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Christmas wine: A Lidl taste of Italy

The German supermarket’s Christmas wine selection has some Italian bargains worthy of next month’s festivities, says Aoife Carrigy

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Five to try from Lidl

Five to try from Lidl

Five to try from Lidl

When Charles de Gaulle bemoaned governing a country that boasts 246 individual varieties of cheese, he might have spared a thought for his neighbours in Italy. This long, skinny and geo-diverse country has over 500 classified wine denominations, each with their own individual rules and regulations. Besides several hundred DOCs (Denominazione di Origine Controllata) such as Valpolicella DOC, there are nearly 80 DOCGs such as Barolo DOCG.

The additional ‘G’ (for Garantita) indicates more stringent controls in what is Italy’s premium classification where a focus on quality often means lower yields and longer barrel-ageing.

Add to this over 120 IGTs (Indicazione Geografica Tipica) such as Toscana IGT, which tell us where the wine comes from but with less restrictions regarding details like permitted grape varieties, and it amounts to an awful lot of administrative governance. Oh and just to muddy the waters further, the traditional IGT is being replaced by the EU denomination IGP (P for Protetta) if at a rather leisurely pace.


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