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Does Italian wine confuse you?

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When you go into a wine store and are looking to buy a bottle of wine from Italy, you might be somewhat confused on what is a good bottle to buy from this region. I have a advantage over most people because I am a trained chef and have studied wine in detail, so I would like to share a little of what I know. There are 20 regions of wine makers in Italy and four classification systems of Italian wine:

•Vino da Tavola- This is table wine and does not follow current wine law
•Indicazione Geografica Tipica (IGT) - This is for newer winemakers
•Denomizazione di Orgine Controllata (DOC) - This is for older winemakers
•Denominazione di Orginie Controllata e Garantita (DOGC) - This is also for older winemakers

You can write an entire book on just the grapes of Italy as there are over 350 types of grapes that are used in making Italian wine; however, they are broken up into two different categories:
•Rosso (red)
•Bianco (white)

They also have your standard wines that you most likely have heard of as well such as the pinot noir and merlot. Some groups of Italian wine such as the Super Tuscans change things in a way that do not fit into the above categories of wine. In Italy, the above wine makers such as the DOGC and the others have a 600-year-old tradition of making wine and know what grapes should be mixed with what grape. The Super Tuscans have started taking the 350 grape varieties and mixing them like they have not been mixed before. They have been so successful at it that the Italian wine accreditation board broaden the rules of the Vino da Tavola wines, so that they could fit into the category.

So if you are looking for a well-aged Italian wine then a good recommendation is to go with a DOC or a DOGC wine. If you want to drink a good wine and have a few extra dollars, go with a IGT wine. If you want to try something new, try a Super Tuscan wine.

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