A Guide to Montepulciano Wine: The Pizza Pairing Wine

montepulciano wine

Montepulciano wine (MOHN-teh-pool-CHEE’AH-noh) is a delightful Italian wine that has a deep, dark color and robust flavors.

And it’s not as famous or revered as other Italian wines like Chianti, Chianti Classico, Barolo, Brunello di Montalcino, or Super Tuscans, but it’s a fantastic wine nonetheless. Additionally, it also has a much better price tag than the wines I just mentioned.

So in this guide, we will explore all there is to know about this wine. So sit back and enjoy learning all about this delicious Italian classic!

Table of Contents

What is Montepulciano Wine?

What can be very confusing about Montepulciano is that it is both an Italian red wine grape varietal and a hilltop town located in the Tuscany region of Central Italy. However, the Montepulciano grape is not grown in or around the town of Montepulciano.

In fact, the Montepulciano grape variety is the 2nd most planted red grape in Italy. And they are inexpensive, juicy red wines that pair well with pizza! 

Plus it’s a versatile red grape that can produce light, fruity wines to rich, full-bodied wines. Also, Montepulciano is used as a blending grape with other varieties like Sangiovese.

Typically these wines are dry, medium bodied, with soft juicy fruit flavors, along with medium to high acidity with soft tannins. And they have flavors of black cherry, plum, and spice, and can be aged for several years.

Where is it Produced?

montepulciano d'abruzzo wine

Montepulciano wines are produced in several regions throughout Italy. Including:

  • Abruzzo
  • Marche
  • Lazio
  • Umbria, Molise, and Puglia

But the most notable and famous wine comes from the Abruzzo region, where it is called Montepulciano d’Abruzzo. The Abruzzo region is located in east-central Italy, and is known for its rugged mountains and picturesque coastline. And the climate in these areas are cool from the breeze of the Adriatic sea and dry from sun exposure, which helps the grapes retain their acidity.

As a result, these wines are some of Italy’s most popular wines.

What Does Montepulciano Wine Taste Like?

oak aged montepulciano

It’s a dry, red wine with medium to high acidity, moderate to soft tannins, and juicy, dark fruit flavors of black cherry, plum, and spice.

Oak Aged

This aging process gives the wine a richer and more full-bodied taste with darker fruit flavors and notes of oak, vanilla, mocha.

Neutral Aged “Stainless Steel”

These table wines are lighter in color and have a more red fruit flavors like cranberry, raspberry, and sour cherry with notes of earthiness

Montepulciano Food Pairings

Widely known as a great pairing with pizza because of its juicy, fruit flavors and moderate acidity. And it also pairs well with a variety of foods, including:

  • Grilled meats
  • Tomato based pasta dishes
  • Beef Bolognese
  • Italian sausage
  • Hard cheeses like Pecorino Romano

Below are some other great wine pairings with every type of pizza:

best wine with pizza

What is the Difference Between Montepulciano Wines and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano?

They are completely different. Vino Nobile de Montepulciano is produced with Sangiovese grapes. And NOT Montepulciano grapes.

Is Montepulciano a good wine?

Montepulciano d'Abruzzo Colline Teramane DOCG

Yes it is! Because the wines’ approachable flavor and the consistently high yields in the vineyard are two reasons for its popularity. 

What is Montepulciano Wine Similar To?

Montepulciano wine is similar to Sangiovese and Merlot because it is a dry, red wine with medium to high acidity and moderate tannins.


Montepulciano is versatile and easy to drink, making it a great choice for any occasion. Whether you are looking for a light and fruity wine or a rich and full-bodied wine, it has something to offer.

So, next time you are in the mood for Italian wine, be sure to give it a try!


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