Brunello. Chianti. Amarone. Big boy reds often dominate our vision of Italian wine. But, perhaps some of Italy’s best-kept secrets are its spectacular whites. One such grape variety has recently caught our attention: arneis.
Arneis is grown in Piedmont, Italy’s northwest corner most famous for producing the celebrated wines of Barolo and Barbaresco. While most notably found in the Roero sub-region, you can find arneis scattered throughout the area.
The name “arneis” translates to “little rascal” from the local Piedmontese dialect, and the grape is indeed a firecracker. The white wines from Roero often offer electrifying acidity and spice. Lime zest, lemon pith, fresh pear, tart green apple, minerals, ginger and bitter arugula are all characteristic of arneis. If you like refreshing, flavor-packed white wines such as sauvignon blanc, arneis could be your next big discovery.
Another great perk of arneis? It’s not terribly expensive. You can taste Italy’s best examples for under $30. Here are 4 we recommend:
Do you have a favorite Italian white wine? Share with us below!
Photo Credit: Megan Cole, "Piemonte, Italy"