Cabernet Sauvignon is a hybrid of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, and one of the most popular wine grapes in the world. Cabernet Sauvignon has a long history in Italian wines, being first introduced to the Piedmont region in 1820. In the past century, Cabernet Sauvignon has enjoyed a swell of popularity as one of the noble grapes in the world of wine.

Chardonnay has a long history in Italy. By the late 20th century, more concentrated efforts were put into identifying Chardonnay and making pure varietal versions of the wine. By 2000, it was Italy's fourth most widely planted white wine grape. Most Chardonnay plantings are located in the northern wine regions, and in Veneto it is often blended with Garganega to give more weight and structure to the wine.

Pinot Grigio is also known as Pinot Gris, and plantings can be found in the Lombardy region around Oltrepo Pavese and in Alto Adige, Italy's northernmost wine region. The grape is also prominent in the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region. The grapes grow in small clusters (hence the pinecone shape). Wines made from the Pinot Grigio vary greatly and are dependent on the region and wine making style they are from. The Pinot Grigio style of Italy is a light-bodied, often lean wine that is light in color with sometimes spritzy flavors that can be crisp and acidic. Italian Pinot Grigio comes from a special Denominazione di Origine Controllata (DOC) region called Delle Venezie DOC. This region includes provinces of Veneto, Friuli-Venezia-Giulia and Trentino.

Merlot is a dark blue-colored wine grape that is used as both a blending grape and for varietal wines. Merlot's low acidity serves as a balance for the higher acidity in many Italian wine grapes with the grape often being used in blends in Veneto, Alto Adige and Umbria. Merlot-based wines usually have medium body with hints of berry, plum, and currant. Merlot is also one of the most popular red wine varietals in many markets. This flexibility has helped to make it one of the world's most planted grape varieties.

Chianti is any wine produced in the Chianti region, in central Tuscany. For a wine to retain the name of Chianti, it must be produced with at least 80% Sangiovese grapes. The Chianti region covers a vast area of Tuscany and includes within its boundaries several overlapping Denominazione di Origine Controllata (DOC) and Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (DOCG) regions. Chiantis tend to have medium-high acidity and medium tannins. The acidity in the wines makes them very flexible with food, particularly with Italian cuisines that feature red sauce, as well as beef, lamb and game.

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