Many wine enthusiasts find joy in collecting finest Italian wines because of their goodness. Italy boasts about their numerous wine varieties it produces especially the best ones: Barolo, Chianti, Moscato, and Soave. As you choose an Italian wine, not having enough wine buying skills should not be a problem. Just read on this article to have a more guided Italian wine shopping.
Reading an Italian Wine List
If you plan to visit a wine cellar to shop for an Italian wine, a basic background of it may be helpful as most wine lists only emphasize the price, vintage, and producer without going into deeper details. Know how to decode the label of the wine you are eyeing on buy looking at these portions:
- The Producer. You will come across different wine producers; some wines are produced by one person only while there are those that are made by a cooperative such as Produttori del Barbaresco which composes of 56 members. Knowing what type of producer the wine has will somehow give you an idea if the wine is easy to find or rare.
- The Type of Wine. Most Italian wines are named after the region the grape variety is from. For example, a wine labeled Chianti Classico DOCG is from the sub-region of Chianti in Toscana that is made mostly of Sangiovese grapes. As soon as you find the region on the label, you can easily find more information on Google to know the type of wine better.
- From the 20 Italian wine regions in the country, there are different types of wine from different grape varieties being produced. Having a background of this will somehow help you decipher an Italian Wine list better.
- The Vintage. More often than not, the older the vintage is, the less prominent the tannin content is of the wine. Keep this general rule in mind.
Italy’s Different Wines
Piedmont – This region is known to produce red wines that are light bodied and refreshing just like Barbaresco and Barolo. This is also where pure Barbera grapes are mostly from. Barbera grapes are in full body reds while the Dolcetto ones are light bodied and dry. Nebbiolo grapes are also dry but full-bodied. Moscato Bianco, meanwhile, is the grape responsible for producing sparkling white wines from the region.
Tuscany – This region is known for its Chianti abundance. The famous region wines include Brunello, Chianti, Vernaccia de San Giminagno, and Vino Nobile de Monepulciano. Vernaccia is known for its sweet and dry wines while Sangiovese grapes are meanwhile known for their robust flavor usually used in medium and full bodied red wines.
Italian wines come in different color, flavor, or style. Now if you want to be sure that you are choosing the right Italian wine, the DOCG classification on the label will help you with it. Although the classification does not guarantee that the wine tastes better, it still indicates the level of quality the wine has maintained for at least five years and that already says a lot, right?
The Four Classifications of Wines
- This classification is known to be the strictest. The wine’s compositions are carefully examined and analyzed, the alcohol content is regulated at a specific level, and the aging periods have to conform with the minimum at least.
- This qualification is the one of all quality wines. The output is regulated as well as the origin. A minimum alcohol content is also required as well as minimum aging periods. Along with that, the grape variety is also regulated.
- This classification usually guarantees excellent value for the cost. The quality restrictions are less and the territories where the grapes should be from are wider. Grape ratios are also not being looked into.
- Table Wine. This classification is the simplest and yet it includes some of the most expensive wines in the country. The level of alcohol in this category is still regulated, and the wine making techniques are also regulated.
As long as you know the basics, your way to being a connoisseur of Italian wine is a shade brighter.