I had the pleasure of visiting the Lake Garda area of Italy in December! It was such an amazing trip, and I learned so much about a Chiaretto, a dry style of Italian rosé. The name “Chiaretto” originates from the Italian word “Chiaro”, meaning “light” or “pale”. Chiaretto is light, fun, and fruity. It’s a wine that can be enjoyed year-round (I certainly do) but I really love it for spring and summer!

Generally, this wine is made from the Corvina grape varietal. This varietal you probably know from Amarone, Bardolino, and Valpolicella wines, however, it is also used for this light and fun rosé. Here in the Bardolino area, it is popular to sit outside in the summer, sip Chiaretto, and enjoy the beautiful lake views. This area of Italy is absolutely stunning, and if you have the pleasure to go, please do! I really enjoyed going in December, during the offseason, because there is still tourism, but it’s much less crowded than the warmer months. It’s such a stunning area, and just about 40 minutes from Verona, one of the most romantic cities in Italy!

Here Chiaretto is a lifestyle, and I had the opportunity to taste at least one hundred or more. What I love about this style of wine is its pair-ability with many different foods. You can sip this wine with sushi, pasta, skirt steak on the grill, omelets at brunch, or even something as simple as Margherita pizza; the options are endless with Chiaretto!

Stylistically this wine is dry and crisp with citrus aromas, wild berries, and flowers. This can change with age where they ted to become spicy. You won’t find many Chiaretto aged in the market, because they tend to be consumed while young. However, if you do get your hands on some, they’re quite cool when they have a bit of age on them! There is a freshness to Chiaretto that’s so inviting which is why it’s as popular as it is during the warmer months, where 25 million people vacation annually.

The first evening we had a wonderful multi-course dinner filled with pizza, pasta, and a lot of rosés. Some of my favorites from the evening included Le Fraghe Ródon, Santi Infinito, Guerreri Rizzardi,  and Villa Cordevigo’s Chiaretto’s! Each one is different and expressive of the Bardolino area and went beautifully with the dinner.

If you’re looking for some new rosés to try, you’re in luck because I had the opportunity to visit many wineries while there, and will be posting them throughout all of May!