This month we had a chance to discover Chiaretto Rosé with the Italian Food, Wine and Travel Group. Read on to learn more about this dry rosé from Italy, and some of the foods that pair well with Chiaretto. Disclosure: The wines discussed were provided as complimentary samples.
One of my favorite wines during a recent trip to Abruzzo was Cerasualo, a rosé wine made from Montepulciano. So when I had a chance to try another Italian rosé called Chiaretto, I was eager to discover this new to me rosé.
Chiaretto di Bardolino, or simply Chiaretto (pronounced key-ar-et-toh), is a pale rosé produced in Northern Italy on the shores of Lake Garda.
In Italian, “chiaro” means “pale” and Chiaretto means something beyond pale. The winemaking process to produce Chiaretto involves limited skin contact, giving it the light hue. Corvina is the primary grape used in Chiaretto, along with grapes such as Molinara and Rondinella. These are the same grapes featured in red wines from the region such as Valpolicella and Amarone.
Domini Veneti Bardolino Chiaretto
Our Chiaretto discovery mission started with the 2017 Domini Veneti Bardolino Chiaretto Classico (12.5% ABV). This lightly colored Chiaretto rosé wine has a fresh nose, with watermelon fruit, notes of apricot and a hint of spice. Don’t let the light color fool you–this wine has plenty of flavor.
The Domini Veneti Chiaretto is very pleasant to sip on its own, but also paired well with our meal. We had this Chiaretto with a plate of Easy Sautéed Shrimp and some Ziti with Kale Pesto. The Chiaretto worked quite well with the pesto, cleansing and refreshing our palate after the zesty sauce.
But I’d have to say the winning pairing for the Veneti Chiaretto was the sautéed shrimp. In addition to the taste profile I mentioned, I also detected some underlying minerality that made the Chiaretto work very well with the shellfish.
There is some history to that minerality. The hills where the Bardolino Chiaretto is grown were created by ancient glaciers which took rocks from the mountains and move them downwards.
2017 Le Fraghe Bardolino Chiaretto Rosé
The other night we had a chance to open our our second Chiaretto sample, the 2017 Le Fraghe Rodòn Bardolino Chiaretto ($14, 12.5% ABV). This Chiaretto rosé has the typical pale color in the glass, with a subtle floral nose, a scent of hibiscus. Watermelon and kiwi fruit taste, a bit lighter bodied than the Chiaretto from Domini Veneti.
We first sampled the Fraghe Chiaretto with a little plate of cheddar cheese and prosciutto. The Chiaretto worked pretty well with the cheddar cheese, and was great with the prosciutto. The crisp, dry rosé offset the saltiness of the prosciutto very nicely.
The Fraghe Rodòn is made from a blend of Corvina and Rondinella grapes. The vinification method, as described on the winery website:
The two grape varieties, Corvina and Rondinella, are vinified separately. They are given a cool-temperature, 6-8 hour maceration on the skins, which extracts just enough colour to give a lively, medium-bodied hue to the juice.
We did also try the Fraghe Chiaretto with pasta dish with sausage, onions and peppers. The wine was a bit light to stand up to the sausage. From my initial sampling of Chiaretto, this rosé seems best suited for appetizers and lighter fare such as shellfish and salads. And keep Chiaretto in mind for sipping poolside or on the porch!
More Chiaretto Discoveries
So if I’ve whet your appetite to learn more about Chiaretto rosé, and to try it of course, check out what my fellow writers in the #ItalianFWT group have shared about this wonderful wine form Northern Italy:
- Jennifer at Vino Travels shares Lake Garda says Hooray for Rosé with Chiaretto.
- Mike at Life At Table suggests Rosé Fatigue? Try Chiaretto.
- Li at The Wining Hour pairs Chiaretto Classico and Grilled Shrimp.
- Camilla at Culinary Adventures with Camilla offers Chiaretto Poured with Local Catches.
- Gwen at Wine Predator declares The Key to Italian Rose? Chiaretto!
- Lynn at Savor the Harvest gives us An Italian Surprise You Must Get to Know.
- Wendy at A Day in the Life on a Farm says A Rosé By Any Other Name.
- Jill at L’Occasion posts Chiaretto Goes With Everything: Italy’s Versatile Rosé Wine.
- Katarina at Grapevine Adventures states A Chiaretto is always a Chiaretto … a Valtenési not Bardolino.
- Lisa at The Wine Chef makes an Easy Quinoa Salad Paired With Chiaretto, A Delightfully Dry Italian Rosé.
- David at Cooking Chat is Discovering Chiaretto Rosé Wine and Food Pairings.
- Jane at Always Ravenous pairs Farmers’ Market Pasta with Chiaretto di Bardolino.
I do think this wine would pair excellently with seafood. I was happy with my pairings but I think I would have been very happy had I included some shellfish.
Looks like lovely pairings with the two Chiaretto wines. And I remember them from having tasted them here before.
Thanks Katerina, sounds like you were more experienced with Chiaretto coming into this event than many of us were!
Ah that seafood and minerality in wine thing just works! Always love the simplicity yet big on flavor components of your dishes David. Lovely pairings.
How did you like it in comparison to the cerasuolo?
They are quite different in their styles, and I like them both. I probably lean toward the more full bodied rosé style of the cerasualo.