Wine connoisseurs regularly boast about their fine Italian wine collections and rightly so. Even if you’re not a connoisseur, by the end of this article you’ll be able to put your best Italian wine forward.
Italy is best known for its Moscato, Barolo, Chianti, and Soave; but there are numerous varieties just waiting to be enjoyed. Italy produces more wine than any other country and it produces the largest selection of wines. When you choose an Italian wine, even if you have no wine buying skills, the odds of finding a poor one are very slim so relax!
Wine from the Piedmont region provides red wines that are light bodied and refreshing. This is where the famous Barolo and Barbaresco wines come from.
The Barbera grape appears in full body reds. The Dolcetto grape is light bodied and distinctly dry. The Nebbiolo grape is responsible for the dry, full body wines of the area. The Moscato Bianco is the grape responsible for the sparkling white wines from the area.
And then there is the indulgence of Chianti from the Tuscany region. Chances are you’ve indulged in this lovely wine if you’ve ever dined in an Italian restaurant. The popular region wines include Chianti, Brunello, Vino Nobile di Monepulciano, and Vernaccia de San Giminagno.
The Sangiovese grape with its robust flavor is used in medium and full bodied red wines. Vernaccia is the grape of choice for a variety of sweet and dry white wines.
You can order wines from Italy in any color, style, or flavor; but if you want to be sure you are choosing a good Italian wine look for the DOCG classification. This doesn’t guarantee a better tasting wine, it just indicates level of quality that’s been maintained for at least 5 years which puts the odds in your favor.
Remember this easy rule of thumb. Reds go with red meats and whites go with white meats. It’s a simple rule that goes a long way in helping choose a wine for your meal.
Italians strictly regulate their wines within four classification from tightly regulated superior wines to lenient regulations and creative innovation. The are as follows:
1. DOCG is the strictest of the regulation levels. Output yield is regulated; the wine’s composition is analyzed; there is a minimum alcohol content; and there are minimum aging periods.
2. DOC is the qualification of all quality wines. Output yield is regulated; origin is regulated; there is a minimum alcohol content; there are minimum aging periods; and grape variety is regulated.
3. IGT is classified as excellent value for the cost. There are less quality restrictions, as well as wider territories; and grape ratios are not regulated.
4. Table Wine is the wine that is consumed on a daily basis in Italy. It includes some of the most expensive wines and some of the least expensive wines. The level of alcohol is regulated and so are the wine making techniques.
That’s it. Now wasn’t that simple? You are on your way to being a connoisseur of Italian wine!