The sheer amount of variety on offer from Italian wine producers is one of the biggest advantages that the industry has over other countries.
No matter what region you look at, you’re going to find an amazing vintage somewhere.
But that sheer amount of variety also presents some problems…
How do you, as an erstwhile wine consumer, choose from the almost infinite number of Italian wines available?
Just take a look at the Xtrawine website and you’re going to see a few thousand vintages. And there are many more than we don’t sell.
How on Earth do you make a choice?
A lot of wine lovers feel so overwhelmed that they go with something familiar. Unfortunately, this means that they miss out on some amazing wines that they might have fallen in love with!
We don’t want that to happen to you. That’s why we’ve compiled this list of tips to help you make a new wine choice.
Tip #1 – Look at Your Old Favourites First
While you want to get away from the old favourites that always find a place in your wine collection, there’s still plenty of things that you can learn from the wines that you already love.
Specifically, we suggest looking at two things:
- The grapes
- The territory that the wine comes from
Dealing with the second one first, the territory itself will have more examples of the same type of wine from different producers. If you’re not feeling especially adventurous, you could explore the differences between these producers’ bottles before you start exploring other types of wine.
The grape holds a lot more potential for divergence. However, you’ll have to put a bit of research in.
By identifying the grape, you can see which grapes ring your taste bell when it comes to Italian wine. From there, it’s a case of searching for other wines that use the same grapes. Everything from the concentration to the producer’s method can make a massive difference, even when the same grapes are used.
Let the grapes be your guide to another wine that you’ll fall in love with.
Tip #2 – Take Your Budget into Account
As we said, there are over 2000 wines in the Xtrawine store.
That’s a pretty intimidating number!
But you can also filter through quite a lot of these when you consider your own budget. If you’re only looking to spend between €20 and €30 on a bottle of wine, there are a lot of options that you can cut out of the running.
You’ll whittle your list down to what you can afford, which at least makes the search a little easier.
Of course, you can do this in the opposite direction too. If you’re looking to spend a few hundred euros on a vintage, there’s no point looking at the wines in the double-digit range.
Simply put, the amount you intend to spend offers you a great way to cut through your shortlist.
Tip #3 – Throw a Dart at a Map
We’re actually serious here!
If you have absolutely no idea where to start with your selection, why not let fate play a role in helping you to make your choice.
Just hang up a map of Italy and throw a dart. Wherever the dart lands is the region that you’re going to buy from.
Instantly, you’ve whittled the potential list down by thousands of vintages. Now, you have a smaller selection of wines and producers to choose from.
It makes the entire process much easier.
Tip #4 – Check the Reviews
If you click on any wine in the Xtrawine catalogue, you’ll see that each one has a review.
Some of them have only received a review from our team. But wherever possible, we try to collect as many reviews as we can from different sources.
That range gives you a more comprehensive overview in regards to the quality of the wine.
However, it’s always worth digging a little bit deeper. Where possible, try to trace the rating down to a written review. From that, you’ll find out what an expert thinks about the wine and what it had to offer.
Tip #5 – Look to the Experts
Speaking of reviews, the experts have plenty to say when it comes to the Italian wine industry.
It’s always worth picking up a magazine and finding out what they have to say. You may even research online to find out what people have to say about wines from different regions.
With a bit of searching, you may find an expert who has similar tastes to your own. When that’s the case, you have a constant flow of recommendations that will almost always point you in the direction of a wine that you’ll enjoy.
Tip #6 – Let Somebody Else Make the Choice For You!
Christmas isn’t too far away.
Of course, that means the season of gift-giving is almost upon us. If you have no idea what wine to buy for yourself, you could take the responsibility out of your hands entirely.
Just ask for wine for Christmas and see what your family and friends come up with.
Of course, this is a bit of a risky strategy. It’s entirely possible that you’re the gift-giver will end up buying a wine that you’re not much of a fan of.
However, it’s equally as possible that they’ll buy one of the favourite vintages for you and you’ll end up falling in love.
Why not take a chance?
At the very worst, you still end up with a bottle of Italian wine. And that’s not a bad outcome in anybody’s book.
The Final Word
Trying to find the right wine can be a bit of an intimidating experience, especially when you realise just how many options are out there.
And we haven’t even mentioned the many thousands of wines that exist outside of the Italian industry.
By using these tips, you’ll make the whole process a little easier. And with a bit of luck, you’ll end up with a wine that you adore.