Mornings With Gina Birch

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Lake Garda

We’re spending Wine Wednesday in Italy, and not a typical place such as Tuscany or Piedmont.

Today we are going to Lake Garda, in Northern Italy

I was suppose to go on a wine trip to the region last month but things didn’t line up for me. To soothe my disappointment and broken heart, friends sent me a care package that included not only three wines from the region, but also two hunks of delicious cheese to pair with those wines. The area is famous for it’s Grana Padano.

These bubbles were the first to catch my eye. Crisp and floral, Maximillian I Garda DOC Brut is a dry sparkling wine that is good for both sipping and with food; salty foods and cheese boards. Mmmmmmm

Lake Garda Sparkling Wine

Lake Garda Sparkling Wine

When it comes to Italian whites, pinot grigio is one of the best known wines and some of the best ones are produced in the cooler climates found in the norther part of the country. This Val dei Molini was not a wimpy wine at all. It had nice citrus and it’s a perfect wine for sipping while sitting around the pool this weekend. Find it in the $10 range.

Garda Pinot Grigio

Garda Pinot Grigio

Biggest surprise of all was this chardonnay. When I think of chardonnay, I can tell you I NEVER think of Italy. This Gozzi Colombara Garda Chardonnay was bright and fresh, it had tropical fruits such as pineapple and some green apple. It was delightful and under $15.

Lake Garda Chardonnay

Lake Garda Chardonnay

Sometimes Italian wines can be intimidating. The country has hundreds of grape varieties that are not grown in the U.S. Then there are the regions, like Chianti. Chianti is a place and a type of wine but it’s not a grape. And it’s not a sipping wine, it’s best with food, like so many other Italian wines.

If you want to take a chance on some Italian whites, perfect for summer, look for wines like Soave, Verdicchio and Gavi. Reds that are cool with the summer  heat, include Barbera, Montepulciano de Abruzo or Lambrusco.

Enjoy Wine Wednesday in Italy and also check out some of wine travels to places like Colorado and Napa Valley.