The year the wine was produced will give a clue to what that wine will taste like. When it comes to tips on choosing an Italian wine, or any wine for that matter, the main thing to remember is that everyone will have his or her own tastes.
Hi. My name is Guido. I’m an Italian native, travel enthusiast and founder of Ciao Italy & Carrani Tours. In my previous posts, I have mentioned Italy’s love affair with good food. And for every dish, there’s a good Italian wine that will compliment it perfectly. However, with so much choice, choosing the right Italian wine can be tricky. So, I’ve put together some tips when choosing an Italian wine, to help you make the right choice on your Italian holiday, or even when you’re at home. Cin Cin!
Firstly – everyone has a different palate.
When it comes to tips on choosing an Italian wine, or any wine for that matter, the main thing to remember is that everyone will have his or her own tastes. Your palate is unique to you. For instance, you may like red, white or rose. You might also prefer light or heavier versions of wine. You might also like dry or fruity. Either way – you will decide what your preference is. This guide on Italian wine basics will just help you choose the right Italian wine for you and your palate.
Geographical area and traditional production methods
One of the main differentiating factors amongst Italian wines is the region in which it is produced. The region the Italian wine is produced in usually features in its name.
How the wine is produced will impact its quality – and for that reason the law protects Italian wines that are produced using traditional methods and recipes. Producers can ask the government for their Italian wines to be tested prior to bottling. This test determines that the wine has been produced in the region it says it has, and has used a traditional method and doesn’t contain any additives.
DOCG or DOC on the label
If the wine passes this test, it will be able to carry a specific label to say it has been tested and complies with the legal standards of quality and production of Italian wines.
The DOCG label shows the highest standard of quality. This means that the Italian wine has complied with tests on the producer’s output yield, grape variety, geographic authenticity, and alcohol content and ageing period. There aren’t that many DOCG Italian wines around!
A DOC label is the next highest acknowledgement of the wine’s quality. This means that the Italian wine has also passed the same kinds of tests, but these tests are less strict. For instance, the geographic zone they are testing on might be a little bigger, or the rules on the kind of grapes used might be a little more relaxed. Either way, it’s still a sign of a wine of great quality. And the good news is that these wines are much more common.
IGT on the label.
If one sees the term IGT on the label of Italian wine, then this is a sign that the wine has also gone through a testing process for quality. The IGT label was created after the DOCG and DOC labels were created and it usually signifies a wine whose producers couldn’t meet all the criteria of the DOC wines but were still producing great quality wines.
Price and quality.
I think you cannot go wrong with Italian wine. There is something to suit all palates and budgets. But before I finish this piece, I also wanted to explain what might impact the price variation on wines on the wine list.
To produce the best fruit, plants need space. So, a producer of good wine might not have too many plants on his or her ground, as this would affect the quality of the wine produced. So, it figures that this can affect the price of the final product.
Italy is known for its quality wines, so in my opinion, you cannot go far wrong with an Italian wine! But this will go some way to help you understand the difference in the price of wine. Whether that affects the perceived quality of the wine depends on your taste and palate!
The year of production.
The year the wine was produced will give a clue to what that wine will taste like. The year will be a clue to what the growing conditions were like for producers that year. What was the weather like that year in that particular region? Was it a good mix of rain and shine, or was it very wet or very hot and sunny? This will have a bearing on the wine. More sunshine than normal means that the wine can be sweeter or stronger in terms of alcohol levels. More rain than normal means the taste can be less strong. Your Sommelier will be able to guide you on that information.
Much like our food, Italian wine is fabulous and I’m sure you’ll enjoy finding which one you like best. At Ciao Italy & Carrani Tourswe love our Italian wine. So much so, we offer a number of food and wine related Italian tours and Italian vacations. If you would like us to help you plan your food and wine inspired trip to Italy, then please do get in contact with us at Ciao Italy & Carrani Tours.
In the meantime, you can peruse these tours, hopefully with a glass of Italian wine in hand!
If you would like more information like these tips on choosing an Italian wine – please do visit our blog at ciaoitalytours.com We always say that with us, your Italian tour or Italian vacations will be one you’ll never forget.