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.
Tags: Italian Wine Sommelier Food and Wine Travel Italy