What are the different types of labeling a consumer might encounter when considering Italian wine for purchase.
Italian wine has long been a subject of much mystery and trepidation for wine consumers. The system of labeling wines used in Italy can be a minefield of confusing terms, grapes, and places. This has had a slowing effect on sales in the United States and will continue to do so until the wine-consuming public can become more educated on the subject. Please provide a brief synopsis of Italian wine labels and the information they contain.
Italian wine labels contain much of the same information found on American labels with a few added features. The first reference is an excellent primer on the Italian wine label, showing a typical wine label and locating/identifying and explaining each piece of information found on the label.
The basic information to be found on Italian wine labels is as follows:
Grape Growing Region
Estate (wine producer)
Government Classification (based on production volume and wine quality) Examples of govt. classification are Vdt, DOC, DOCG.
Knowing this information may still leave doubts in you mind when choosing an Italian wine, especially since there are over 2,000 varieties of Italian wine grapes and 37 Italian wine growing regions. So you will have to learn through the recommendations of others, or by experimentation.
The second reference is a beginner’s guide to Italian wine. It is helpful in understanding the names of grape varieties, and qualities of the wine regions.