Chiaretto Goes With Everything: Italy’s Versatile Rosé Wine

rosato, Italian Wine, Lombardy,

Chiaretto, dry Italian rosé

One of the most popular stories on L’Occasion is this > Rosé or Rosato: Is There A Difference? Reader interest in pink Italian wine is much stronger than I’d known at that time, causing me to pay much more attention, drawing me into wines like Chiaretto.

Chiaretto Means A Lighter Shade of Pale

Chiaretto is short for Chiaretto di Bardolino, a pale, dry rose-colored wine produced on the shores of Lake Garda in Lombardy, Northern Italy. Hop in your care in Verona after breakfast, and have plenty of time to drink wine before lunch. Highly popular in Italy as well as Germany, Americans have recently taken note, claiming a bit of their share of the 8.5 million bottles that are produced each year.


Chiaretto means ‘a lighter shade of pale’

Similar to other dry rosés, Chiaretto is beautifully versatile and food-friendly. Because it is made from indigenous Italian grapes, it bears a unique profile. Corvina comprises most of the blend, but others such as Rondinella and Molinara can also be used. If Corvina sounds familiar, it’s like because you’ve experienced it in Amarone or Valpolicella.

In 1896 a writer named Pompeo Molmenti planted vineyards on the shores of Lake Garda and applied rosé winemaking techniques that he’d learned in France — the practice took hold, eventually earning the region one of Italy’s first DOC (Denominazione di Origine Controllata) designations in 1968.

Chiaretto Reveals Aromatics and Minerality

Chiaretto captures with aromatics. As soon as the cork is out, fresh citrus and herb blossoms waft. Flowing freshness, a touch of spice, mineral qualities and round citrus flavors make Chiaretto bright, clean and vigorous. Grown on hills combed by ancient glaciers, the soil around Lake Garda is ripe with Alpine soil.


Chiaretto and Monte Veronese cheese. Credit: Paola Giagulli

Chiaretto, as the title indicates, goes with anything. The juicy citrus generosity makes this a wine that’s fine without food, but herbal summer flavors would be delightful. Basil gremolata or chimichurri come to mind, as do grilled veggies and chicken. Mild cheese, a handful of olives, anything dusted with a bit of crunchy fleur de sel — these all would be charming with Chiaretto.

Chiaretto To Try

To experience Chiaretto, look for bottles such as Poggio Delle Grazie Bardolino Chiaretto DOC, which is grown on the Veronese pergola system, in which the structure is adjusted to match the map of the land. Another bottle for your table is Villa Cordevigo Chiaretto which is grown in the organic vineyards on the gorgeous grounds of five-star Villa Cordevigo.

rosé or rosato? what is rosato?

Chiaretto to try this summer. Credit: Jill Barth

Italian Food Wine & Travel

Join me and my fellow writers in the #ItalianFWT group to discover even more about Chiaretto di Bardolino on Twitter, Saturday, July 7 at 10 am central time. Find us on Twitter with the hashtag and then follow up with our magazine-style collection of stories about Chiaretto:

Jennifer at Vino Travels will share “Lake Garda says Hooray for Rosé with Chiaretto”

Mike at Life At Table will share “Rosé Fatigue? Try Chiaretto”

Our host, Li at The Wining Hour will share “Chiaretto Classico and Grilled Shrimp”

Camilla at Culinary Adventures with Cam will share “Chiaretto Poured with Local Catches”

Gwen at Wine Predator will share “The Key to Italian Rose? Chiaretto!”

Lynn at Savor the Harvest will share “An Italian Surprise You must get to Know #ItalianFWT”

Wendy at A Day in the Life on a Farm  will share “A Rosé By Any Other Name”

Here at L’Occasion we share “Chiaretto Goes With Everything: Italy’s Versatile Rosé Wine”

Katarina at Grapevine Adventures will share “A Chiaretto is always a Chiaretto … a Valtenési not Bardolino #ItalianFWT”

Lisa at The Wine Chefwill share “Easy Quinoa Salad Paired With Chiaretto, A Delightfully Dry Italian Rosé”

David at Cooking Chat will share “Discovering Chiaretto Rosé Wine and Food Pairings”

Jane at Always Ravenous will share “Farmers’ Market Pasta with Chiaretto di Bardolino”

12 thoughts on “Chiaretto Goes With Everything: Italy’s Versatile Rosé Wine

  1. Jill, first, I must say that I love your site. I am blown away each time I visit! I’ve taste both of those Chiarettos and they are excellent expressions of the region. I can’t say that I’ve paired them with cheese yet, but I will explore that next! Merci.


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