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- What Is Montepulciano Wine?
- How Do You Pronounce Montepulciano Wine?
- Where Does Montepulciano Wine Come From?
- How Is Montepulciano Wine Made?
- What Does Montepulciano Wine Taste Like?
- How To Drink Montepulciano Wine
- What Food Does Montepulciano Wine Pair With?
- What Is Montepulciano Similar To?
- Is Montepulciano A Sangiovese?
- Is Montepulciano A Chianti?
- Is Montepulciano A Good Wine?
- Is Montepulciano Expensive?
What Is Montepulciano Wine?
Montepulciano is a wine made from the similarly named Montepulciano grape. The Montepulciano grape is a hardy, thick-skinned red grape with fantastic winemaking qualities, being easy to grow in large quantities for an affordable, great wine. Montepulciano is a dry red wine with medium body and tannin levels, for an easy drinking experience.
How Do You Pronounce Montepulciano Wine?
The name Montepulciano comes across as difficult to pronounce from just trying to read it off, though it isn’t as complicated as it seems.
The pronunciation is quite simple, said out loud it sounds like “mon·tay·puhl·chaa·now”. Saying this slowly can be difficult, but as soon as you start saying it quicker in pronunciation, it rolls off the tongue.
Where Does Montepulciano Wine Come From?
The Montepulciano grape is grown in a few places throughout the world. While the majority of growing and wine production is still in Italy, other countries are slowly increasing their yield of Montepulciano grapes.
Italy still produces 98% of all Montepulciano wine throughout the different regions. The Abruzzo region is the leading region for this type of grape. There are also large wineries in the Piceno and Marche regions. If you buy a bottle of Montepulciano, the likelihood is that the wine is from Italy.
Australia is responsible for 1% of Montepulciano wine grape growth, with the main growth regions being Adelaide Hills, Barossa Valley and Riverland. While Australia’s climate is considerably warmer than that of Italy, the Montepulciano grape still thrives in the climate.
The last 1% of production is spread across a few countries. USA, New Zealand, Argentina, Chile and Croatia all produce the Montepulciano grape to increasing success. We hope to see these productions thrive, as they create a lot of interesting and great variations to Montepulciano wine.
How Is Montepulciano Wine Made?
The steps to create a fine Montepulciano wine are much like any other dry red wine. There are a few steps which can vary between winemakers, these steps mostly influence the price of the final product.
- Pressing – after growing and harvesting the grapes, the first crucial step is the press. In this step, the grapes are pressed and crushed before heading to the fermentation. Red wine stays in contact with the skin and pulp to get the high tannin count and a great red colour.
- Fermentation – the juice and pulp is fermented. At this stage for dry red wine, the fermentation is let to run until all the sugar is turned into alcohol. This is what separates dry from sweet wines.
- Raking – after fermentation, the wine is taken through a raking process to remove all the solids from the wine.
- Ageing – ageing is one of the most important parts of the making of Montepulciano wine. Different winemakers may age in stainless steel vessels or wood barrels for different lengths of time. This will be one of the larger steps to influence the quality of the final wine.
The process of making Montepulciano is similar to most other dry red wines, with only changes between the winemaker’s methods of fermentation or ageing differing.
What Does Montepulciano Wine Taste Like?
Montepelciano has a forward flavour of mostly berries and cherries. Typical examples have a flavour profile of plum, sour cherry and boysenberry with more subtle notes of rosemary and tar. Other variations tend to stick to the cherry with a herb finish.
How To Drink Montepulciano Wine
Montepulciano is best served slightly chilled between 60 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Before serving, be sure to open the bottle in advance to allow the wine to breathe. Serve in a wide rimmed glass to allow full appreciation of the aromas.
What Food Does Montepulciano Wine Pair With?
Montepulciano pairs well with any red meat or meat based dish, however, with its higher acidity levels, rich and fatty dishes are the best for pairing. Meats like brisket and roast pork pair fantastically with Montepulciano, smoked meats complement the high acidity levels especially well.
For a lighter meal, Montepulciano will pair well with Italian smoked meats like Prosciutto, Pancetta and Guanciale. Rich cheeses will also work well, especially when paired with the aforementioned smoked meats.
What Is Montepulciano Similar To?
Montepulciano is similar to other medium bodied Italian dry reds like sangiovese, nerello mascalese, or dolcetto. For a budget dinner table alternative, a Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot can be found with a similar medium body.
As for the cherry forward flavour profile, the best alternative will be other wines made with the same Montepulciano grapes, like Rosso Conero and the DOC wine Rosso Piceno Superiore.
Is Montepulciano A Sangiovese?
While the Montepulciano grape is closely related to the Sangiovese grape, they are in fact not the same. This is a common mistake made, but they are different wines with differing flavour profiles.
Is Montepulciano A Chianti?
Both the Montepulciano and Chianti are fine dry red wines, but the flavours are quite different between the two. Chianti is a very fruit forward, seemingly sweet dry wine, while Montepulciano favours the herbal aroma and flavour more. Other than flavour, Chianti tends to have a bit less body while being very similar in tannin levels.
Is Montepulciano A Good Wine?
Overall, Montepulciano is a great wine that can offer excellent value for money. The wines are mostly easy to drink and difficult not to like, with an impressive quality and flavour profile across the board. There are a lot of great examples available in the sub-$20 price range.
Is Montepulciano Expensive?
Montepulciano is a very affordable wine for its quality. Frequent examples under $30 have proven to be fantastic wines. There are a few outliers which are expensive, but don’t let that put you off picking up an affordable bottle of Montepulciano.