Let’s start this one off with a little bit of a disclaimer…
There are so many flavours and notes that you’ll experience as you explore the world of Italian wine. That’s one of the true joys of being a wine lover. Every single new bottle that you open holds within it a world of possibilities for you to explore. Discovering all of these unique flavours is what drinking Italian wine is all about.
And with that out of the way we’ll also say this…
Everybody has their favourites. Every single person reading this has a selection of flavours or notes that they absolutely adore. You can’t help yourself when you discover them and you have to drink more every time.
The task that we’ve set ourselves here is to identify the flavours that people love just a little bit more than the rest. These are the notes that make everybody stand to attention and they may just be some of the flavours that caused you to fall in love with wine in the first place.
It feels like a bit of an impossible task. With enjoyment of Italian wine being such a personal thing, it’s hard to boil it all down to a few flavours that we feel almost everybody will enjoy.
But we’re going to give it a try.
These are some of the most desired flavours in Italian wine
Flavour #1 – Dark Fruits (Dark Cherries, Blackcurrants, etc.)
Let’s kick the list off with a set of flavours that you’re sure to find in most great examples of Italian red wines.
It’s the dark fruits that often lend the most complex of wines their more dominant notes. These are the fruits that give the wine that juicy feeling that keeps you coming back for more.
Of course, the true joy with these flavours comes in figuring out how they mingle with everything else that the wine has to offer. And in many cases, you’re going to find that you can detect multiple dark fruits in your glass of red.
Anybody who wants to spend a little bit of time exploring a wine that has true depth should search for dark fruit flavours.
Flavour #2 – Wood
This may seem like a bit of a strange one at first.
But it’s the woody notes in wine that ground it. This is especially the case in red wines, where the wood notes often add an earthier tone that complements the fruitiness found elsewhere.
It’s difficult to define the exact taste of wood. There’s a certain bitterness to it, though it’s not so much that it becomes overbearing. The best that we can say is that it gives a base to the other flavours that you’ll enjoy with your wine.
The presence of wood notes is also often an indicator that the winemaker has used wooden barrels in the ageing process. This more traditional way of making wine certainly floats the boats of many an enthusiast out there.
Flavour #3 – Citrus
Perhaps we’re cheating here as the word “citrus” can cover a range of flavours. Orange, lemon, lime, and even apple can fall under the citrus banner if you want them too.
So maybe we would be more accurate in saying that it’s the sharpness that citrus provides that proves desirable to many. Citrus lend wines an acidity that makes them feel refreshing, which makes this flavour perfect for those lazy summer evenings spent with friend.
You’re rarely going to find citrus notes in Italian red wines. Instead, they tend to be reserved for white and sparkling wines. It’s actually pretty difficult to find either of these types of wine that don’t have a citrus note of two hiding within them, which is reason enough to make this one of our most popular flavours.
Flavour #4 – Tobacco
Yes, we all know that smoking tobacco isn’t exactly the healthiest of activities that you can engage in. But there’s also no denying that the combination of earthy and smoky tastes is what makes tobacco so desirable in the first place.
The good news is that you can experience these flavours without feeling your lungs with smoke. Many an Italian wine offers tobacco notes amongst its bouquet, which makes them ideal for the ex-smokers out there. You get just a little bit of that flavour without the cigarette of cigar!
On a more general note, tobacco is another of those earthy notes that can help to ground an otherwise fruity wine. Look for it as one of the underlying notes in wines that make heavy use of red or dark fruits.
Flavour #5 – Red Fruits
Red fruits is another umbrella term that covers the likes of strawberries, raspberries, cherries, and a host of other sweet fruits.
These are the notes that you’re looking for if you want to enjoy a smooth and sweet wine. You’ll often find these flavours in the less complex red wines out there. But we’d say that red fruits are most at home when they’re used in a Rosé. You get that nice mingling of red and white wine with a fruit type that’s not as complicated as the darker ones out there and not as acidic as the citrus ones.
Flavour #6 – Flowers
It would be impossible to list all of the possible floral notes that you might find in an Italian wine.
Instead, just know that floral notes are usually used to slightly temper a particularly strong wine. For example, an extremely acidic wine may be brought down to more palatable levels with the use of floral flavours.
Plus…what would a bouquet be if you couldn’t smell the flowers?
Okay, we admit that was a bad joke.
The Final Word
This is by no means a comprehensive list of the flavours that you’re going to find in Italian wine. Instead, you could consider these some of the more common notes out there that you could experience.
And of course, your friendly team at Xtrawine offers up plenty of Italian wines that display these notes, alongside many more. Check out our catalogue today and we’re sure you’ll find a wine that you love.