// Cuisine

24.02.2015 ITALIAN WINES: HOW TO SELECT



As promised in the post about Milano Food & Wine Festival today I am going to tell you how you should select Italian wines and what you should eat with this or that wine. In general the winemaking tradition in Italy numbers in the thousands of years – back to the time before Christ the ancient Romans were drinking wine during their famous revelries and over the past centuries the winemaking has developed and improved,

so in the 21-st century we can enjoy the best high quality Italian wines.

ITALIEN WINES: HOW TO SELECT

But how should we select wine and what should we eat with it? Let us sort it out; it is not that complicated as it may seem: in Italy and also in all Europe there is a strict wine classification which is necessarily marked on the label and if you know it you will easily determine the quality of wine.

Let us start with the lowest level in the classification:

Vino da tavola – table wine that is used in Italy preferably for cooking dishes. Only colour will be indicated on the label (rosso/red or bianco/white or type of wine: dry, sparkling and so on), this wine can be made of any grape variety and is not subject to any certification and undergoes quality control procedure only at the finished product stage. Correspondingly, the price is lowest.

ITALIEN WINES: HOW TO SELECT

If the label shows IGT or IGP- Indicazione di origine geograficatipica –then this is the wine classification meaning the geographical location (quite vast), i. e. the grape for making this wine should be from a certain geographical area of Italy and it is monitored, this wine undergoes stricter quality control procedures versus the table wine and correspondingly its price is higher. IGT wine price in the Italian supermarkets starts with €5 per bottle depending on, of course, the wine rate.

ITALIEN WINES: HOW TO SELECT

DOC – Denominazione di origine controllata – brand Italian wines, the entire winemaking process undergoes strict quality control procedures: starting from use of only the selected grapes from a certain geographical area, control and selection at the wine fermentation phase, and, of course, the finished product control to check if it meets specific standards. The price of the wine having DOC on the lable is surely higher versus the same wine having IGT.

ITALIEN WINES: HOW TO SELECT

DOCG - Denominazione di origine controllata e garantita – premium category of Italian wines is assigned only to the wines that already have DOC for not less than five years. The strictest standards and complete warranty of the premium quality. And the price is correspondingly heigh-ho!

ITALIEN WINES: HOW TO SELECT

Based on above, my adding would be the general quality of Italian wines on its own is already high – thanks to the favourable climate, soil and a lot of the sun. So it is from certain that IGT wine is less tasty and lower quality versus DOC wine, it is just matter of less number of control procedures and certifications.

What should you eat with wines? It is quite simple: white wines, usually slightly sour and with less alcohol content, are good with light meal, cheese, sea food and white meat or fish. The white wines are served at 6-10°С, i. e. chilled.

ITALIEN WINES: HOW TO SELECT

The seasoned red wines of more complicated flavour and higher alcohol content are best enjoyed with substantial meat courses (barbeque, yummy) and served (without fail!) at room temperature, about 18-20°C.

ITALIEN WINES: HOW TO SELECT

The golden mean is red sparkling wines (exactly Italy is considered the best producer of this wines), which are recommended generally with any dishes. The best temperature to serve the wines is about 14-16°C, i. e. not chilled.

ITALIEN WINES: HOW TO SELECT

And the last, but not the least is white sweet wines which speak for themselves: sure they are served chilled to accompany desert and sweets.

ITALIEN WINES: HOW TO SELECT

I intentionally give no wine titles here as there are thousands of them in Italy and listing all of them would be long and boring, and missing any of them would be undeserved. Please leave your comments, if you are interested in a specific wine or it will be even better if you visit my one-day wine and culinary tours from Milan where you will learn the production secrets and test the best Italian wines.

ITALIEN WINES: HOW TO SELECT

And those who wish to do business with Italian wine makers I can recommend the Monteverdi vini company, and Francesco Monteverdi, the company president, is my neighbour and a good friend of our family, so it will be my pleasure to help you with interpretation.

We are looking forward to you in Milan!

I thank my super-brother Alexey for the professional English translation.

 

 

 

 


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