Vibrant, ruby red Bardolino wine is available on the lists of many restaurants in Bergamo and the surrounding area.
The best Bardolino is produced in the Classico region, the area immediately round the resort of Bardolino on Lago di Garda (Lake Garda), and it will have DOC (Denominazione di Origine Controllata) status on its label.
Among the best producers are Guerrieri Rizzardi, who are based at No. 4 Via Verdi in Bardolino.
They make their version from Corvina, Corvinone, Rondinella, Sangiovese, Merlot and Molinara grapes grown in their vineyards along the shores of Lago di Garda.
Guerrieri Rizzardi recommend serving their Bardolino slightly chilled to accompany white meats and cheeses.
You will sometimes see Bardolino Novello, which should be drunk as soon as possible after the harvest. Wines labelled Bardolino Superiore will have been aged for at least one year.
In my opinion, Bardolino is a wine that is best drunk young in order to appreciate its characteristic scent of berries and almonds.
It benefits visitors to Bergamo that the wine has not travelled far from the area to the south east of Lago di Garda where it has been produced.
The pretty lakeside town itself can be reached by train from Bergamo, changing at Brescia and taking an onward connection to Desenzano, from which, in the summer months, there is a boat service to Bardolino.
DOC and DOCG
Wines are graded according to a system that refers to their place of origin, la denominazione.
Denominazione di origine controllata (DOC) applies to wines made from grapes grown only in a defined area.
Denominazione di origine controllata e garantita (DOCG) is reserved for wines that have met particularly rigorous standards throughout their production.