“Let’s meet for an aperitivo” is a typical Italian phrase, and this is precisely what happens every evening, after work and before dinner, in clubs, bars, taverns throughout Italy.
The aperitivo is a social ritual and a moment of consumption born in Italy, and characteristic of the habits of our country. The story of the aperitivo begins in Turin at the end of the eighteenth century, when we met “at the vermouth time” (before dinner) to taste a fortified wine capable of stimulating the appetite and socialization. Hippocrates, a Greek doctor who in the fifth century BC, already said that drinking something before dinner can stimulate digestion, prescribed a sweet white wine with absinthe and rue for his patients who lacked appetite.
Today the aperitivo involves a non-alcoholic or alcoholic drink, the latter usually being a cocktail or, more frequently, a glass of wine. The wine for the aperitivo must fulfil the role – as the word from which it derives – of “opening” the meal. It should, therefore, be light and stimulating, with an alcoholic volume (ABV) that is not so high that it feels heavy, but, on the contrary, stimulates the appetite. Often, the aperitivo wine is accompanied by appetizers, finger food, that is delicious, quick, brightly colored, and easy to share – since the main role of the aperitivo remains the social meeting and toasting together.
It depends on the tastes, but usually the white aperitivo wine is light and harmonious, often sparkling; while the red aperitivo wine is easy and agile in the mouth. Here are four wines from Cantine Leonardo da Vinci that are ideal for the aperitivo moment.
Mappa di Imola – Pignoletto
From the 1502 Da Vinci in Romagna collection, Mappa di Imola is a Pignoletto di Romagna sparkling wine obtained with the Charmat method. The bubbles of Romagna are soft, silky and lively. It goes well with finger food based on vegetables, dried fruit or cheeses.
Portocanale di Cesenatico – Sangiovese Rosato
Also from the 1502 Da Vinci in Romagna collection, Portocanale di Cesenatico is a rosé wine made from Sangiovese grapes with a unique and harmonious identity. Very fruity and persuasive, it is perfect with a raw fish appetizer.
A Vermentino from the Leonardo Da Vinci collection, obtained in Tuscany and with a floral character accompanied by strong notes of elderberry. On the palate it is rich and savory with a balanced and persistent finish. It can accompany a more robust aperitivo based on salami, focaccia and savory pastries.
Dama con Ermellino – Pinot Grigio
The aperitif becomes elegant and refined with the Pinot Grigio from the I Capolavori collection. The rich taste invites meditation and goes well with a cheese plate, or even seafood.
Duomo di Faenza – Trebbiano Romagna
This Trebbiano from the 1502 Da Vinci in Romagna collection best interprets the moment of the aperitivo. It is a fragrant, floral and soft wine that goes well with the flavors and habits of the hinterland: an aperitivo in one of the beautiful Italian squares in the company of friends and genuine flavors, such as aged cheeses and delicate cold cuts.