Enoteca Italiana this year offers its suggestions to enrich the festive season with food and wine enjoying fully Italian delicacies. From the best sparkling wine to the most suitable red wine. A beautiful journey to discover the Italian richness.

The Christmas holidays offer many fine opportunities to be enhanced with a good wine. Meetings with the family, gatherings with friends, lunches and dinners in company are precious moments that can be characterized choosing the right wine.

Enoteca Italiana, the oldest wine national institution in the world, this year has produced a list of recommendations for wines for the festivities that we are about to experience: from the wines of famous brands to those with an excellent value for money. For Coldiretti, Italians will spend 197 euro for food and wine during the holidays (+2.1%) and Made in Italy wins everything because it demonstrates a strong relationship with the land.

Wines and Regions for holidays by Enoteca Italiana

Here is a small handbook of tips by Enoteca Italiana, with a special focus on regional food and wine translations.


A toast with Italian bubbles. A meeting or a dinner with friends with the excellent Italian sparkling wines and at reasonable prices.

For “classic method” sparkling wine we can choose among those produced in all regions: Franciacorta and Trento Doc, excellent as an aperitif or throughout the meal. Not less important, the sparkling wines of Oltrepò Pavese based on Pinot Noir. If we think of “Martinotti method”, immediately the excellent and versatile Prosecco reveals itself, the only Italian sparkling wine to enter the top ten of the most sold in Italy.

Tortellini? Still white or Lambrusco

In the north, the scent of Tortellini in broth may be accompanied by a still white wine, soft, or by a Bonarda or a good Lambrusco from Emilia (one of the best–seller Italian wines in the world). This latter has often been mistreated, but today is much valued, and even the great guides begin to assign scores of excellence to some of this wine labels, simple and easy to be rediscovered.

First courses with meat sauce? Fresh red wines

With the first courses with meat or game sauces you can indulge: Nebbiolo or Barbera from Piedmont, Chianti or Tuscan IGT, from the Sicilian Nero d’Avola and Cerasuolo Vittoria, to the Puglia’s Primitivo di Manduria and Negroamaro to Montepulciano d’Abruzzo (there are excellent wines at the right price): the important thing is that wines are fresh, young and of medium alcohol content.

The fish from south to north: round–trip

If, as often happens in the south, the menu includes fish, then nothing better than starting with Vermentino (Lunigiana, Sardinia or Tuscany, although very different from each other), or with Fiano di Avellino, Falanghina from Campania, Roero Arneis from Piedmont, Verdicchio di Jesi, or a Venetian wine such as Soave Superiore.

On the tables of Lazio Capitone is never missing, very rich and flavorful, that can be paired well with a young red wine, of dry, fruity taste, with floral scents.

If on our tables there is shellfish the right match is with with Alto Adige Gewürztraminer: a wine full of substance, opulent, ample on the palate and characterized by an aromatic aftertaste.

The white fish, instead, goes well with the great whites of Friuli Venezia Giulia: Friulano del Collio, Ribolla Gialla.

But the trip with fish can continue to Sicily with Grillo, Cataratto or Inzolia, or to Campania with Falanghina, Fiano di Avellino or the famous Greco di Tufo.

The meat: Boiled game or ...?

A special stage for the meat is Tuscany, where for Christmas you can find roast guinea fowl, duck, liver and game with an excellent companion such as a good Chianti Classico DOCG, Morellino di Scansano and Bolgheri.

If you find yourself eating stewed game (wild boar, roe deer, hare, etc?) you should match more structured wines with strong tannins with an alcohol gradation able to cleanse our palate.

Then we can choose aged wines like Barolo, Brunello di Montalcino, of great body such as Amarone della Valpolicella, or Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, taking care to choose among the most robust ones.

If we find on our table the traditional boiled, we can combine it with bright reds that enhance the pleasure of the plate, for example a lively Barbera or Lambrusco.

Going down to Calabria we find fish and exactly the Stocco of Cittanova (sponged with Zomaro water) with the “greedy” (sauce of olive oil, onion, tomatoes, olives, capers and raisins). It is the most famous stockfish of ancient memory, widely used also in Sicily. Between a mouthful and another, you can not miss a good Cirò rosé, so you can enjoy a unique product of the Calabria land which, do not forget, in ancient times was called Oenotria.

Rosé Wines: a passion

The great rosé wines are characterized by versatility: sparkling, bubbly or dry, for all tastes and for all budgets.

And the dessert?

Pandoro from Veneto and Panettone from Milan go well with Asti Spumante or the more delicate and aromatic Moscato d’Asti. Another gem is Moscadello di Montalcino, which represented the peak production of the famous town in the province of Siena.

Other sweets of the Christmas Sienese tradition are Panforte and Ricciarelli in the company of a great Tuscan Vin Santo. To experiment new combinations, two ideas are the interesting Marsala of Sicily of Sardinian Vernaccia liqueur.

The cakes with cream can be combined with Moscato di Pantelleria and Noto, Malvasia delle Lipari or Sciacchetrà of Cinque Terre.

Cakes with Cocoa are to be paired with Recioto della Valpolicella form Veneto or Friuli Picolit.

Enoteca Italiana offers also important recommendations for non–experts:

“ – The first: if you do not orient yourself in the forest of labels that fortunately our peninsula offers, ask for advice on your wine shop of confidence. You will spend a little more than in the supermarket but you will have a sure guide to choose the right bottle. Then, it will be even more fun to just choose the wine on the shelves of large retailers and, after having selected them, to ask information to the sommelier on duty.

– The second: if you have at home a good bottle do not let it age too much, there is no need of a great opportunity to taste some good wine. Indeed, even a large bottle, if not perfectly preserved, may be damaged, because it should be kept horizontal, not exposed to light and temperature changes. In the doubt, then, preserve for a few years only reserve wines of great structure, never white or sparkling wines.

– The third and not in order of importance is to buy, give and taste the wine that we like because, regardless of the recommendations by experts, friends or newspapers, let us remember that “we eat and drink what we are” but above all each of us has his/her own personal taste”.

Happy holidays to all!