Food - Drink
Why The Labels On Italian Wines Are So Important
While it's not a good idea to judge a book by its cover, you should most definitely judge a bottle of wine by its label. Here's how to interpret the information on the label of an Italian wine bottle, which contains crucial information about the wine inside.
Four things should be visible on an Italian wine label: the producer's name, the region, the classification, and the grape varietal. Region describes the region in which the wine's grapes were cultivated, varietal describes the grapes used, and the producer speaks for itself.
Classification is a bit more complicated, as it refers to Italy’s Denominazione de Origine Controllata (DOC), which comprises the region, method of growth, and national quality standards. Italian wines are classified into four DOC categories, from the lowest quality wines that don't meet government regulations to the finest grade wines that do.
The Vino da Tavola (VdT), or "table wine," is the lowest class of the DOC and has no specific region and is of a poorer grade. The next category is Indicazione Geografica Tipica (IGT) wines, which list a particular region but may not always adhere to the production guidelines and employ non-traditional grape varietals.
Denominazione di Origine Controllata (DOC) is the second highest classification and refers to wines that have met Italy’s strict rules of authenticity and are of high quality. Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (DOCG) is the highest classification given to Italian wines and signifies that the wines meet or exceed all government standards.