11 Popular Italian Red Wines to Try Out

Italy is undoubtedly one of the best wine regions in the world. As you can expect or already know, it has a myriad of wines to offer. With that, browsing and deciding what bottles to take home could be overwhelming. Well, you do not have to worry!

Today, we will show you 11 popular Italian red wines. With that, whether you are trying to get into Italian wines or looking for a new favorite, one or two of these wines will likely do the trick for you. We have lots to get through today. So, without further ado, let us get right into this discussion!

11 Popular Types of Italian Wines

It is no secret that Italy ranks high in the wine scene. That is not only because of the quality they have, though. The quantity they offer in the wine scene also helps.

If you are trying to get into Italian wines, you might already have an idea of just how many Italian wines are out there. The choices are overwhelming. However, allow us to narrow down your options to 11 reds today:

  • Amarone
  • Barbera
  • Bardolino
  • Barolo
  • Chianti
  • Dolcetto
  • Gattinara
  • Lambrusco
  • Nebbiolo
  • Negroamaro
  • Sangiovese

With that, let us get to know the first wine on our list now!

1. Amarone


First, let us start with Amarone wines.

An Amarone generally sports a red hue that eventually shows off an orange tinge. In addition, it tends to be potent and concentrated.

Generally, Amarones are known to be complex and elegant. With that, it should not be surprising that these wines often come with a hefty price tag. However, these wines are also known to have good aging potential, making them a good investment for those looking to start a collection!

2. Barbera


Barbera wines are now known to be quality wines. However, it was not always like that. Before, it was only an everyday wine and not something to only bust out during special occasions.

A bottle of Barbera can be a surprise. For one, it can be light or striking. However, one can expect every bottle of Barbera wine to sport flavors and aromas of red fruits like cherries and strawberries.

3. Bardolino


Bardolino wines are dry reds, making it an ideal bottle for those who are not a fan of sweet stuff. These wines are a blend of multiple grapes. However, two of the most associated varieties with it are Corvinas and Rondinella.

Overall, these wines are harmonious and versatile in more ways than one. For one, its characteristics do pretty well together. For another, it pairs up nicely with a myriad of dishes.

4. Barolo


Barolo wines are one of the most prestigious of all Italian reds. If Barbera wines are for the common people, Barolos are for royalty. These wines are so prestigious that they got dubbed the wines of kings and kings of wines!

These wines make use of Nebbiolo grapes and have a ruby hue. In addition, Barolos tend to be dry with high acidity and tannicity. As for the notes, one can expect fruity and floral flavors and aromas in each bottle.

5. Chianti


Chianti is one of America’s favorite Italian reds. These wines are blends, but they mostly use Sangiovese grapes. That is, at least 70% of a bottle of this wine is of this grape. On the other hand, grapes like Merlot can make up the remaining percentage.

These wines tend to sport a ruby-red hue. A bottle could be light-bodied or full-bodied, though. However, these wines almost always tend to be dry.

Chianti wines are undoubtedly to check out if one wants to understand Italian wines and their crowd!

6. Dolcetto


Dolcetto is an Italian word that translates to “sweetie.” However, do not let the name of these wines deceive you. These drinks are not sweet little things!

These wines tend to have a deep ruby hue. However, more importantly, they are not generally sweet! Instead, one can expect a bottle of this wine to be dry.

In addition, while one can expect some fruity flavors and aromas, one can also expect it to have peppery notes. That is not all, though. These wines also tend to sport a subtle bitter finish.

7. Gattinara


Like Chiantis, Gattinara wines also use Nebbiolo grapes. To get a DOCG designation, a bottle of Gattinara should be 90% Nebbiolo!

These wines tend to have a red hue with an orange tinge. In addition, Gattinaras are generally dry with high levels of tannins and acidity. As for its flavors and aromas, one can expect these wines to sport spicy and floral notes.

As you can see, these wines can be both soft and intense all at once! With that, it can be an ideal wine for those who cannot decide if they want a soft or punch-packed wine!

8. Lambrusco


Lambruscos are the wines you want to consider if you want something different. These wines are not your ordinary reds, after all. These drinks also offer some fizz! That is not all, though. While most Italian reds have a reputation for being a fall drink, these wines are for the summer!

These wines use a variety of grapes like Marani and Salamino grapes. A bottle of this wine tends to have a ruby-red hue. In addition, one can expect fruity notes like cherries and blackberries from each bottle!

These wines could be ideal if you seek quality on a budget!

9. Nebbiolo


Nebbiolo wines might be ones you have already heard of before. These wines are one of the most talked about in the wine world. That is because these bottles live up to their reputation.

Nebbiolos are wines to consider for those who want age-worthy bottles. These wines tend to be strong, tannic, acidic, and, of course, have good aging potential. As for its notes, it has a wide array. However, some flavors and aromas that could be hard to miss are cherries, rose petals, violets, and licorice.

10. Negroamaro


Many wines compete when it comes to elegance. However, if you want something different, Negroamaro wines might be the one for you! Instead of elegance, these wines boast simplicity.

These wines can surprise their patrons as they sport a wide array of notes from fruity to earthy to herby!

That is not all there is to these wines, though. Negroamaros also hold the highest alcohol content on this list! With that, a bottle of this wine can be ideal for those who like their drinks boozy.

11. Sangiovese


Finally, of course, we cannot forget about Sangiovese wines! One could say that when it comes to Italian red wines, these wines are the standard.

These wines tend to be high in both acidity and tannins. In addition, they are generally dry. As for the notes, flavors, and aromas of dry herbs and spices are almost always to be expected.

If one wants to get into Italian reds, these wines are undoubtedly ones to check out!


You now know the 11 popular Italian reds. However, you might still have plenty of questions about these wines. Well, let us help you clear some things up, then!

1. Why Does Everyone Seem to Swirl Their Wines Before Drinking?

If you have drunk some Italian reds with friends, you might have noticed them swirling their glasses before taking a sip. The action looks fancy. Do you not agree? It is not all for the show, though!

People often swirl the wine to let it breathe. In other words, a little like decanting! The wine can show off its real potential this way. With that, do not be afraid to try doing it yourself!

2. Do Italian Wines Have a Classification System?

Yes, and there are four levels or categories to it.

  • VdTis the lowest of the four. A wine only needs to be made in the region to qualify.
  • On the other hand, it mainly focuses on regions and origin requirements.
  • WithDOC, rules for the process of making the wine come into play.
  • Finally, the DOCG is the highest of the four. One could say it is like DOC but much stricter!

3. Is Italy Also Known for White Wines?

Over and over again, we said that Italy houses many wines. However, we focused on its reds today. That might have gotten you thinking about the region’s white wines.

We might have put the spotlight on Italian reds today, but the region is also known for its whites! Here are some Italian whites you might want to check out when you go and get your bottle of reds:

  • Arneis
  • Falanghina
  • Garganega
  • Passerina
  • Soave

Final Words

There you have it! Our list of the 11 popular Italian red wines! We hope we helped you find your first or next Italian red. However, Italian wines are not all there is to know. If you want to explore other wines and wine regions, you might want to head on and check out our other talks now!

That will be all for now, though. Until next time! Cheers!


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