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What Does it Take to Be a Lover of Italian Wine?

What Does it Take to Be a Lover of Italian Wine?

Italian wine is beloved for its variety of styles, protection of indigenous grapes and food-friendly properties - not to mention great value. If you visit any major Italian city after dark, chances are good you'll see scores of young Romans, Milanese or Bariese holding onto bottles in their hands - many likely from Rome itself, Milan or Bari.

1. Be open to new experiences

While some wine enthusiasts may have very particular preferences when it comes to the types of red, white, sparkling or pet nat they enjoy drinking, remaining open-minded about new experiences is vitally important as part of being an admirer of Italian wines. Being open to trying different wines and styles is part of what defines being an enthusiast of Italian wines!

One lawyer from Milan considers wine his hobby and drinks different varieties each day. Barolo from Piemonte holds special value to him while Nero d'Avola from Salento is his favourite - which he describes as being more "wild."

He considers the South of Italy to be at the core of Italy's cultural renaissance and is enthralled with its ancient wine cultures and indigenous varieties that it produces. Together with Leahy, he travels vicariously throughout all 20 regions in Italy in search of these wines; also exploring how winemaking techniques, historic family ties and regional histories have helped mold them over time.

2. Be a good judge of character

Italian wine is loved by millions around the globe and although some may disagree that Italian is superior, many still view it as their go-to wine choice. Though this opinion might not hold up in every instance, its strength remains undeniable and widely popular.

Being an astute judge of character is a valuable skill that will serve you throughout your life, whether that means making more informed hiring decisions, assessing first impressions with new bosses or finding lasting friendships.

A great judge of character notices all the subtle nuances - like an undertone in someone's voice, fleeting facial expressions or their preference to broach certain topics over others - then uses their intuition to piece them all together into an overarching picture. It's almost an art! All it takes to master it is practice (or perhaps more Italian wine!).

3. Be a good listener

Listening skills are integral components of effective leadership, offering many advantages both inside and outside the workplace. Learning them will pay dividends both immediately and over time.

Good listening requires more than simply nodding along; effective listeners ask probing questions to facilitate discovery and insight, challenging old assumptions in an atmosphere that fosters cooperation rather than competition.

Be open to learning something new, even if it doesn't initially pique your interest, and think about how it might apply in other situations. Be ready for correction when necessary: "He who disregards instruction despises himself." (James 1:19)

4. Be a good cook

Wine is an integral component of Italian dining experiences, from casual family meals at home or restaurants, to formal banquets. Wine should complement rather than compete with food when serving an Italian wine-laced menu - which requires skillful chefs to produce dishes which pair well with its wines.

Beginning your Italian wine education is easiest by listening to podcasts such as Authentic Wine Traveller. Or sign up for courses such as Italian Wine Central that provide lessons about winemaking techniques and grape varieties.

Burton Anderson's The Wine Atlas of Italy provides a classic overview of Italy's wine cultures and traditions that modern Italy is rediscovering.

5. Be a good friend

There are countless qualities that define good friends. Each person will establish their own criteria for what makes a friend valuable; however, there are some universal qualities such as being an attentive listener and source of positivity that define all good friendships.

Discover your wine taste profile by answering 7 simple questions, then get a monthly selection of wines and Italian cultural elements tailored specifically to you. Click here now!

Spending time in Italy's vineyards is an invaluable way to gain a greater appreciation of their wines and grapes, and gain more knowledge about winemaking processes. Ian D'Agata's latest book Native Wine Grape Terroirs should also provide useful information. For further reading about Italian wine enthusiasts!

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What makes a wine a real Cellar Classic? From time to time we find ourselves marvelling at the creativity of the wine grower we always look to enrich our taste buds with something rather remarkable and share this with you.