Montepulciano & Montepulciano! Confused?
Many people are familiar with an Italian wine called Montepulciano, but most don’t know that there are actually two wines from Italy bearing the name Montepulciano and that they come from different parts of Italy and stylistically can be quite different.
One is named for the Montepulciano grape and is best known for the bold, fruity and affordable wines from the Abruzzo region on the Adriatic coast. The other wine gets its name from a place called Montepulciano which is a small, medieval town in the Sienna province of Tuscany. The town of Montepulciano produces the famous Vino Nobile di Montepulciano which is made primarily from the Sangiovese grape. These wines tend to be drier, earthier and more structured than wines made from the Montepulciano grape.
A little confusing? Yes, but one little trick to decipher which wine you’re looking at is to look at the Di or D’ in the name of the wine on the label. Those mean “from” in Italian and the word right after is where the wine came from. So if you see D’Abruzzo you will know the wine comes from Abruzzo and Di Montepulciano denotes the wine is from Montepulciano.
A few things that aren’t confusing about these two wines is that both wines have broad crowd appeal, are excellent food wines and are great to be familiar with when perusing the wine list at your favorite Italian restaurant or when shopping for wines for that homemade Italian supper.
Here are some of the truly enjoyable wines that ought to clear up the confusion once and for all: