For most of its history, Soave was produced in a medium-bodied style that was often compared to Chardonnay, except with a distinct bitter almond note, some producers even began blending in Chardonnay and aging the wine in small oak barrels. In the 1980s and 1990s, production methods shifted to producing lighter and crisper styles that were closer to Pinot Grigio than Chardonnay; at the turn of the 21st century, however, production trends were shifting towards a Soave that better reflected its own character and that of the Garganega grape.
Basic Soave is never aged and can come from anywhere in the Soave denomination, which was greatly expanded in the 1970s. A step up in quality is Soave Classico, wine that comes from the original, smaller Soave zone on the steep hills above the towns of Soave and Monteforte d'Alpone. An even greater step up in quality is the Soave Classico Superiore, which must be aged eight months before release.
Soaves being produced today can be described as light-bodied and straw-colored wines that exhibit fresh, fruity notes.
Soave pairs well with fish and shellfish, baked or poached with a savory sauce or fried, and seafood pasta, polenta, pesto, risotto, savory soups and vegetable dishes.
Cheeses that go well with Soave include Brie and Camembert (without rinds), Colby, Cheddar (mild), Fontina, Gouda, Manchego, Monterey Jack, Mozzarella, Provolone, Triple Creme, St. Andre and Zamarano (Spanish sheep-milk cheese).