8 Italian Wines for Beginners + 9 Sites to Buy Them
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If you’re looking for reliable websites to buy your Italian wine, I have selected 10 of the best out there.
If wine is your passion then the Italian wine may be another passion of yours or maybe you want to start exploring the different types of Italian wines you can drink. In this guide, I’ll give you a few tips and tricks on the best Italian wines and, most of all, on where to buy them online.
After the list of websites to buy Italian wine, a quick and easy-to-understand Italian Wine Guide for Beginners, just to help you navigate the subject.
9 of the Best Sites to Buy Italian Wines Online in 2024
I’ve selected 5 of the best sites to order your Italian wines online: this is just a small selection, but if I have to choose what to recommend in terms of wine, these are definitely the Websites that I can guarantee for you.
1. Wine on Sale
Wine on Sale is possibly one of the most interesting online shops where to buy Italian wines. The website is highly intuitive and you can jump directly into the section you’re interested in, in this case, Italian wine, and pick the wines you prefer. The selection is good and you can find both wines from famous winemakers and wine from the independent and smallest ones.
Wine.com is possibly one of the most important websites where to buy Italian wines (and wine, in general). Its selection is gigantic, and the terms and conditions are absolutely incredible: you can get your wine delivered to your door or you can schedule a pickup.
Currently, new customers can use the code “NEW2020” to get a $20 off $100+ order.
3. KL Wines
You may be put off by KL Wines’ website but if you go straight to the section of your interest, you will find a lot of interesting bottles of wine. The Italian section is a real gem: from affordable wines to expensive (but also extremely good) bottles, KL Wines really has everything you need to bring your wine love to the next level.
4. Astor Wines
Astor Wines has been a real discovery for us: the website is heavily focused on Italian wines and the website also offers educational resources to help people navigating the (sometimes) complicated world of wines.
5. Italian Wine Merchants
This site does what it promises: it sells Italian wine of every type and gives a bit of explanation on every wine. The look and feel of this site are not that great and this could ruin the shopping experience, but the selection is absolutely top-notch.
6. Get Wine Online
Get Wine Online is a famous online wine retailer and its selection is extremely good when it comes to Italian wine. You can sort your search by Producer, Vintage, Price or Popularity to find the right wine for you.
Wineshop is real Italian e-commerce all about wines. It focuses solely on Italian wines (being actually based in Italy) and it offers an incredible selection of red and white Italian wines, that are delivered all over Europe (sorry American friends, but you can get in touch with them and ask for a customized delivery).
WineDeals has an entire section of its website dedicated to Italian wines from Tuscany, Piedmont, and Veneto. The catalog includes famous and less famous wines, and some of them are labeled as Premier Selected meaning that they’ve been handpicked by the staff.
9. Wine Chateau
Wine Chateau defines itself as a marketplace for wine and offers more than 2000 Italian wines, from the cheapest to the most expensive.
Italian Wine Guide for Beginners
Italy can be considered a heaven for wine lovers if we only take into consideration that there are more than 800 wine grape varieties and hundreds of winemakers. There are a few regions that are famous for their wines: Piedmont, Tuscany, Marche, Apulia, Veneto are among the most known Worldwide. But there are a lot of smallest regions and local producers that produce very good wines, either white or red.
Best Italian Wines for Beginners
Instead of dragging you in an infinite discussion about Italian wines, we’ve decided to go straight to the point and give you a list of Italian wines to try, if you want to start out with Italian wines or you already love them.
Best 5 Italian Red Wines for Beginners
This is a list of 5 Best Italian Red Wines you should try: they’re quite famous, easy to find and buy abroad and they pair perfectly with a lot of different dishes. All of the 5 types of wines we’ve chosen are bold in intensity and have a particular fruit flavor. There are of course way more than just 5 red wines, but we’ve limited the selection to the ones we think beginners will appreciate.
1. Nero d’Avola
Nero d’Avola comes from Sicily: it’s a very strong red wine with a peculiar smell and a strong flavor. You may easily distinguish flavors of red cherry, blackberry, and pepper. This is a strong and bold wine, perfectly paired with a steak or a good lasagna.
