Teroldego: a Spicy Italian Red
The cold weather has started making its way into our lives which means it’s time for those gorgeous, deep red wines that will keep us warm. Sure, you could reach for your standard Pinot or Malbec, but why not try something new?
Enter: Teroldego, a red grape from the northeastern part of Italy. The name stems from the use of its traditional cultivation method- an organization of “tirelle” or wire harnesses that the grapes are grown on. The true history of the Teroldego is a bit fuzzy but it’s been said to be linked to relatives of Pinot Noir and Lagrein grapes.
It’s a dark red, almost garnet, color with deeply layered fruit flavors like pomegranate and blackberry, topped with earthy notes and a smoky aroma. It’s not too heavy and comes bearing the gift of beautiful tannins without being overwhelming.
Teroldego isn’t a very popular wine because 97% of its production is relegated to the tiny Campo Rotaliano region in Trentino, Italy, where the gravel soil and cool temperatures make it a perfect terroir for the grape to succeed. It’s these sandy soils that help provide the high acidity and intense flavors that it’s so well known for.
Although the grape has been around for centuries, the number of plantings was rapidly decreasing until the 1980s when a woman named Elisabetta Foradori introduced her Teroldego Rotaliano and Granato, which have been recognized by wine enthusiasts all over the world.
Teroldego is delicious when paired with smoky foods, especially those that have been on a grill or cast iron pan, or even a wood-fired pizza! It can be a bit hard to find but it’s definitely worth the effort.