- Red Bardolino is a fresh red wine that is best drunk young. It’s a lip-smacking high acid wine that often has flavors of sour cherry, tart raspberry, or strawberry. It’s a refreshing and light red wine that you can enjoy by itself or pair with food.
- You can find sweet and dry versions of red Bardolino. But, the dry versions are best with savory food like the dishes you can read about below. It’s great in spring with the first foods of the growing season, at luncheons, and at lighter evening meals. This is the perfect wine to serve at a picnic too.
- Chicken and pork dishes are great pairings with Bardolino. If you love cured meats, try pairing them with this wine. Tomato and pepper sauces would also work nicely with this wine. These kinds of dishes complement the intensity of the wine.
- You can also pair red Bardolino with heavier dishes where you want a lighter counterpoint. That’s why you’ll see lamb dishes in this list. If the oily lamb is overwhelming, this light wine will bring some freshness to your eating experience.
- Red Bardolino is typically made from Corvina and Rondinella grapes. The Molinara grape is also sometimes used. These same grapes are used in red wine from the more famous neighboring region of Valpolicella.
- Corvina gives red Bardolino its color and texture. Rodinella provides the fresh bite that is common in this wine. When blended, they create one of the most refreshing red wines in the world.
Where is Bardolino?
- The Bardolino wine region is located along the east side of Lake Garda in northern Italy. It’s about 2 hours from Venice and 30 minutes from Verona by car. There is also a train that can get you to the area.
- This wine-growing region sits just below the foothills of the Alps. The cool mountain and lake breezes keep the temperatures cool there. That combined with ample sunshine is the reason for the tartness and freshness in this wine.
- The name Bardolino comes from the name of a town near where this wine is produced. Wines from vineyards closer to town are in the classico zone. This is where 45% of red Bardolino is produced. But, wines produced outside of this zone can be stellar as well.
How to Enjoy Bardolino
- Serve this wine just cooler than room temperature. Ideally, shoot for 68 degrees. But, you may have to chill the wine a bit below that temperature and let it warm up as people drink it. It can be a fun experience to see how the flavors shift as the wine gets warmer.
- In the past, many wine professionals and connoisseurs considered Bardolino a lesser wine. But, that’s not the case today. Yes, there are still mass-produced red Bardolinos. But, there are also unique and interesting bottles to explore.
- Rather than approaching red Bardolino with a preconceived notion of its quality, try to appreciate it for what it is. Look for producers that are making small batches. You can also look for distributors that you know only import interesting wines. Or try one of the bottles below.
- Many red wine drinkers prefer big and bold reds. The more tannins, the more oak, the more alcohol, the better. These are sometimes called barbecue wines or steakhouse wines. Red Bardolino is on the opposite side of the red wine spectrum from the big and bold reds. It is a light and refreshing red wine.
- I know red wine lovers that have developed an appreciation for young and fresh red wines such as Bardolino. You may find that it has its own charm. It’s worth exploring even if you’re primarily a big and bold red wine drinker.
If you like red Bardolino, you should check out these other red wines: