Italians have successfully planted a lot of dominant international varietals. However if you are truly interested in tasting the best Italian wine, then it is the country’s local wine which offer the true flavor of Italy. Italian wines taste really good when they are aged. It is a daunting task for non Italians to completely understand the wine label and pick up a good wine. For beginners it is important that you understand the basic classification of Italian wine.
The classification system has 4 categories:
DOCG: represents the highest quality. There are literally hundreds of first class Italian wines to choose from.
DOC: It is equivalent to the French classification AOC. They should adhere to certain rules defined by government. The grapes should be grown in predefined areas and they should be prepared according to certain rules in order to preserve the unique wine characters.
IGT: This is used for table wines. Those under this category are more of the local one’s. Some first class wines also fall in this specific category in order to avoid the stringent rules of DOC and DOCG.
Vdt: The one’s in this class are from lower end, and these are mostly the table wines produced at certain region of the Italy.
Now that you know what the Italian labels mean we can proceed on how to pick up a good Italian wine. If you are looking for a cheap but good Italian wine then you should pick up from the IGT category. There are some good table wines which go especially well with Italian foods. If you are planning for Friday night lasagna, then these one’s are the best choice. Table wines tend to be bit sweeter, light bodied and very compatible even for the first time drinkers.
If you are looking for something expensive, then the sky is your limit. The varied terrain and ever changing climate in Italy has led the Italians to produce nearly 2000 varieties of wines. The most famous ones are the super Tuscans. The super Tuscan family comprises of the Sangiovese mostly blended with the Cabernet Franc, or Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot or Syrah giving rise to a wide variety of wines. These are bit expensive but offer an exotic flavor and taste.
The other higher end Italian wines include the Amarone, the Barolo and Barbaresco, the Pinot Grigo. These wines have their unique aroma and taste and are probably few of the best wines which the Italians have to offer to the world.