Umbria produces, other than the famous wine of Montefalco, also wines that are well linked with the flavoursome and also genuine cooking surviving through the centuries. Red wines and white winnes, these represent two grea sections in which that cooking may be divided: the meats and sweet water fish.
Between the red wines let us mention that of Colli Altotiberini (also in a rose-coloured version), which is produced from Sangiovese, Merlot and Tuscan Trebbiano (and/or Malvasia) grapes; which is produced in various counties of the province of Perugia, it is dry and goes well with dishes such as mazzafegati, fagioli con le cotiche etc., etc.
In the same zone there is produced also the Sangiovese Colli Martani for which the grapes used are 85% rigorously, Sangiovese, a very pleasant dry wine; if young it is slightly bitter, fruity, delicately herby. For this wine there is needed one year of aging and two years for the Riserva type. Excellent for spit-roasted meats used widely throughout the region.
The wine of Colli Perugini which is produced also in the province of Terni is made from, predominantly, Sangiovese grapes and which is added Montepulciano or Barbera or Merlot grapes; it is a full-bodied wine indicated to accompany game dishes. Aging is scheduled for three years - only for the Riserva.
There is also the red wine of Colli del Trasimeno made from the Sangiovese grapes and a maximum of 40% of Trebbiano, Ciliegiolo or Malvasia del Chianti grapes. This wine, dry and full-bodied, is served often with eels cooked on the embers of a fire (and - according to the experts - must never be with white wine!) and also with game and various roasts.
And lastly let us mention the Torgiano red made from the Sangiovese grapes mixed with a little Tuscan Trebbiano or Canaiolo. It is dry, not very bodied and accompanies well the famous gobbi and cheeses.
Of the white wines the most notable is certainly that of the Orvieto made, predominantly, with the Tuscan Trebbiano grapes, Grecchetto, Malvasia and Verdello. It is produced in various counties in the province of Terni. The classic type is produced by grapes resulting from the counties of oldest traditions, on the right and left of the river Paglia with its epicentre at Orvieto. It is a dry wine with a slightly bitter aftertaste; there exists also a semisweet type which is fruity. Obviously both the dry version and the semisweet accompny all fish dishes and starter courses of all types.
If this is the most famous white wine, we must not forget those of Colli Altotiberini, dry and pleasant, produced with at least 75% Tuscan Trebbiano and Malvasia del Chianti grapes.
Also the Colli Martani produces a white made nearly exclusively with Grechetto grapes, which may be dry or slightly semisweet, fruity with a slightly bitter after-taste.
Of a yellow, pale green colour, a little sourish, very characteristic is the Colli Martani Trebbiano made from the grapes of the Tuscan Trebbiano vines (that of Spoletino is acknowledged with a maximum of 15%) which is often offered with the zuppa di pesce.
Let us mention also the wine of Colli perugini - white and made by various counties in the province of Perugia principally with the grapes of the Tuscan Trebbiano vines (60-80%), Malvasia del Chianti and Verdicchio white; it is slightly fruity and rather dry and it is widely used throughout the region.
And lastly the white of the Colli del Trasimeno which is made from, predominantly, the grapes from theTuscan Trebbiano vines with Malvasia and Verdicchio added. It is dry and often accompanies fish dishes cooked in the pan, shellfish and fresh cheeses.