I just finished a three week tour of the USA introducing Irpinia wines to more people across the country and the enthusiastic response was overwhelming. But it got me thinking - how can I expect people to know the ideal way to enjoy these wines if they're essential unknown in the USA market?
Have no fear! I've put together a full drinking guide below to help you fully enjoy these incredible bottles from small, family-run wineries across the Irpinian landscape.
How to drink Irpinian wines:
Don't fear aging Fiano, Greco, and Aglianico can all be aged at least 5-10 years without batting an eye, with certain Aglianicos easily aging up to 20-30 years. The acidity and huge structure provided by the grapes of these wines mean ageability is a no-brainer and will just continue to bring out the best qualities in these bottles.
Don't drink your whites too cold or your reds too hot! When your white wine is too cold, you're muting the flavors that are dying to jump out of your glass. For ideal Irpinia temps - try about 58 degrees for white wines and for reds aim for about 65 degrees.
Open those reds early Irpinia red wines will benefit big time from being opened early, especially for reds already aged 3 or 4 years. Aglianico is a grape that produces huge, complex, layered wines (think Barolo or Cabernet Sauvignon) and the more time and space they have to breathe, open and loosen up, the more interesting they become. For wines older than 6 years you should consider opening your bottle a few hours ahead of when you plan to enjoy the wines (if you have the willpower to wait that long!).
Pair with foods from Southern Italy The best rule of thumb when it comes to great wine and food pairings is when you pick foods that are eaten where the wine is from. So for Irpinia...think roasted lamb or pork, think tomato based pasta sauces and ravioli, think fresh cow and sheep's milk cheeses, think roasted vegetables and salumis of all types.
Curious? Join the Club! We'll send bottles of these incredible wines from Irpinia direct to your door when you sign up to join the club: www.theauthenticirpinia.com/jointheclub.