D.O.C.: Labeling law that determines the geographical area, type of grapes
used and aging requirements for wines.
D.O.C.G.: Same as D.O.C.,
but it is guaranteed one of Italy's best. There is only a hand- full
Vino de Tavola: Any wine from Italy that is not grown
within the D.O.C., often some of Italy's best and most expensive
Amarone: A wine that can stand prolonged aging. It is made
from selected grapes that are set out to dry for three months to
produce a rich, dry, and high alcohol wine. Barbaresco: A wine from Piedmont made from the Nebbiolo grape.
Barbaresco is typically more gentle and ready to drink earlier than
its cousin, Barolo. Barbera: These Piedmont wines made from the Barbera grape
take on the names of the towns where they are produced. They are
medium- bodied and fruity. Barolo: The king of wines, and the wine of kings. From the
Piedmont made from the Nebbiolo grape, these wines are rich in tannins
and alcohol with a wide range of flavors and aromas. Barolo can sometimes
benefit from extended period of aging. Brunello di Montalcino: This wine is produced from the Brunello grape,
which is a clone of Sangiovese. Brunello is highly concentrated & dry,
it is aged for four years in oak before it is released. Chianti: Chianti comes from the central region of Tuscany.
Chianti is made from primarily the Sangiovese grape. Classico indicates
that the wine comes from the oldest part of the region, while Riserva
indicates that the wine underwent 3 years of aging. Valpolicella: Made from the same grapes as Amarone, but is not dried
and is meant to be drunk young. It is one of Italy's best light wines,
displaying fruity cherry-like bouquet. Dolcetto D'Alba: A soft red from Piedmont, these wines are
meant to be drunk young and are often compared to Beaujolais from
the Burgundy region of France. Vino Nobile Di Montepulciano: Very similar to Chianti, but with a
bit more finesse.
Asti: One of the most popular sparkling wines in the world,
made from the Muscat grape. It is sweet and fruity and best served
very cold. Frascati: Made just outside of Rome, it is very light and
easy to drink. Gavi: Made from the Cortese grape, grown in the Piedmont region.
It is considered one of Italy's most promising white wines. Orvieto: A pale white made in one of two ways, dry and semi-
sweet. Made in Umbria, they tend to have a trace of honey and a velvety
texture. Soave: One of Italy's most well known white wines. Look for
wines labeled classico which tend to have more body and character. Pinot Grigio: Dry and fruity, it is one of Italy's best wines,
it is meant to be drunk young. It often displays citrus aromas and
flavors. Vernaccia: Michelangelo's favorite white wine. It was the
first white wine to receive D.O.C. status. When aged in oak, these
wines can take on similar characteristics to Chardonnay.