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The Basics Of Italian Wine

Updated on October 27, 2009

The richness and beauty of Italian culture is very often a source of awe for many people around the world. It truly does seem that this country is charmed. It would appear that everything in Italy is touched with beauty so exquisite you can't help but stare in wonder. From the arts, to the beaches, to the sculptures, and even their food, all things Italian bespeak of cultured elegance and excellence. So it comes as no surprise that Italian wine is one of the finest and best-tasting in the world. Take that, France and California!

A lot of people are intimidated by wine and Italian wine especially. Perhaps it is the foreign labels, or the seemingly snotty classifications of the wine. Either way, too many average people shy away from Italian wine when they see it. It would be a shame, though, to eat an Italian meal without Italian wine. For Italians, it is almost inconceivable to have authentic Italian meals without wine. One is incomplete without the other. Much like a match made in heaven, Italian wine and food bring out the best in each other. The mingled taste of the rich Italian food and the crisp wine will burst in your mouth in an explosion of delightful flavors. If you would want to experience the flavorful experience of Italian wine, but have no idea how to go about it, perhaps you should first learn more about it.

Italians started producing wine more than 5,000 years ago when the ancient people squeezed juice out of grapes. The juice then fermented into wine. They liked what they tasted and never stopped producing it. Over the centuries, the Italians learned to perfect the art of wine-making, and they've proceeded to make their mark as one of the nations with the best tasting wine in the world.

There are generally two types of Italian wine: Table Wine and Higher-End Wine. Table wine is the less expensive kind of Italian wine. They could be either red or white. Table wine is best for regular dining. It is lighter than the higher-end wines, and is recommended for first-timers. The most popular table wines are Lambrusco, or the Chianti. These are Italian wines that perfectly complement Italian food.

Higher-end wines, on the other hand are exactly what the name implies: a higher-end of quality and exquisiteness. This kind of Italian wine is created with more attention to quality. Italians view wine-making as an art, and this kind of wine is an example of how exquisitely they can produce excellent wine. From the kind of vines planted, to the method of fermentation, higher-end Italian wine is produced with the knowledge that those who will partake of it have more discerning tastes. Thus, much detail goes into making it the right texture and in achieving that perfect 'frizzante' (Italian for slightly-sparkling). When it comes to creating high-end Italian wine, there are no limits in making it absolutely perfect.

Higher-end Italian wine can either be red or white, and is further divided into sub-categories: Super-Tuscans, Barolo and Barbaresco, Amarone, and Pinot Grigio.

There are so many ways to properly appreciate Italian wine. Whether it is through a normal Italian dinner or a classy wine-tasting affair, you can be sure that upon having a taste of the sweet nectar that is Italian wine, it will never disappoint.

Continued In: The Basics Of Italian Cookbooks

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    • Hal Licino profile image

      Hal Licino 8 years ago from Toronto

      Oh yeah! YUM! :)

    • Hmrjmr1 profile image

      Hmrjmr1 8 years ago from Georgia, USA

      Frascati a personal favorite of mine with red sauce meals..