Wine glass on the table

Towards the wine guides: the first steps in the world of the guides

by The Winefathers

23/SEP/2016 in Press


Take the first steps in the world of the guides!

The grapes are ready to be harvested and transformed into (hopefully) good wine, but there’s something else equally important maturing in this period. We are talking about the wine guides, good friends of every wine lover. You probably wonder when and why this tradition started in Italy.

Everything comes from one of the most representative and charismatic men that the Italian wine world has ever known, Luigi Veronelli. He was the first one to create a guide, called "I Vini di Veronelli", which has reached the 2016 edition. We are talking about a relatively limited period of time, 50 years more or less, but in this time frame several guides have been developed.

The most known and famous are: I Vini di VeronelliBibendaI Vini d’Italia (by L’Espresso), VitaeSlow Wine and Vini d’Italia,, edited by Gambero Rosso, for sure the best-selling and well-known Italian guide. Going down in the technical details of a guide, let’s try to understand how it works. A guide is based on the judgment of journalists and wine experts who review the wines from the wineries included in the guide. Ok, but how are the wineries chosen? Each guide has its own methods to find them but usually they contact the wineries and in exchange they get – on top of product data sheets – a few bottles to taste, usually the most important of all production.

And when the guide is ready? How do you read it? Well, first of all you have to choose the right one for you. For example, if you love organic wine, we recommend the Slow Wine guide, but if you want a big but simple to interpret book the advice we give is to choose the Gambero Rosso. Then for each guide you will find the specific scores and symbols: for Gambero Rosso are "glasses", and the maximum is 3, while Slow Wine gives the title of "Grande Vino”.

If you are a beginner you’d rather buy more than one guide. In this way you’ll understand which one is closest to what you are looking for and the significance you give to wine.