Wines for the Weekend — Canaletto

With 350 “authorised” grapes and at least 500 other more maverick varieties, understanding Italian wine isn’t easy. We can name about 10 (and we think we counted pinot grigio twice). So the idea of embarking on a little self-education was an intriguing prospect. Canaletto – named after the prolific Venetian painter – has produced a range of wines to showcase different Italian regions.

These three take you down from the north of the country (Venezie) to the heel of the boot (Puglia) stopping off at Montepulciano en route. Although these wines are more Thompson package tour than Abercrombie & Kent bespoke trip, they do give a very accessible way to taste a country.

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We’d recommend buying the range, getting some friends round and working through the lot – with plenty of pizza and antipasti on hand, of course. Tasting notes (we’ll keep this brief): the pinot grigio – light and fresh; the montepulciano — robust, fruity and good with cheese to soften it; Puglia — rich, dark fruits that stand up to steak.

Canaletto Pinot Grigio Delle Venezie, £6.50 at Waitrose www.waitrose.com; Canaletto Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, £6.50 at Sainsbury’s www.sainsburys.co.uk; Canaletto Primitivo di Puglia, £6.50 at Waitrose www.waitrose.com