Saturday, November 25, 2006

Chips Free Wine – Save the Wine!

In the effort to produce wine faster and at a lower cost the wine industry across the world has introduced wood chips into the wine instead of aging the wine in barrels, as the tradition would expect. The European Union has ratified this process and the US does not really care. All that is important is that the companies make more money, the quality of wine is not important, only drunks drink wine.

Italy is the only country, I am aware of, to have taken steps to guarantee quality and not on all products. The Italian Government passed a law prohibiting the use of wood chips in DOC and DOCG wines. It allows the use of chips, even without specific labeling, in IGT and table wines. What does this mean? Italian DOC and DOCG wines will be better than any other wine in the world, even the crummy ones. So look for your Italian DOC or DOCG wine. Other Italian wines using traditional methods will most likely show it on the label. If you do not see the mark on an IGT or table wine, be assured that they are trying to cut corners and the wine will not be what it should be.

Wine is passion. You cannot cut corners. You need time, quality ingredients and experience. Wine is balance. Wine compliments food and is not overbearing. Wine does not have to be expensive to be good. It does have to be nurtured, cared for, just like a small child. The return can be a work of art, an explosion of flavor, or a delicate breeze of subtleties. Great producers produce wine because they are artists, not because they want to give a financial return to investors.

I also suggest that you write your favorite winery outside of Italy, whether it be the US or Australia and let them know that you care how your wine was produced. If you do not most likely in a few seasons your favorite wine will be produced with liquid wood.


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Blogger Lexcen said...

I think it was Australians who pioneered the practice of putting woodchips in wine. I only say this because I've been aware of it for the last thirty years and was appalled when I found out. I've loved and enjoyed wine for a long time. There are no regulations that I know of that restrict this practice in Australia. Bravo to Italy for their efforts.

12:05 AM

Blogger ChickyBabe said...

That makes me cringe! I don;t know much about wine making in Australia but I applaud Italy's efforts.

PS I drank a toast to you the other week when I had the Beaujolais Nouveau 2006. I've been meaning to tell you but life has been hectic. It was a most enjoyable drop!

3:50 AM

Blogger RennyBA said...

Thanks for the warning - never heard of this before!

I'm so agree that wine is passion and to be made and matured the natural way!

I was in Belgium last weekend. Didn't find any local wine but a lot of breweries and that is kind of a passion too you know:-)

5:04 AM

Blogger Travel Italy said...

Lexcen So it is the Australians who are to blame... I thought it surely would have been some Californian trying to squeeze an extra 1% out of the gross margins. I would think that businesses would understand that cutting costs and corners is never a winning strategy. There is always someone better, cheaper, with more money who will beat you at that game. Self-Destructing is what these guys are doing.

ChickyBabe Thank you so much for the thought, especially given that you were drinking novello! Somehow I find the new wines a treat, they last so little time of the year and once the season is over, they are no more. I hope things settle down for you.

Renny In so many products we are just not informed. Industry makes changes and the public never knows, then at some point, the fruit never ripens, bread does not taste like bread, and wine gives you a headache! Fortunately, Italians are very protective of their food and wine quality.

6:55 AM


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