Italy is really the supreme when it comes to food and drink, isn’t it? We could talk for hours about our favourite Italian dishes but what about wine? Well, Italy certainly as some impressive wines as well let’s take a look at them in more detail, shall we?
If there is one country that can rival France in wine it would be Italy. Italy actually beats France when it comes to total wine consumption and with a history dating back 4000 years, there is a lot to unpack and look at.
Some of the first Ancient Greek settlers in Italy actually called the country Oenotria which means land of vines so wine was already thriving in Italy before it actually became Italy. The climate of Italy is perfect for cultivating grapes which even thousands of years ago made Italy one of the leading countries in wine manufacture.
With the rise of Catholicism and the important symbolism of wine Italian manufacturers began to refine their methodology which was unfortunately undone due to the vine louse phylloxera outbreak which attacked many vineyards across Europe.
In an effort to rebuilt their wine industry quickly vineyards where quickly replanted although now it was more about quantity rather than quality. But don’t let this put you off because our story doesn’t end yet!
The Italian Wine Revolution
During the early 50’s Italy became very popular for its inexpensive wines which helped the countries wine industry bounce back from the problems caused by phylloxera. Cheap and cheerful was the name of the game and Italy’s wines proved very popular both in the country and outside of it.
However, cost-cutting was not going to ensure long-term survival which is why in the 1960’s a big shakeup of the Italian wine industry was needed. While the quantity over quality approach certainly worked out for a time the Italian wine industry realised stronger rules were needed to ensure Italian wines were of a high enough quality.
Which is why during the 1960’s a number of laws aimed at improving the quality of wine manufacture were introduced. These set the groundwork for the future of Italy’s wine industry and helped it grow into the leading force it is today.
Italy might have beaten France when it comes to total wine consumption but it hasn’t beaten France when it comes to the total production. Although it stands at a very respectable second place and to many wine connoisseurs Italy is often equal with France when it comes to quality.
So, if you’re a budding wine enthusiast then you need to check out some of the incredible Italian wines available. And thankfully because of their popularity, you don’t need to go to Italy to do this as many Italian wines are sold all around the world. Let’s take a look at some of the more popular choices in more detail.
Italian Wines Today
Italy like France and many other countries splits its wines into the regions it is produced in. There are a total of 20 different wine regions in Italy and it is highly likely that anyone who has ever had a glass of wine or two as tried some Italian wine in the past as it is very popular.
Italian wine comes in many forms from cheap table bottles to incredibly expensive more prestigious ones. So, whatever your budget you’ll be sure to find an Italian wine for you, some of the most notable wine regions are Veneto, Apulia, and Sicily these are usually the top three regions when it comes to production and popularity.
Although regions like Tuscany and Piedmont have got the best reputation when it comes to high-quality more prestigious wines. But like I said earlier there really is something for everyone when it comes to Italian wines from fruity reds, sparkling whites, rich fortified wines and much more.
Below I’ve listed some of Italy’s most popular wine brands so if you’re looking for a place to start try these out.
Luce Della Vite
It’s a Tuscan wine and that means high-quality but thankfully Luce Della Vite is also one of the more affordable Italian wine brands well, at least some of the wines bearing this label are. My advice is to try their amazing range of red wines which have a fruity flavour with hints of mixed berries, they also have a dark and somewhat chocolatey aroma. It’s an unusual blend but it really works!
Their sweet Prosecco wines are the perfect pallet cleanser with its high acidity and citrus fruit flavour. La Marca is a great dinner party wine and while they have a variety of different options under their brand their sparkling wines are without a doubt their most popular.
A stronger flavour awaits with some of Damilano’s most popular wines! Many of their wines focus on having a more spicy flavour and aroma with cherries, oak, and even tobacco leaves being in the main blend. Damilano might be a little more niche to some people but if you’re looking for a distinct and memorable flavour it’s a great choice.
So, that’s a look into Italy’s thriving wine industry and you’ve now got some examples to look out for and try! Italy is France’s closest rival when it comes to wine and it’s always exciting to see what will happen next with their historic wine industry.