How to Read an Italian wine label
Supple Wine demonstrates how to read an Italian wine label. Reading an Italian wine label can be tricky because in Italy there are more grape varieties grown than the rest of the world put together. The first thing to note on a wine label is the producer. Then, note the vintage year. Research what years are good for the different regions. Then, see the name of the wine like Chianti Classico. Chianti is a region within Tuscany. There are sub regions within Chianti that have specific characteristics to them. Chianti Classico is the center core and is a better quality. A note like Reservo is a legally defined term that means the wine was aged for a certain amount of time. It usually means it's better and it always means it'll be more expensive. Old world wines like Italian wines won't put the grape type on the bottle whereas new world wines like California wines will. In the old world wines, getting a certain style of wine is more important than the grapes used. Wines will also have certain seals to denote the region where they came. The rooster marks the wine as Chianti Classico. The pink strip on the neck of the bottle means that the wine has a guarantee by the government. The label will also tell you the volume and the alcohol content. The import label may tell you more about the wine.