Cinzano Gran Dolce - Spumante Sweet
Independent Winemaker Certification
- Pale Green
Moon Cake, Beijing Rolling Donkey
Lemon Tart, Apple Pie, Scallops
This country has about as many wines as its had governments. With 20 different regions, hundreds of DOCs and even more indigenous varieties, the amount of wine made in Italy is mind-boggling. Most of the juice, however, remains in the country for thirsty Italians. Wine is food in Italy and its rare that a meal is consumed without a glass of vino. That said, it's not common to find many folks drinking wine without food either. In turn, it's a match, and a mighty good one at that. In fact, it's safe to say that Italian wine is a foodie wine – one that goes on the table for a myraid of meals.
For regions, the most popular are Tuscany (home of Chianti), Piedmont and the Tre-Venezie, which includes Veneto, Trentino Alto-Adige and Friuli. Other communes of note are in Southern Italy, and a few good wines are made elsewhere in the country. The islands of Sardinia and Sicily are members of the Italian winemaking community as well. Presently, there are 120 IGT zones, 311 DOC plus 32 DOCG appellations. It has four classes of wine:
- Vino da Tavola - The appellation indicates either an inferior quaffing wine. Some quality wines do carry this appellation.
- Indicazione Geografica Tipica (IGT) - Denotes wine from a more specific region within Italy.
- Denominazione di Origine Controllata (DOC) – The zone is more specific than in IGT, and the permitted grapes are also better defined.
- Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (DOCG) - The wine must pass a blind taste test for quality in addition to conforming to the strict legal requirements of the area.