Italian Wines versus French Wines: The Eternal Dispute

A longstanding duel exists between the Italian wine and French wine. The two European viticultural homelands have always competed for dominance in the world of wine.  The comparison does result in definitive answer; each one has its superb characteristics and each is an exporting powerhouse. Today, it’s so easy to buy wine online, why not compare the two at your next meal or social gathering?

Italian wine versus French wine: characteristics in common

 Although they fight for domination in leading worldwide wine sales, France and Italy have a lot in common in terms of their wines. If newer producers such as the United States or Australia serve domestic markets where wine is not so highly valued and where profits sometimes motivate production that is not always of impeccable quality, Italy and France are both countries in which wine culture stems from a very historical and solid tradition. However, you can order wine delivery easily across the United States, which is not so true in Italy or France! In these countries, the love for wine and the passion with which the vineyard is worked are fundamental characteristics of the ancient local culture, a dedication that is reflected in products of the highest quality. Many regions in both countries have high levels of local wine consumption and terroir matters a lot to the wine’s characteristics. Diversity of wines is extreme.

French wine: the best in the highest quality segment

A lot of French wine production is essentially based on making the highest quality wines, to sell for high value. Think, for example, of the French sparkling wine Champagne, made using the classic method and considered a precious product and emblem of luxury. Legend has it that a French monk, Dom Perignon, invented this sublime drink and the most renowned wineries are located in Reims (French Marne) where Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grape varieties are grown. You can so easily order different types of Champagne by online wine delivery, but don’t expect them to be cheap! Consider the Billecart-Salmon Rosé Champagne or the Charles Heidsieck Brut Reserve Champagne, marvelous examples from two top houses. Or just think of the exceptional Bordeaux region, one of the most popular French wines in the world, and produced near the city of the same name, along the Garonne and Dordogne rivers. Available in red, dry white and rose styles, these wines are born from the use of Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Sauvignon grape varieties. Some of the world’s most renowned wines come from Bordeaux! You can order wine delivery of the 1990 Chateau Palmer Margaux, for example, a rare treasure!

Italian wine: the best in the intermediate range

Despite the exceptional nature of classic French wines is well established, production in France tends to not be very dynamic; it’s extremely anchored in tradition and focused only on products with very high demand.

Italy seems more open to experimentation and more willing to focus on producing less complex wines that can meet different needs. Some Italian wines, such as Prosecco from the Veneto region, while they compete in terms of quality with French Champagnes, are less expensive, offering equally unique experiences of aromas and flavors. And the list of Italian wines so unique they are beyond comparison is endless: just to name a few, think of Brunello de Montalcino, Barolo, or Sassicaia. Through online wine delivery, it’s so easy to taste these exceptional expressions of Italian wine genius.

France and Italy: The Two Main World Exporters

Without a doubt, France and Italy compete for European supremacy as the world's largest wine exporting countries. Spain, by comparison, is number three, but number one in terms of acreage of vineyards. A decade ago, even during periods of financial crisis or recession, after years of sustained growth, Italian wine held up better than French wine in terms of exports. But now, that has changed. In 2021, France exported $13.1 billion of wine (32.2% of total wine exports), while Italy exported $8.4 billion (20.7%). The pandemic affected sales in 2020. The world trade in wine shrunk slightly in volume to 105.8 Mhl, -1.7%. The value of the drop, however, was bigger, total wine exports fell 6.7%. In other words, global trade was almost stable but the average prices fell. Now, a full recovery is underway, especially for France.

In sum, both French wine and Italian wine are top notch. Bottle Barn has a superb selection from both countries, curated by our in-house wine experts. Searching for these wines online is easy too, using the categories on the website or the search function. When you buy wine online, think Bottle Barn. Did you like this article? If so, you will find lots more information direct from Bottle Barn on the wine articles page!

By Charlie Leary

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