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Introduction to wine: Everything you need to know before buying a bottle of wine

Tradizione Italiana vino Wine


Wine is one of the oldest tools of sharing and social aggregation ever.

The pleasure of enjoying an excellent lunch, shared with loved ones, is always accompanied by a bottle of wine that has always created conviviality, sharing, and union. We like to use this quote from Clifton Fadiman, who is the best in expressing the value of wine in society:

"A bottle of wine begs to be shared; I have never met a miserly wine lover. "(cit.)

Wine, as we have already said, is a pleasure, is love, is sharing, but many times wine is also stress. We all found ourselves in a wine shop with the desire to buy a bottle of wine for a friend or relative, or for an event in particular, but with the knowledge that you are not good enough to choose the right bottle. Which brand? What is this abbreviation? What does it taste like?

And in fact, for those who are not in this sector, it can be complicated to choose a bottle of wine, and often get confused between the myriads of abbreviations and names that can be read on the bottle. With this article, we want to clarify and introduce you to the great world of wine. Italy is the world's home for wines and it is Italy that sets the rules in this sector. On labels in Italy, there are following classifications: V.D.T., I.G.T., D.O.C., and D.O.C.G. Let's see in more detail what each classification means and why are they important when choosing which wine to take.

  • Table Wine (VDT): these types of wines do not have any particular regulation, they can be composed of different types of grapes and different ages, and the producer does not have the obligation to report on the label the production year. The question arises: does table wines have poor quality? Not necessarily, just have in mind that many wineries prefer to indicate this denomination in order to create particular experiments and not be bound by the specifications of other classifications. Until 1984 Bolgheri Sassicaia fell into this category - a very famous wine from Tuscany (Livorno) that can cost over € 250 - this wine is under the DOC regulation.
  • Wine with Protected Geographical Identification (I.G.T.): these wines are obtained from certain grapes from well-identified territories that can also affect several regions and follow a specific discipline. On the label must always be reported the vine used and the year of production.
  • Wine of Controlled Origin (D.O.C): the wines marked with this abbreviation have a more restrictive regulation and an area of origin with more restricted grapes. In fact, for D.O.C. wines, we want to identify a product with characteristics attributable to a specific area of production with environmental and production factors typical for the place that characterize it.
  • Wines of Controlled and Guaranteed Origin (D.O.C.G): the wines identified with this symbol are considered to have a particular value. In fact, these wines have a much more restrictive discipline and detailed controls than the previous categories. Only grape varieties already recognized by D.O.C. and having that classification for minimum of five years, considered to have particular value in relation to the intrinsic characteristics linked to the history of the place and to the nature of the grape variety, can upgrade to D.O.C.G.

A personal piece of advice, especially for those who are about to purchase a bottle of wine for the first time, is to always focus on disciplinary wines (IGT, DOC, and DOCG) in order to buy a product with the right information on the label and to be sure that it has a supply chain behind it that guarantees its quality and origin.

Thank you very much for reading this article, I hope you enjoyed. Feel free to share it with friends who absolutely need to learn about wine purchases.

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