How to plan the Italian aperitivo with Vedovona

How to plan the Italian aperitivo with Vedovona

Foto che riprende due calici di vino con una bottiglia, la Vedovona, rifermentato in bottiglia, 100% Malvasia Aromatica di Candia, rifermentato in bottiglia/metodo ancestrale.


Ahhhhhhhh, the italian aperitivo.

A moment that italians do await. For some, it’s the highlight of the day ๐Ÿ˜…

Whether it’s after work, on a Friday, or any day of the week, whether it’s between two people or more, whether it’s a light dinner or just a glass of wine, aperitivo it’s in our blood.

Aperitivo, for italians, it’s a way of living.

But do you know how and when the aperitivo was born?


But first, let me introduce myself!

I am Alessandra, wine hospitality manager at Cantina Il Poggio. I’m part of the marketing and communication team, and among other things, I’m responsible for writing articles for our blog.

Cantina Il Poggio’s blog is the reference point for all wine enthusiasts in Parma and its surroundings.

Here, we not only explore the most exclusive wine and food events organized at the winery, but we also offer you a educational contents into the world of wine.

You’ll discover various articles ranging from the latest trends in winemaking, suggestions for gastronomic pairings, to interviews with sommeliers and local producers. An ideal place to enrich your passion for wine and stay updated on industry events and news.

In this article, I want to propose to you how to plan the Italian aperitivo with Vedovona as the main protagonist. For those who still don’t know, Vedovona is our bottle-refermented Malvasia di Candia Aromatica, perfect to enjoy in these early spring days ๐ŸŒท

History of the Italian Aperitivo

Do you know how and when the aperitivo was born?

The Italian aperitivo has roots dating back to the 19th century, but it gained significant popularity in the 20th century.

The idea of having a drink before a meal is not an Italian invention, but the aperitivo as we know it today has become a distinctive Italian institution.

Officially, Italian aperitivo, as a formal practice, is believed to have originated in Turin around 1786, with the invention of the first modern vermouth by the pharmacist Antonio Benedetto Carpano.

He created a wine flavored with herbs and spices, and vermouth became an essential ingredient for many cocktails and drinks.

However, the Italian aperitivo as a social event became popular mainly during the 20th century. During this period, Italian cities saw the emergence of numerous bars and cafes offering patrons the opportunity to meet before dinner to enjoy a light drink and snacks.

Milan, in particular, played a significant role in the development of the Italian aperitivo culture, with many people meeting in its elegant lounges to socialize before dinner.

The Italian aperitivo is not just a tradition, but above all, a social moment, an opportunity to socialize with friends and relax after a day of work.

A perfect time to arrange a romantic date, but still without too much commitment ๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ˜˜ It can include a wide range of drinks, such as spritz, prosecco, negronis, wines, beers, and non-alcoholic options, accompanied by a variety of snacks, such as olives, cold cuts, cheeses, chips, and much more.

But here at Cantina Il Poggio, we prefer to organize and enjoy higher-quality aperitivos, both in terms of beverages and gastronomic offerings, and this is where our Vedovona comes into play.

Vedovona (the big widow, ndt)

Vedovona was born at Cantina Il Poggio in 2018, thanks to the intuition of a young collaborator who suggested to our winemaker, Luca, to produce a bottle-refermented wine.

He brought a bottle to the cellar for Luca to taste, and slowly Luca became convinced and designed Vedovona.

The first year was a success, so much so that it prompted Luca to also produce Vedova Nera (the black widow), a rosรฉ version of Vedovona, based on 100% Barbera.

And so, the couple Vedovona and Vedova Nera was born, whose names are inspired by a very amusing anecdote.

Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, Salsomaggiore Terme was nicknamed the “City of Widows.”

Ladies came from all over northern Italy to take advantage of the thermal and spa treatments, and sometimes they were indeed widows, sometimes they purposely removed their wedding rings ๐Ÿ˜…

Two days later, Salsomaggiore was filled with gentlemen, specifically looking to console widows ๐Ÿ˜‰

The labels of our two bottle-refermented wines were hand-drawn by a graphic designer, who was asked to depict something that would evoke sympathy and stand out from the classicism of our other bottles.

I’d say she succeeded in her aim!

Vedova Nera e Vedovona - rifermentati in bottiglia di Cantina Il Poggio di Salsomaggiore Terme

What to pair with Vedovona for an Italian aperitivo

Certainly, savory snacks, breadsticks, and olives are the first two things to put on the table. I recommend opting for something artisanal and made with sourdough.

Parmigiano Reggiano, aged between 24-36 months, is definitely the best match with Malvasia Aromatica di Candia, a typical grape of the hills of Parma and Piacenza.

Moreover, in May, the Malvasia Festival will be held in Sala Baganza, in the province of Parma, in the splendid setting of the Rocca di Sala, which you can learn more about here.

๐Ÿ’ก(By the way, inside the Rocca di Sala, you’ll also find the Wine Museum, part of the Parma Food Museums association of the Food Valley, a museum worth visiting if you happen to be around here).

The king of the Italian aperitivo with Vedovona is certainly the Parmigiano Reggiano from Azienda Agricola Iris, one of our most trusted collaborators and suppliers. You cand find their e-shop here.

Another suggestion could be a savory muffin, choosing the type of vegetable, typically asparagus or the first seasonal zucchini.

Extra suggestions

Also, a board of pecorino cheese from tuscany would be nice, of different aging stages, to accompany everything else.

The honey, in the center of the board, is definitely the cherry on top ๐Ÿ˜‰ We recommend Casa Pietra honey.

Aldo, the producer, leaves his hives here in our vineyard in the spring, to let them flutter among the rows. He kindly provides us with a small amount of honey to offer in tasting to our guests.

Another simple yet impactful idea? Italian bruschettas with extra virgin olive oil, preferably Tuscan oil because it’s among the most floral, less aggressive.



I hope that with this article, I have provided you with some innovative ideas for hosting an impressive Italian aperitivo.

For us at Cantina Il Poggio, it’s important to promote the gastronomic products of our region and our wines, just like our Vedovona.

You can try many of these pairings directly here at the winery by participating in one of the numerous events we organize monthly.

๐Ÿ’กFinal tip

Vedovona is a sparkling white wine that undergoes aging on lees. As time passes, the longer it stays on the lees, the more aromatic notes it imparts to the wine.

In sommelerie, we associate those aromas to baked goods. The wine become increasingly more complex and it starts to express it own personality.

I recommend purchasing it, anticipating that one or two bottles can remain in the cellar, on the shelf, for a few months. If not years.


Enjoy your tasting!