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Values to keep in mind on Italian wine lists

Tasting the Argiano NC at the winery near Montalcino a couple of years ago
Tasting the Argiano NC at the winery near Montalcino a couple of years ago
Tempus Fugit Press

The wine search engine,, the largest such search vehicle for bottled wines, recently came out with several lists including the best value wines. These are wines that you should definitely keep in mind when visiting an Italian restaurant, or any restaurant, for that matter

Among their list of Top 10 Best Value wines in the $10 and under category was Feudi di San Gregorio Ros’Aura Rosato d’Iripinia at number 2. This is a rosé from a top producer east of Naples in the region of Campania.

Italian wines were responsible for six of their top 10 in the 20 dollars and under category:

Argiano Non Confonditur – You will just notice the “NC” on the label at the store rather than its Latin sobriquet. From a top Brunello di Montalcino producer, this is a blend Cabertnet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, and Sangiovese that exhibits red cherry and plum flavors and a lot of tannins that should go well with a steak or another hearty dish. It will be even better in a few years. I had the good fortune to taste this wine at a dinner at the winery near Montalcino a year-and-a-half ago.

Venica Jesera Pinot Grigio Collio – Though still exceedingly popular, Pinot Grigio might not have the best reputation among serious wine drinkers, but the Pinot Grigios produced in the hily Collio appellation of Friuli have a bit more heft and minerality than those mass-produced in other areas.

Poggio al Sole Chianti Classico – This Chianti is bolstered by Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot and a bit of oak, but still finishes smoothly.

Castello di Monsanto Chianti Classico – This Chianti is made with 90% Sangiovese and 10% of the traditional red grape partners Canaiolo and Colorino.

Frescobaldi Riserva Nipozzano Chianti Rufina – Widely found this rich wine is mostly Sangiovese with small amounts of Malvasia Nera, Colorino, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon.

Poggio al Tesoro Mediterra – Made from 40% Syrah, 30% Merlot, and 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, this is a full-bodied wine with cherry, plum and pepper notes and smooth generous taste and finish.

Most of these are made in quantity and should be available in most big cities and often on Italian wine lists.

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