Wine Basics: Aglianico

You’ve learned the difference between Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. You are now ready to dive into a whole new undiscovered world of wine. There are thousands of wines made from varietals outside of the French noble grape varietals. This week we take a basic look at Aglianico, an Italian grape varietal pronounced “ah-lee-ahn-i-co”. Aglianico is a black skinned grape grown in the southern regions of Italy, mostly in Basilicata and Campania. The varietal originated in Greece and was brought to the south of Italy by Greek or Phoenician settlers.

A cost effective alternative to Italian Montepulciano wines, Aglianico is often the perfect pairing with any rich Italian dishes. It combines good fruit flavors and aromas with some earthiness to balance out acidic dishes and give depth to offset hearty meaty ones.

Pair Aglianico with braised or grilled beef; savory or strongly flavored cheese; roasted game birds, and grilled lamb. Next time you’re at an Italian restaurant and want a safe bet that won’t break the bank, give Aglianico a try. You’ll be glad you did.

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