Italian wines span an array of styles and classifications. While this can be somewhat confusing, it makes the exploration of the country's top wine regions very interesting. Whether you're seeking a full-bodied red or a bright, vibrant white, Italy's diverse wines have something to offer everyone at a variety of price points.
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Luce Della Vite Lucente
If you are looking for a solid Tuscan wine at a reasonable price, Luce della Vite Lucente is a perfect pick. Rather than the region's expected Sangiovese grape, this wine is dominated by Merlot, with Sangiovese adding background notes.
It's a soft, graceful blend that offers a nose and palate marked by dark cherry, plum, dark chocolate, and a smidge of espresso. The acidity is delicious and the tannins are intact, leaving ample room for an elegant finish to both develop and flourish. It's simply a classic Italian red worthy of your favorite Italian dishes.
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Castello di Monsanto Chianti Classico Riserva 2010 (Chianti) $20
This Tuscan beauty is well-made, well-priced and ready to rumble. It offers lovely floral aromatics, bright cherry fruit, and unmistakable tobacco spice, all of which means it can become a regular at your dinner table.
Made primarily of Sangiovese, with Canaiolo and Colorino grape accents, the Chianti from Castello Monsanto is complex, yet easy to drink, and undeniably Italian in character. You'll also appreciate that it's easy to find and a sure shot with tomato-based pasta, prosciutto, and Italian cheeses.
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La Marca Prosecco
Everybody loves a good bottle of Prosecco and this is a fan favorite. With easy-going bubbles, sweet citrus fruit, and delicate floral aromas, it's no wonder that this is a very popular Prosecco.
Adding to its appeal, La Marca Prosecco is offered at a fair price and has solid distribution, so it's perfect for any celebration (or "just because"). Give it a go with a variety of fun appetizers or sweet and savory favorites like hot wings, chips and dips, shrimp cocktail, and baked brie.
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Frescobaldi Castiglioni Chianti
For a wine that alludes to Italy's well-established legacy of love, this joyous red is ideal for romantic occasions when you need to keep the budget in check. Full of Sangiovese's fresh florals, plum mixed with red cherry flavor and a good bit of warm spice, this medium-bodied Tuscan wine enjoys balance and well-woven tannins.
At just over $10 a pop and readily available, Frescobaldi Castiglioni Chianti is a winner. Though it can be paired with nearly anything, it's best with aged cheese (think Parmesan), tomato-based sauces, and a variety of sausages.Continue to 5 of 10 below.
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This wine hails from the Asti DOCG in Italy's famed Piedmont region. Derived entirely from Muscat grapes, the fresh, inviting sparkler from Saracco is capable of handling an ultra-rich cheese-cake or going solo as an afternoon aperitif.
Let the aromas of honeysuckle and the flavors of ripe peaches and candied pear dazzle amidst the light sparkle of this authentic Moscato. It is certainly up for the challenge of cream-based desserts or fresh fruit sorbets and as refreshing as it is easily attainable.
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Damilano Barolo Cannubi 2010 (Piedmont, Italy) $75
A stunning, single-vineyard Barolo built on the Nebbiolo grape, expect this wine to engage your senses from the expressive aromatic start to a well-developed finish. Cherry, black licorice, tobacco leaves, and mocha notes all swirl together in a heady mix of foundational, terroir-driven fruit and oak-induced spice supported by supple tannins and gorgeous balance.
This well-calibrated dance of power and elegance is evident in its higher price point and somewhat limited availability, though any vintage is an incredible delight. It's sure to add charm to dinner, especially when paired with white truffle themes, braised game, grilled beef, or roasted lamb shanks.
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Looking for a rich, red wine from Piedmont, but don't have the time (or cash) to wait on the region's famed Barolo to mature? Then check out this classic, well-made and well-priced Barbaresco from Beni Di Batasiolo.
Crafted from the famed Nebbiolo grape, you can expect floral rose notes and black licorice to dominate the aromas with an earthy backdrop and subtle fruit. Made for meat, this wine will shine when partnered with braised game, bollito misto, and regionally cured meats. It's also sure to impress with seasonally-inspired treats like truffles.
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Frescobaldi CastelGiocondo Brunello di Montalcino
Frescobaldi's CastelGiocondo's Brunello is a stunning example of what Tuscany's Montalcino region is known and loved for, year in and year out. This Brunello has enjoyed basking in oak for 3 years and affords consumers a wine with excellent aging potential.
A first glance reveals a deep ruby color in the glass. The nose carries robust ripe fruit, dominated by dark cherry and plum surrounded by violet floral tones. The palate yields a full-bodied red wine with dense fruit character bordered by a spicy edge of clove, cinnamon, and tobacco. You'll also be treated to a well-honed tannin structure and a rich enduring finish that is worth every penny of its moderately high price.Continue to 9 of 10 below.
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A lively, 100 percent Pinot Grigio, Folonari is so well-distributed that you're likely to stumble across this bottle in nearly any wine shop. It's crisp and vibrant, and wonderfully dry, making it a perfect budget-friendly find for any occasion.
This white offers the flavors of citrus fruits and Granny Smith apple from Italy's Veneto region, accented with floral and grass notes. It makes a remarkable pairing partner with antipasto plates, goat cheese themes, and all kinds of seafood-inspired pasta dishes.
10 of 10
Pieropan Soave Classico
Made from Veneto's Garganega and a touch of Trebbiano di Soave grapes, Pieropan Soave Classico is a white wine that offers an alluring freshness. It brings a stimulating slice of pear and citrus to the palate with mineral-driven character and bright, well-balanced acidity.
Reasonably priced and intended to drink young, Soave can surprise with its willingness to age well. Enjoy it with soups, vegetable or egg dishes, and alongside your favorite seafood and fish entrées.