Within a 30 minutes drive from Verona city center, you can reach Lake Garda, Italy’s biggest Lake. Crystal clear water, sweet summer breeze and a vibrant and lively atmosphere are just few of the nice things this Lake has to offer. Last but not least, it boasts a wide range of fine and excellent wines with the dry rosé Bardolino Chiaretto being the most emblematic one.
Chiaretto… probably is not the easiest Italian word to remember, but the name of this wine has a lot to do with the wine itself. Once you will get the link between the two, you will never forget it. What is the secret behind this name, then? As already said, Chiaretto is a rosé and the first thing you will notice about this wine is its colour, which is not at all intense and strong but rather fine and light. Its hues go from the pale pink of a young rose to the lightest coral pink nuance. That is exactly the reason why the wine’s name is Chiaretto: this word is the diminutive of “chiaro”, the Italian adjective meaning light, clear, soft.
Bardolino Chiaretto is produced on the eastern shore of Lake Garda, while on the western shore you can find another kind of dry rosé called Valténesi Chiaretto (…but that is another story!). Since 1968 it has been part of the same DOC of Bardolino, the red wine named after the village and coming from the same area. However — starting from the last vintage 2018 — Chiaretto’s producers have struggled to obtain a new disciplinary of production completely dedicated to the rosé wine, underlining its importance and its main role in representing the wine heritage of the Lake.
Its origins date back to the Roman times, when the tool used to produce this wine was the so called “torchio”, a special pressing machine which allowed producers to obtain the pink colour by softly squeezing the grapes. Nowadays, the technique used to produce Chiaretto has nothing to do with the “torchio”, nor with a blend of white and red wines (which, by the way, in Italy is illegal!). Instead, producers use a specific wine-making process: skins stay directly in contact with must for a period of time that goes from 2 until 48 hours. The result is a fine pink wine with a great charm.
Anyway, colour is not everything in a wine. Therefore what can you expect from a glass of this dry rosé? Well, first of all, fresh notes of small soft fruits and crisp apple, a citrusy scent of tangerine and a clear spicy aftertaste. Considered the perfect summer wine for many years, today the idea of Chiaretto as the only-to-drink-in-summer wine has been overcome. In fact even if the wine goes very well with Italian summer dishes like prosciutto e melone (Parma ham and melon), caprese salad (mozzarella, tomatoes and basil) and carpaccio di carne (thin slices of row meat); it is perfect also with grilled and baked fish and main courses like ravioli (thin pasta dough filled with meat or vegetables). Besides, if you feel like tasting new flavours and pairings, try Chiaretto with the famous paella or the Japanese sushi: its nice sapidity and freshness make it the perfect wine even for international cuisine.
Falling in love with the Lake and its Chiaretto is quite easy, isn’t it? Then book one of our Lake Garda and Rosé wine or Lake Garda, Lunch and Amarone wine tours and let Bardolino Chiaretto seduce your palate!