Under Italian wine laws, Montepulciano d'Abruzzo must be composed of a minimum of 85% Montepulciano, with up to 15% of Sangiovese permitted to fill out the remainder of the wine. The wine must be aged for a minimum of five months prior to release with bottles labeled as Vecchio further aged a minimum of two years in wood barrels. All Montepulciano d'Abruzzo wines must have a minimum alcohol level of 12%. [Montepulciano d'Abruzzo can also be produced as a rose, which is usually labeled as Cerasuolo.]
Montepulciano d'Abruzzo is a deeply colored wine with notes of pepper and spice, usually aromatic, somewhat tannic and low in acid. It has been described as highly aromatic with earthy notes and blackberries with a thick, almost syrupy mouthfeel.
Montepulciano d'Abruzzo pairs well with red-sauce pasts and pizzas.
Cheeses that go well with Montepulciano d'Abruzzo include Asiago, Emmental, Fontina, Mozzarella, Parmigiano-Reggiano, Pecorino Romano, Pecorino Toscano, Provolone, Ricotta and Tomme de Savoie.