A silky smooth wine made from a little-known Italian grape, we review the Tenute Rubino Oltreme Susumaniello DOC Brindisi Rosso. The wine is made from the rare Susumaniello grape grown in vineyards in Jaddico and Brindisi, Puglia, Italy. It spends 10 months in steel tanks. … [Read more...]
The Best Italian Wines
Italian wine can be confusing, but this is what happens when wine has been made in a place for hundreds and hundreds of years! Just don't let the confusion stop you from exploring the many fascinating regions and wines of Italy, it is one of our very favorite spots for great value wines (as well as a few of our favorites over $20, or "Saturday Splurges" as we like to call them).
Sangiovese is one of the major grapes in Italy, being the backbone of such renowned Italian wines as Chianti and Brunello di Montalcino as well as many Super Tuscans. With its distinctive cherry and often rustic flavors, this medium-bodied, savory variety takes to oak aging very well. And just as you would expect it's fantastic with all kinds of Italian foods including pizza and pretty much anything in tomato-based sauces. (See our Guide To The Best Pizza Wines for more on this.)
Chianti is also a great example of just how confusing Italian wine can be. With 8 different sub-zones, varying rules on production, a classification called Superiore that can be used in 7 of the 8 zones, and a number of wines that could be labeled either as Chianti or things like Brunello di Montalcino or Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, it's no wonder consumers are confused. I guess this is what happens where your wine region has been around since the early 1700s -- 300 years later there are a lot of rules! (For more on this see our dedicated Guide To Chianti Wines.)
A few of the often-overlooked areas in Italy; however, may give the best value.
Alto Adige in the northern part of the country offers fascinating and affordable red and white wines.
Sicily, the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea likewise offers tremendous value in varieties like Nero d'Avola that you generally don’t find anywhere else.
Puglia, which extends onto the heel of the boot of Italy is renowned for their Primitivo and Salice Salento wines made from Negroamaro.
On the other side of Italy's boot (the shin) is Campania, home to one of our very favorite varieties - Aglianico.
Of course, we'll also offer some tried and true favorites from places like Tuscany and beyond and even the occasional Amarone and Barolo splurge. And if you really want to keep it cheap you can check our dedicated list of $8 Italian Reds - all delicious and $8 or less.
Read on for our list of The Best Italian Wine, Mostly Under $20!
After the big changes last year, Costco keeps the (very good) status quo for the latest vintage of the Kirkland Signature Brunello di Montalcino DOCG. Check out our full review below. 100% Sangiovese from Montalcino, Italy. The wine was aged for at least 2 years in oak … [Read more...]
We review the Cecilia Beretta Valpolicella Ripasso Superiore from Pasqua Wines, available at Trader Joe's for $12. A traditional Valpolicella red blend of 60% Corvina, 20% Rondinella, 10% Corvinone and 10% Negrara from Valpantena, Veneto, Italy. … [Read more...]
A simple but pleasing blend of Sangiovese and Merlot from Tuscany, Italy. We review Le Palaie Gatta Ci Cova Terre di Pisa Rosso. A blend of Sangiovese and Merlot from the relatively new appellation of Terre di Pisa in Tuscany, Italy. The wine is aged in stainless steel … [Read more...]
A very tasty and unique red blend in the world's heaviest bottle, we review the latest vintage of the Tinazzi No 3 Vinum Italicum Opera Rosso available at Costco. 40% Corvina Veronese from Verona, 30% Primitivo di Manduria from Puglia and 30% Nero d'Avola from Sicily, … [Read more...]
The Kirkland Signature Pinot Grigio from Costco, only $4.99 and packed with flavor. Pinot Grigio from Friuli Grave, Italy. … [Read more...]
We check out the latest vintage of the Kirkland Signature Toscana from Costco. The 2019 vintage does not specify the blend but I imagine it is similar to the 2018 which was 75% Sangiovese, 22% Merlot and 3% Cabernet Sauvignon. It is from Tuscany, Italy. … [Read more...]
A combination of factors make this wine seem almost too good to be true, the Kirkland Signature Chianti Classico Riserva from Costco. Sangiovese from Chianti Classico DOCG, Chianti, Tuscany, Italy. … [Read more...]
An attractive, balanced white from Lugana in Northern Italy, the Famiglia Olivini Lugana. 100% Trebbiano di Laguna (Verdicchio) from the Lugana wine region in northern Italy. The wine has less than 2 g/L of residual sugar. … [Read more...]
