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Friuli Venezia Giulia

Friuli-Venezia Giulia is among the most appreciated wine regions in Italy, both for its white and red wine, although it is best known for its white wine production. There are so many denominations of great quality Friulian red wines available on the Signorvino online shop. We love Friuli wine because it is a melting pot of culture, history, Italian and international vines, which will make you fall in love too. Buy online: we only stock the best Friulian red wines with excellent quality and great value. Don't miss out!

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Friuli Venezia Giulia

The best red wines from Friuli 

Friuli-Venezia Giulia is the easternmost region of Italy, situated between the Carnic and Julian Alps to the north, the Adriatic to the south, Veneto to the west, and bordering Austria and Slovenia. Wine production has always been a fundamental part of the region’s economy, with both white and red vines first planted here in ancient times. The history and frontier culture of this beautiful Italian region are also expressed in Friulian wines, so much so that the most famous red grapes here include both native and international varieties. The most typical Friulian red wines are Refosco, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Terrano, Schioppettino, and Merlot. We can add other red grape varieties to these, such as Pignolo, Tazzelenghe, and Pinot Noir, exquisite examples of Friulian wine production, the first two of which are native and the other international. The most famous Friulian wine is probably Refosco dal Peduncolo Rosso, which takes its name from the unique colour of the rachis (or stalk). Terrano is also part of the great Refosco family, along with Cagnina di Romagna. It is also present in Veneto, but Friuli is its true area of choice – in fact, you can find it in the Colli Orientali del Friuli, Friuli Aquileia, Friuli Latisana, and Friuli Grave DOC zones. For years, ampelographs thought there was a genetic link between Refosco and Marzemino, a red grape variety cultivated in Trentino-Alto Adige, in the San Michele all’Adige area. Confirmation arrived a few years ago thanks to a DNA analysis, which confirmed Refosco as the ancestor of Marzemino. 

Major Friulian red wine designations 

The colour of Refosco ranges from purplish to ruby red, and it features aromas of blackberry, currants, plum and violet, with a pleasant, fresh-tasting palate. When young, it is a wine that has an acidic temperament, which tends to become refined over the years and when it is barrel aged. Schioppettino is one of the most representative Friulian red wines, particularly in the Colli Orientali DOC (Denominazione di Origine Controllata) zone. It is a purplish to ruby red colour, and even if it is not rested in wood, it develops spicy hints of black pepper on the nose due to the rotundone, which is part of the terpene family. This substance present in the skin releases these spicy aromas during alcoholic fermentation and they are very recognisable in Schioppettino, and these distinctive characteristics also remain on the palate, as well as a low tannin content and acidity. Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Merlot – varieties of French origin – were planted in Friuli-Venezia Giulia after the Second World War, as in the rest of Italy. Intense, pleasant and herbaceous on the nose, Cabernet Franc can be found in the Friuli Isonzo DOC and the regional Friuli-Venezia Giulia DOC. Its cousin Cabernet Sauvignon is also in the same DOC zones and features fruity and slightly herbaceous aromas (often of green pepper), and has good body and length. 

Pairings with Friulian red wines 

Schioppettino can be paired with the whole meal as the acidity and tannins are not too intrusive, so it can also accompany fish soups or white meats. It can be paired with typical rustic Friulian dishes like tagliatelle in a sauce with wild boar, roe deer, or hare, corn polenta with salami, corn polenta sandwich stuffed with cow’s milk mozzarella, and a few slices of Pitina from the valleys of Pordenone. Pitina is a mixed meat meatball, including goat, roe deer or mutton, and pork meat. Finally, try it with a slice of duck breast with black pepper, which will be delightful on the palate when paired with this wine. Refosco is another pairing champion, so much so that it adapts wonderfully to simple gnocchi and sauce or a sausage risotto, and even a snack of bread and salami. The ideal way to reveal its true essence, however, is to drink it with tasty dishes with strong flavours and seasoning, such as red meat, game, pasta and green beans, or soups. It can also be a good wine for an aperitif and pairs well with mature cheeses and cured meats. Thanks to its fruity and slightly acidic taste, Terrano pairs well with sweet or smoked prosciutto and cured meats, mature cheeses, red meats, and game. You can also pair it with goulash, stews, and casseroles. 

More intense flavours and aromas 

If you prefer Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, or Cabernet Franc, opt for more complex meat dishes. Merlot can be enjoyed with meat-based sauces or main courses of white and red meats, roasted or grilled, or with game. Cabernet Sauvignon and CabernetFranc, on the other hand, are a good accompaniment for important meals. Try them with mature cheeses and aromatic meats, truffle-based dishes and even hamburgers, grilled meats, truffle risotto, and lasagne. The ideal pairing for Pignolo, on the other hand, as it is intense and complex with aromas of red berry fruit, incense, undergrowth and dark chocolate, is a red meat or game dish: roast leg of lamb, pork or veal shin, and grilled red meats. Tazzelenghe is a wine with a strong personality and is an ideal pairing for red meats or game, braised meat and stews, and mature cheeses. Try it with pheasant crespelle, hare in pepper sauce, lamb stew, and Pecorino. Finally, with its soft, velvety body and aromas of vegetables and spices, Pinot Noir pairs well with a number of dishes. Try it with mushroom tagliatelle, with truffles, and Bolognese sauce, and also with risottos. You can even try and pair it with mature cheeses, cured meats, and sweet and sour dishes.