Montepulciano comes from the Abruzzo region, in fact, is mostly known as Montepulciano d’Abruzzo. It’s a complex and well-balanced wine, with a strong note of red fruit. It pairs perfectly with charcuterie and cheese, but also with pasta.
If you like complex wines, the Negroamaro from Apulia must be in your list of wines to try. This is a wine that can pose a few challenges because it can be extremely stingy depending on the vintage and the proximity to the sea. It’s one of those wines you like or hate: I, personally, find Negroamaro incredible and possibly one of the best Italian wines.
Again, this is another wine from the Apulia region. It’s extremely alcoholic but it’s not very acid and it contains a modest amount of tannins: for this reason, it feels extremely smooth. It goes well with everything greasy and strong, such as sausages for example.
Barbera is Piedmont’s everyday wine and it’s quite light and bright despite being dense and dark. It’s easy to recognize notes of cherries and berries and that’s why a bottle of Barbera pairs well with risotto, but also with mature cheese and smoked charcuterie.
Best 3 Italian White Wines for Beginners
While Italian red wines still attract the majority of the people, there are many outstanding white wines that deserve consideration. Here’s a choice of 3 Italian White Wines for Beginners: there are more than just 3 but we’ve picked the easiest to drink.
1. Pinot Grigio
Pinot Grigio is possibly one of the most famous Italian wines Worldwide and the reason is simple: it’s an easy wine, something that more or less everyone loves, it’s fresh, with hints of citrus and it pairs very well both with fish and meat dishes. Unfortunately, there are plenty of cheap bottles out there, so make sure you grab a good one otherwise your experience with Pinot Grigio will be forever ruined.
Verdicchio is peculiar to the Marche and it has a fragrant taste with notes of lemon, peach, and almond. Verdicchio is unique in color and it works extremely well with fish dishes and also with desserts.
Falanghina is one of the best Italian white wines: it has a citrusy and also peachy aroma, it smells amazing and it’s perfect to pair with fish. It comes from the Campania region, and it can get quite expensive but a glass of Falanghina will make you happy for a long time.
How to recognise a good Italian wine?
Every bottle of wine coming from Italy follows the Italian Wine Classification system, that is a good way to identify a good bottle from a mediocre one: this is an overview of the classification, from the top to the bottom.
1. Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (DOCG)
Controlled and Guaranteed Designation of Origin is the superior category and wines in this category are subjected to a scrupulous analysis before they can be bottled. There are currently about 74 Italian DOCG wines, including Barolo, Chianti Classico, Brunello di Montalcino, Amarone della Valpolicella, and Prosecco Superiore.
2. Denominazione di Origine Controllata (DOC)
Controlled Designation of Origin wines are those wines that are produced in specific regions, are made following precise rules to preserve the traditional winemaking practices of each individual region. There are currently more than 300 Italian DOC wines.
3. Indicazione di Geografica Tipica (IGT)
This is a wine that is produced in a specific area and it has to follow specific rules to meet the standard of production.
4. Vino Da Tavola (VdT)
It indicates wine intended for everyday drinking, not subjected to specific regulations. It’s usually weak, extremely acidic, and not pleasant at all. It’s very often sold in jars or Tetra Paks.
Best Wine Glasses and Wine Accessories
If you really want to enjoy your Italian wine, you need to have the right accessories. We’ve selected a few unmissable wine glasses and wine accessories to buy in 2024:
1. Wine Opener Set
A wine opener set is something we all have at home or that we give as a gift. It doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive, just essential. We’ve selected for you this one from Smaier that includes a corkscrew wine opener, foil cutter, pourer, collar, stopper, thermometer, and an extra screw.
If you want to give air to your red wine to make sure it tastes perfect, use a decanter. Pouring wine from a bottle into a decanter can also separate sediments to prevent any bitterness. There are literally thousands of options available, so we just went for a simple yet effective one: Le Chateau Wine Decanter.
3. Red Wine Glasses
There’s nothing better than sipping a good Italian red wine in a specific glass. We’ve selected these Paksh Novelty Italian Red Wine Glasses, 4 glasses for medium- to full-bodied red wines.
4. White Wine Glasses
To taste white wines at their best, you need to have properly shaped glasses able to hold your wine and enhance it. These Paksh Novelty Italian White Wine Glasses are perfect to sip your Italian white wine and feel like you’re in Italy.