Classification of Wine

Wine is classified in three major categories: table wines,

sparkling wines, and fortified wines. Table wines, also called still or natural wines, are consumed mostly with food, they tend to compliment the meal. Sparkling wines, for example champagne is distinguishable by its effervescence and is drunk for the most part on festive occasions such as weddings, birthdays, and during the holidays. Fortified wines, such as sherry or vermouth, is most commonly drunk before or after meals and it is also frequently used in cooking. Table wines are further classified by color, as red, white, or ros (pink); and by character, as sweet or dry. Red wines are made from the skins of dark grapes. White wines may be made from ^white^ (that is, green) grapes or from dark grapes, but with white wine the grape skins and pressed juice do not come into contact unlike ^red^ wine. True ros wines are the products of dark grapes; their skins remain in contact with the juice only until it has turned into a pale pink. Now that you are familiar with the three most famous types of wines: table wine, sparkling wine, and fortified wines, perhaps the next time you are out grocery shopping you can pick out the right bottle for that perfect occasion. The Italian Wine Classification system (similar to the U.S. appellation system) is made up of four categories: Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (DOCG) This classification denotes the highest quality recognition for Italian wines. It is comprised of a relatively limited number of first-class wines. Denominazione di Origine Controllata (DOC) Basically the equivalent of the French wineclassification, Appellation d'Origine Controlee (AOC). Wines that fall under the DOC category must be made in specified, government defined zones, in accordance to particular regulations that are intended to preserve the wine's character that is uniquely derived from Italy's individual regions. Table Wine Categories Indicazione di Geografica Tipica (IGT)

These table wines are often ubiquitous wines that are grown in a specific geographical growing regions. However, there are exceptions - some of Italy's best wines do fall under this category just to avoid more stringent regulations associated with DOC or DOCG. Vino Da Tavola (VdT) This designates wines that reside firmly on the "low end" of the totem pole. Comprised of Italian table wines, whose only criteria is that they must be produced somewhere in Italy

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