Over past year or so, there has been a migration in the wine offerings at our Phoenix area Costco stores from shelf displays to large pallets. Not that the shelf displays have disappeared, they have simply gotten smaller. Now most of the wine (by volume) is on the pallets.
Of course, the “pallet wines” are less expensive and many of them are “okay”, but there are always a few standouts, making it worth taking the time to look them over. Being that it’s not really practical to taste all of them, it is often a better plan to look over the labels and check for those you recognize.
One of these recognizable labels is a nice Sangiovese made by La Carraia. Its clever design invokes memories of it being a house wine for many Italian restaurants. And these restaurants know what they’re doing, because La Carraia pairs well with spaghetti and red sauce or a meatball sub.
It’s bouquet of red cherries, a little leather, and black pepper is very inviting. La Carraia also has a very nice dark ruby color that sets it apart from a lot of house wines, it’s richer. Being a lighter wine in the mouth and containing a laid-back acidity, it’s character is like other wines from Italy’s Umbria region.
In short, it’s a good buy at under $10 and will probably remain in Costco’s pallet area for a several months or more. Enjoy with your next Italian spread. Also, its color is quite appealing in a carafe and it will benefit from a little aeration to make the flavors expand a bit.