Italy has been ranked as the best country in the world for wine lovers in a survey that is likely to irk its neighboring countries, most specifically the French. The debate over whether France or Italy is the best for wine or which country produces the finest wines has long raged over the Alps. The index compared 30 different wine producing countries around the world and determined that Italy was the best country in the world to explore wines.
When it comes to an overall wine experience, from tasting to visiting vineyards and the number of quality wines a country has, Italy came out on top in the ranking by Lastminute.com, which also took into account the cost of travel and accommodations around the wine regions of the world.
Italy finished with the highest score and was assisted by the vast number of wine tasting experiences that are offered in the country – almost 1,000, far more than any other country and more than twice the number in France. It has a total of 21 wine regions, as opposed to geographic regions, which cover the full range of grapes and types.
Three years ago, then Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi proudly claimed that “Italian wine is better than the wine in France.” The French promptly pointed out that of the 50 most expensive wines in the world, 38 are from France. This does not mean that the wines are better, just more expensive. In fact, the average price for a bottle of wine in France is 20% more expensive than it is in Italy.
Some wine experts say that it is futile to compare the wines of different countries since individual vintage years vary. Others say, when comparing the wines of Italy and France, that the two countries have different strengths. Italian wine is fascinating for its diversity, with grape varieties that you will not find anywhere else. French wine on the other hand has long been the benchmark for quality and is the country that other winemakers seek to emulate. The debate will likely continue with each country promoting its own values and culture, while devotees of the wines will not be expected to remain neutral either.
Other interesting aspects of the ranking emerged at and near the bottom of the list. In the survey, the famous wine producing nation of Great Britain came in 30th in the world; however, only 30 nations were included. Surprisingly, the U.S. only ranked 27th. Following the publication of the results, the French were quick to point out that the survey does not mean that Italy produces the best wine, just the preferred wine. Ah, the French…