Today we’re going to take a look at an Italian classic: Soave. This wine is made from Garganega grapes and produced near the Soave village in Northern Italy. This region is known for its zesty white wines that pair wonderfully with Italian seafood. The hills around Soave are volcanic, which makes the region particularly fertile. Combined with the Italian climate, this makes for ideal vineyard cultivation conditions.
Types of Soave
Far from being a singular wine, Soave is a blanket term for a variety of types. All these wines share similar flavor notes and textures; however, depending on the category, some may be sparkling while others are sweeter than normal. There are five types of Soave:
Soave: This is the standard Soave style and the kind that is easiest to find in stores. These wines are straightforward and lean. They are produced in the flatlands of Soave.
Soave Spumante: This is a sparkling Soave wine.
Soave Colli Scalier: These wines are made in the hillier parts of Soave. They are more expensive than regular Soave.
Soave Classico: This is the original Soave type that all the others branch off from. They are produced in the hills right near Castello di Soave. They tend to more expensive than other varieties.
Recioto di Soave: For those who dislike dry wines, Recioto di Soave is the sweeter variety.
Probably the most common flavour notes found in all types of Soave wines are of zest of melon and orange zest. Along with these two fruits, expect to taste hints of peach as well as sweeter herbs like marjoram. Soave is often family dry and many describe it as having a salty taste alongside the fruit notes. The wine is also pretty light-bodied, making it a wonderful choice on hot days when one wants to avoid heavier wines.
Other less common flavors and aromas found in Soave wine include marmalade, fennel, lemon, and honey.
Depending on the aging process, Soave can taste either lean or rich. The more affordable wines are often aged in stainless steel tanks. These wines have a fairly lean and no-nonsense texture and taste. Conversely, wines aged in oak barrels tend to be rich with a notable flavor of nuts.
Food Pairing and Complementary Recipes
Soave is a perfect wine to pair with all manner of seafood dishes. Rich seafood dishes pair extremely well as the dry, lean Soave will cut through a lot of the heaviness. Clam dishes, in particular, are a classic pairing as are pasta dishes made with gnocchi.
We have a number of seafood dishes that will pair wonderfully with a bottle of Soave. If you want to keep things simple, try pairing the wine with our recipes for Pecan Crusted Salmon or Halibut with Cilantro-Lime Butter. If you want to try something a little spicier, try having a glass of Soave with our recipe for warming Kerala Fish Curry.
Wines to Try
Pieropan La Rocca Soave Classico ($31)
Delicate and elegant with a wonderful amount of citrus and acidity.
Suavia Monte Carbonare Soave Classico ($30)
Delicate and light with a wonderful taste of peach, pear, and apple.
Inama Vin Soave Soave Classico ($15)
Crisp and salty with a wonderfully vibrant finish.