Revisiting the Villa Cerrina Montepulciano d'Abruzzo, an old $5 favorite from Trader Joe's. But does it still measure up? There's no information given from Trader Joe's but this is a DOC wine so according to the rules for Montepulciano d'Abruzzo it must be at least 85% … [Read more...]
THIS LIMITED TIME OFFER IS NOW EXPIRED! Sign up below to make sure you get the next one. Learn more about our winery direct INSIDER DEALS here. Today we've got a special treat for you from Italy: Two 94-point bottles of Aglianico plus two 92-point bottles featuring the rare … [Read more...]
Authentic Chianti character for just $4.99 courtesy of Aldi, the Adventure Series Chianti DOCG. Primarily Sangiovese from Tuscany, Italy. … [Read more...]
A basic Valpolicella Superiore with a fantastic finish, the Santi Ventale Valpolicella Superiore. A blend of Corvina, Corvinone and Rondinella from vineyards in the Illasi Valley in the Valpolicella wine region in Veneto, Italy. The wine is aged for 18 months in 500-litre … [Read more...]
Made from partially dried grapes, we review the Zenato Alanera Rosso Veronese. 55% Corvina, 25% Rondinella, 10% Corvinone, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Merlot from the Costalunga Estate in Veneto, Italy. 50% of the grapes used to produce the wine are partially dried for … [Read more...]
A Tuscan blend that delivers more than anticipated, we review the Castello La Leccia Vivaio del Cavaliere Toscano Rosso. 75% Sangiovese, 20% Malvasia Nera and 5% Syrah, all organically grown, from Tuscany, Italy. The wine is matured in concrete tanks for 6 months. … [Read more...]
A big, dry, rich and tasty wine, the Villa di Capezzana Carmignano DOCG. Organically grown 80% Sangiovese and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon from Carmignano, Tuscany, Italy. The wine is aged in French barriques and tonneaux for 12 months and another 12 months in bottle before … [Read more...]
A delightfully good blend of Montepulciano and Sangiovese at a great Costco price, the Il Conte Villa Prandone Marinus Piceno Superiore. 70% Montepulciano and 30% Sangiovese from the Monteprandone hills area of Ascoli Piceno in Marche, Italy. The wine spends one year in … [Read more...]
A $10 Sicilian from organically grown grapes, the Vento di Mare Nero d'Avola. 100% Nero d'Avola from Gibellina in Sicily, Italy. The grapes are grown organically and the wine is matured in stainless steel tanks. … [Read more...]
Splurging on old vine Barbera, we review the Tenuta Montemagno Mysterium Barbera d'Asti Superiore. 100% Barbera from estate vines averaging 80 years of age in Piedmont, Italy. The wine is aged in a combination of barrels, barriques and tonneaux for 18 months and has just 1 … [Read more...]
A nice, inexpensive and organic find from western Sicily, the Vento di Mare Nerello Mascalese Terre Siciliane IGP. 100% Nerello Mascalese, organically grown in Colline di Gibellina in western Sicily, Italy. The wine is matured in stainless steel tanks. … [Read more...]
A taste of an exclusive grape from Piedmont, three excellent Ruchè di Castagnole Monferrato wines from Luca Ferraris. Ruchè (pronounced "Roo-kay") is a little know grape outside of Piedmont. That likely has a lot to do with its scarcity. In 1988 there were only 10 hectares … [Read more...]
Costco's take on an iconic wine rarely found under $20, the Kirkland Signature Barolo DOCG. Plus we track down the true producer... Nebbiolo from Serralunga d'Alba, Piedmont, Italy. While we don't know the exact aging on this wine, the Barolo region requires 38 months of … [Read more...]
Bulk Buy on a value-priced Nebbiolo, the Nino Negri Quadrio Valtellina Superiore DOCG. 90% Nebbiolo and 10% Merlot from estate vineyards in Valtellina, Lombardy, Italy. The wine spends 18 months in large French and Slavonian oak vats and at least another 4 months in bottle … [Read more...]
Appassimento on the cheap! The Trader Joe's Nero Grande Appassimento from Femar Vini. Primarily Primitivo (Zinfandel) blended with Negroamaro from Apulia, Italy. The wine is made from grapes allowed to dry on the vine (a technique called appassimento) and was aged for 6 … [Read more...]