Surprising Wines of Oltrepò Pavese #ItalianFWT

Oltrepò Pavese is the bright blue area in the bottom left of the map. Lombardia map courtesy of

Oltrepò Pavese Discovery with Italian Food, Wine and Travel
This month, our Italian Food, Wine and Travel writers were treated to wine samples from a lesser known region of Italy, Oltrepò Pavese. Other wines from Lombardia are well known, but Oltrepò Pavese is unfamiliar to most Americans. I had heard of the area but had never tried any of the wines. Scroll down further in this post to link to all the ItalianFWT writers’ posts!

Oltrepò Pavese sits in the far southwest corner of the Lombardia region, just east of Piemonte and just northwest of Emilia-Romagna. The area is protected from the Mediterranean to the south by Liguria and the beginning of the Apennine mountains. Finally, the Po river valley dominates the area to the north. Grapes are grown in the foothills of the Apennine mountains. The region produces very nice classic method (metodo classico) sparkling wines, usually based on Pinot Nero (Pinot Noir). Sangue di Giuda (blood of Judas) is a truly unique wine from the region, a sweet red wine.

Disclosure: the wines in this post were provided as samples. No other compensation was involved, all opinions are mine.

Piccolo Bacco dei Quaroni (PBQ) Oltrepò Pavese Metodo Classico Pinot Nero Rosé Brut Nature DOCG (sample, $23 SRP) 12% abv
Vino Biologico by Az. Agr. Piccolo Bacco dei Quaroni di Tommaso Cavalli
Eye: Pale salmon with fairly large bubbles, active mousse
Nose: Medium intensity aromas of fresh apricots, cantaloupe, peaches, subtle notes of brioche
Mouth: Dry, high acidity, medium minus body, medium alcohol, medium flavor intensity, medium finish. Fruit flavors of cantaloupe, apricots and peaches dominate the palate with addition of a slate-like mineral note, then a slight bitter almond note in the finish.
Observations: An enjoyable classic method sparkling wine. Fruitiness provides the balance, brut nature seems like a good choice. Delicious with our shrimp risotto.

Classic Shrimp Risotto Milanese

Shrimp Risotto Milanese
It’s hard to beat a glass of sparkling wine while stirring the risotto on a Friday evening. Risotto is an easy but elegant dish and well worth your time. Here’s a link to the Shrimp Risotto Milanese recipe I use. Risotto is a fun dish to master as it is very accommodating to all sorts of variations. Our PBQ Methodo Classico Oltrepò Pavese

Sangue di Giuda translates to “Blood of Judas”

Giorgi Sangue di Giuda del l’Oltrepò Pavese DOC Vino Frizzante Dolce 2020 (sample, $13 SRP available online here) 7% abv
Eye: Pale ruby, light mousse on pouring, dissipates quickly
Nose: Medium intensity aromas of fresh ripe strawberries, cranberries, cherries, a little forest floor behind the fruit
Mouth: Medium-sweet, high acidity, medium body, low alcohol, medium plus flavor intensity, nice medium plus finish.
Observations: What a fun wine! Sweet, but not cloyingly so. Not overly complicated, but plenty of bright fruit with good acidity. Delicious as either an apéritif or with a fruity dessert.

Oltrepò Pavese Discoveries by Italian Food, Wine & Travel Writers
Want to learn more about Oltrepò Pavese? Read our posts below, then join our conversation on Twitter. We meet on Saturday Feb. 5 from 10-11am CST at #ItalianFWT. We’d love to hear your thoughts

For Additional Background on Otrepò Pavese

23 Responses to “Surprising Wines of Oltrepò Pavese #ItalianFWT”
  1. Lisa Denning says:

    As always Jeff, your dish looks fantastic! I’ll bet it went well with the Metedo Classico too!!

  2. Wendy Klik says:

    I would bet that this was a super pairing and the risotto looks amazing.

  3. culinarycam says:

    These wines were such a surprise for us, too. First, I had never heard of the area and, second, my husband helped himself to second pours of both wines. That NEVER happens. Your risotto looks amazing. I think I figured out what we’re having for dinner tonight. Cin cin.

  4. lizbarrett says:

    That risotto looks AMAZING! And with sparkling – genius!

  5. Susannah says:

    Jeff, Your post was very informative and the pairing seemed spot on. RIsotto is such an elegant dish and I think perfect with these wines. That sparkler sounds divine and Sangue di Giuda is an excellent example of a sweet but not cloying low alcohol sweet wine. Cheers, Susannah

  6. As I mentioned during the chat, I’m definitely going to try the referenced Shrimp Risotto recipe…and I might give it a go with some bubbles too!

  7. Took me half a lifetime to work up the courage to cook risotto and now it’s one of my favorite dishes to prepare. Yours looks amazing- especially with the Oltrepo bubbly.

  8. terristeffes says:

    This looks like something my husband would want to try. He loves shrimp and peas, but the whole dish together sounds just amazing. I loved my bubbly, I can’t wait to have more.

  9. Payal Vora says:

    Such a fan of your risotto and bubbles pairing! And your shrimp risotto looks perfectly creamy. If, like the one I got, your wine had a whisper of salinity, then the shrimp would have been stellar with it!

  10. Vino Travels says:

    That shrimp looks scrumptious Jeff. A couple different sparkling wines it seems. It’s fun having something on the sweeter, frizzante side to top off the meal.

  11. Vino Travels says:

    Your shrimp dish looks scrumptious. Two different types of sparklers. Fun!

  12. This is really a great and succulent collection. Thanks for sharing

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