When it comes time to buy a good Italian wine and lot of people who are relatively new to wine will often make the mistake that the price of the wine is the main deciding factor when it comes to determining quality.
Don’t get us wrong, once you have accounted for your personal tastes the odds are that a more expensive wine will generally be of a high quality. After all, if it wasn’t then it would never be able to be sold at a higher price at all.
However, it is important to remember that price is not the only thing that denotes whether a wine is of a high quality and, in many cases, it is possible to buy a truly great Italian wine for relatively little money – assuming you know where to look and what to look for.
Here we look at a few of the ways that you can determine the quality of a wine beyond the price tag that it comes with. Who knows, this may even help you to find a cheaper vintage that is every bit as good as the more expensive wines that you are accustomed to buying.
The first sign of a truly great wine is whether or not it has its own identity. Many wines, especially those found on supermarket shelves, are perfectly serviceable for a quick drink but lose something because they are mass-produced to such a level that the heart and soul that may have gone into their production at one point has now been lost.
It is this heart and soul that every truly great wine possesses and finding it means that you have found a wine that has been made with pure passion.
In many cases this may require a little bit of research on your part. Find out about the company that have produced the wine that you are interested in and do a little bit of research on them. Check out their website and try to find out what their philosophy is when it comes to producing their wines. You will often find that the companies that are able to offer you a drink that sparkles with character and individuality are those that are run by family, who have a passions for the wine that they produce. Price is never as important as the heart and soul that goes into the wine, so make sure to search that out before making a purchase.
As surprising as it can be to a novice, the year that a wine was produced can often make an enormous difference in its quality. After all, each year the same type of wine is made using that year’s crop of grapes, so a good harvest or good growing conditions allows for a better wine, whereas unfavourable growing conditions can lead to a wine that was of high quality the year before dropping off in the present year.
This is an issue that affects every winemaker, from the highest down to the lowest, which means it is entirely possible that the highest-priced bottle on the market is going for so much based on reputation alone, rather than the quality of wine that the bottle actually holds.
As with discovering a wine’s identity, your best bet in this situation is to do a little research about the wine that has caught your eye and find out how good a year it had for the vintage that you are thinking of buying. There are many websites around the web, including our own, that will offer you an expert opinion on the quality of the wine in question, which you can then use to make a more balanced decision on your purchase.
Your Personal Taste
At the end of the day, wine is not entirely objective. You are always going to be swayed by your own personal tastes, preferences and opinions, which means that everybody has a different definition of what a truly great wine means to them.
This is no bad thing, however, as recognising your tastes means that you are in a better position to buy wines that suit those tastes and that you will find to be of a higher quality than other wines, regardless of their price tag.
The trick here is to actually pay attention to any bottle of wine that you drink that you thoroughly enjoy. Find out about the grape it was made with, so that you can search out other varieties that use the same grape or other producers that make the same type of wine. Find out about the company behind the wine so that you can make a note to explore their product line to see if you can find anything else of a similar level of quality.
Personal taste is never to be underestimated when it comes to wine, as what might be good for one may not be good for others. This extend to even the most basic choices between red and white wine and stretches further as you begin to understand what it is that makes your favourite wines great. Once you know that, you can apply that knowledge to finding other wines of a similar quality.
Those are just three of the ways that you can determine if a wine is of a high quality without ever even so much as glancing at the price tag. Always remember to do your research on a company to find out what makes them what they are and how much effort they put into the wines that they produce. Most Italian wine makers take a certain level of pride in what they do and a truly great wine will act as a reflection of their efforts, regardless of the price tag.
Combine that with your own personal tastes and you are sure to be able to find a bargain or two if you look around while having a good idea of exactly what you are looking for. Why not start off by perusing our website to find out what we recommend for your tasting pleasure.