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Italian Wine: Incredible Diversity at all Price Points

Italian wine is among the most popular in the world for many reasons, but the sheer range of styles, grape varieties, and producers are undoubtedly some of the most important ones. The best part about Italian wine is that no matter how much of an expert you become, there’s always more to learn.

What is Italian wine?

Italian wine is any wine that’s grown and produced in Italy. But to discuss Italian wine as a single wine style is impossible because Italy is home to an astoundingly diverse range of wine styles.

What are the different wine-producing regions in Italy?

There are 20 official regions in Italy, and excellent wine is produced in all of them. They are: Piemonte, Aosta Valley, Lombardia, Liguria, Trentino - Alto Adige, Friuli - Venezia Giulia, Toscana, Veneto, Emilia-Romagna, Le Marche, Lazio, Umbria, Molise, Sardinia, Sicily, Calabria, Campania, Basilicata, Puglia, and Abruzzo.

What popular wine style is Italy known for?

Italy is known for a wide variety of wine styles, but the most famous is the food-friendly Italian red wine that has become a sort of calling card for the nation as a whole (Chianti is a good example). Dry, crisp Italian white wine is growing in popularity, too. Italian sparkling wine, like Prosecco (sometimes called Prosecco wine) and Franciacorta, is beloved all over the world (just don’t call them Italian champagne, because Champagne is only produced in Champagne, France). The best Italian wine is impossible to narrow down — there are just too many great ones for that.

What are good Italian wines?

There are so many, but Barolo and Barbaresco are perennial favorites, as are Chianti and Super-Tuscans. And the rich, ripe reds of Sicily are coming on strong. Amarone is popular, too.

What is the best wine in Italy?

As always, the best wine is the one that you love the most. But some of the most prestigious wines in Italy are Gaja Barbaresco, Giacosa Barolo, Biondi Santi Brunello di Montalcino, Tignanello, Ornellaia, and Masseto.

What is Italian white wine called?

Italian white wine is called vino Bianco.

What is the king of Italian wines?

Barolo boasts the nickname “the king of Italian wines.” Barbaresco, also from Piemonte (or Piedmont), and also made from the Nebbiolo grape variety, is often referred to as “the queen of Italian wines.”

What is the best Italian white wine style?

This is a matter of personal preference, but white Super-Tuscans, like Ornellaia Bianco, are increasingly popular. Verdicchio, Trebbiano, Arneis, and Chardonnay are also great. Pinot Grigio is, of course, a massive star in the Italian wine world. And Moscato d’Asti is widely beloved for its sweet sparklers.

What is a good sweet wine for beginners?

Moscato d’Asti, produced from the Moscato grape variety around the town of Asti in Piemonte, is extremely popular for its sweet fruit, honeyed notes, and a subtle whiff of flowers. The fact that it’s lower in alcohol than most wines, and gently sparkling, make it a fantastic option.

Which Italian wine is best for beginners?

Anytime you begin exploring a country’s wine culture, it’s smart to taste examples from throughout it to get a complete picture of what that country is capable of. In Italy, that means looking for wines from the north, central, and southern parts of the country, from coastal regions and mountainous ones, and produced in white, pink, and red styles. With Italy, you don’t need to spend a fortune to purchase a wonderful array of wines.

How do you serve Barolo?

Barolo is best served in a large-bowled wine glass at slightly cooler than room temperature. This means that if you don’t store your wine in a wine fridge, it’s a good idea to put the bottle of Barolo in a standard kitchen refrigerator for 15 minutes or so, which will add a slight chill to the wine and make the fruit seem much fresher and more vibrant.

Is Barolo a dense wine?

No, it’s not. People often assume that Barolo is going to be a heavy wine because of its reputation for longevity, but that’s not the case. Barolo is often lighter in color than, say, a Napa Cabernet, and while it is structured by pronounced acidity and tannin, it lacks the sense of heaviness that many of the most famous wines in the world possess.

Browse our full selection of Italian wine online or check out our selection of highly-rated Italian wine for a great new wine to try this week!

Want to learn more about Italian wine?

Visit our Guide to Italian wine to learn more about wine from Italy.