It’s safe to say that the Italians know how to produce great wine and the wonderful Italian custom is to drink wine with dinner in preference to soda or beer.
They are spoilt for choice with hearty, full-bodied reds, fruity light whites or for a special celebration, a sparkling Spumante. So when you visit Italy, spend time trying some of the fabulous Italian wines and immerse yourself in this fabulous Italian tradition during your stay.
Italy’s beautiful climate of Mediterranean sun tempered by cool sea breezes is ideal for viticulture and the country can be split into 20 different wine producing regions, from coastal areas to foothills and mountains, each producing a different grape resulting in a diverse array of wines. Italian wine is the most exported in the world, and the country ranks third after Spain and France regarding the number of hectares of land devoted to growing grapes.
Italy has a classification system for its wines to guarantee they are from the region stated on the label. DOC (denominazione di orogine controllata) means the original location of the wine is certified or DOCG which includes a garantita or guarantee. So if you want to try out wine from a specific region, ensure it is labeled DOC or DOCG. Alternatively tease your taste buds with the following affordable wines:
Northern Italian Wines
Trentino–Alto Adige is the most northerly wine-producing region in Italy. Try a great white from the area, the 2005 J. Hofstätter Pinot Bianco. It has a medium body with a nectarine and peach scent. The Veneto region in the north east of Italy is where the uncomplicated, rustic 2006 Cavalchina Bardolino red is produced. It is light bodied, with tart cherry flavors and a great accompaniment to meals.
Central Italian Wines
Tuscany produces Chianti Classico. Try a 2004 Castello di Gabbiano Chianti Classico Riserva which is a vibrant burgundy and is bold and spicy on the palate. A nice white Tuscan wine is the 2005 Gualdo del Re Eliseo Bianco which shows nice floral aromas, and well balanced acidity and fruit.
Southern Italian Wines
From the Campania region hails the 2004 Vesevo Beneventano Agloianico red made from the black-skinned Aglianico grape found in the south. It has dense, spicy flavors with a vanilla essence and aromas of red fruit. From the same region comes the white 2006 Terredora DiPaolo Falanghina which has a zesty flavor on the palate with a nice finish.
The other option during your Italy tour is to join an organized wine tasting session. Here you will be able to sample a variety of exceptional Italian wines under the guidance of an expert who will explain their bouquets and aromas. You will also be offered first rate regional cheeses, salami, hams and other tasty appetizers, and will learn how to choose the right wine to complement the food. In addition to having the opportunity to try the wines, the experts will discuss the background of the wines and the region from where they originate.
Wine tasting sessions are available in the main cities such as Rome, Venice and Florence so you can easily incorporate this into your itinerary.
The Italians believe that wine in all its hues and flavors is nectar for the gods. So if you too want to sample the delights of Italian wine, make sure you revel in some wine tasting when you are there, salute!