Dolceacqua – Red wine
This wine is made in West Liguria on the hills that surround the hamlet of Dolceacqua. Rossese is a Doc wine with a red ruby colour and a sapid and aromatic scent.
Dolceacqua Rossese it is famous for being an “heroic” wine. Its vineyards are situated in an arduous territory, in which all the activities to maintain the fields must be carried out by hand, due to the slopes, the difficult climate and difficult accessibility.
Combination: red meat (goat, rabbit, lamb), mackerel and artichoke.
2. Ciliegiolo del Tigullio – Red wine/rose’
Tigullio’s Ciliegiolo is a DOC wine with sapid flavour and a persistent and intense scent.
The colour goes from a bright pink/red colour to a ruby red and as the name suggests, it has a slight cherry flavour.
This wine can be sparkly or young (novello) so it is better to consume it in the first year of production.
Combination: Fish (appetizers, octopus, gilthead bream), minestrone (vegetable soup), pesto lasagna.
3. Moscato del Tigullio – Moscato
This wine has a delicate and fruity taste, with a scent that reminds limoncello (Italian lemon liqueur) and orange blossom.
We are talking about Moscato of Tigullio, a moscato wine DOC that is made here, in our gulf.
This wine has a straw yellow colour with golden highlights, to be served cold and preferably consumed within one year from the harvest.
Combination: yeast dough desserts as Panettone, Pandolce or cookies as canestrelli.
4. Abissi di Bisson – Sparkling wine
This is the first and only wine in the world that is left aging under the sea.
To be precise this wine is put under water for 18 months at 60 meters of depth on the sea floor of Baia del Silenzio in Sestri Levante.
The wine that results is truly unique starting from the bottles that are “decorated” by the sea itself with sea shells, algae and starfish.
It has straw yellow colour, an intense scent and a salty flavour. This are the main characteristics of a sparkling wine Sui Generis.
Combination: tartare of fat fish as tuna or grouper, crabs, shrimps and sea fruits.
5. Cinque Terre Sciacchetrà – White straw wine
Sciacchetrà is one of the most famous and exquisite wines of Liguria, which recently has entered the protection Slow Food.
The name comes from the verb sciacàa, which means “to squash”.
It is a white straw wine, product form Bosco, Albarola and/or Vermentino raisins cultivate inside the National Park of Cinque Terre.
After the harvest the raisins are left to wilt at the sun over 70 days.
Its natural drying is one of the elements that make it so refined and well known, this together with its characteristic scent of honey and sweet taste.
As Rossese, also Sciacchetrà ad all the other wines of Cinque Terre are considered heroic wines.
Combination: aged cheese, Pandolce and biscuits.
6. Pigato e Vermentino – White wines
Vermentino and Pigato are the most well-known Ligurian wines. That is why they are the most requested wines at our bar (we spoke about them also in this article).
Pigato has an almond flavour and a pale-yellow colour with green highlights. It is cultivated and product in the West Riviera, in the area of Savona, in the plain of Albenga and in Val d’Arroscia.
Vermentino has instead a much delicate flavour, fruity and fresh. Its vine variety is the most common in Liguria.
Combination: all the typical seafood dishes of Ligurian tradition.
Thanks to all these wines you will be able to taste in one sip the richness of Ligurian territory and the passion of its winemakers. Cheers!