Italian Wine You Need

Italian Wine is a Favorite for a Reason

 

With over 350 official grape varieties, a breathtaking array of terrain, and a collection of true masters of the craft, Italy is undoubtedly one of the world’s top wine destinations. Italian wine ranges from light and delicate to some of the most tannic and brooding bottles that exist. So, where to start with Italian wine? For suggestions on Italian wine, we turned to sales associates Tekla Israelson, Erik Guzinski, Marcarthur Baralla, Amy Miller, and Josh Mitzrahi as well as sales manager Bambi Ray and spirits buyer Nima Ansari-Bahmani.

Grignolino del Monferrato Casalese, Oreste Buzio – 2015 $14.96
This dry red is light-bodied, but its strong peppercorn notes and healthy tannins make it seem like a much bolder Italian wine. The spice notes go well with many cuisines, but it’s a no-brainer for pizza and simple pasta dishes. Grignolino may not be a household name yet, but it should be! – TI

Freisa del Monferrato Casalese, Oreste Buzio – 2015 $11.96
Do you like exploring new wines, from grapes you’ve never heard of and producers that make small gems at unbeatable prices? Take a look at this Freisa. It means strawberry in the local Piemontese dialect, and while it doesn’t taste like strawberries, there is plenty of red fruit and earthy juiciness to please both Beaujolais and Old World Pinot Noir drinkers. Grab several, this Italian wine is a no-brainer for the price. – EG

Cannonau di Sardegna “Urùlu”, Orgosolo – 2013 $29.96
This full-bodied Italian wine with 15% alcohol shows clean dark fruits and an elegant but apparent earthiness. Made from Cannonau grapes rich in antioxidants that are supposed to increase lifespan, this wine will continue to develop even more complexity as it ages. – MB

Cerasuolo di Vittoria, Gulfi – 2015 $17.99
Bright and snappy, this Cerasuola is a true pleasure to drink. Gulfi farms organically and has a non-interventionist philosophy of winemaking that is evident in the glass. Made from 50% Frappato and 50% Nero d’Avola, this Italian wine shows blackberry and cherry notes with a hint of spice, all bolstered by a lively acidity. It’s a great weeknight wine, playful and delicious all on its own or paired with seafood and tomato pasta sauces. – AM

Lugana “I Frati,” Ca dei Frati – 2015 $21.96
Lugana translates to “lake in the woods”—referring to Lake Garda, which is at the base of the Alps in Lombardy, equidistant between Milan and Venice. In Lugana, the grape is Verdicchio (Trebbiano Di Lugana) and it is made in a number of different styles from light to fuller bodied. This unoaked Italian wine is young and fresh with bright balance and a focus on purity of fruit. Cheers! – JM

San Pio, Mastrojanni – 2013 $29.99
This Italian wine is a real treat if you need a partner for a cheesy, baked pasta and sausage dish, or grilled ribeye steak. The blend marries classic Tuscan Sangiovese with Cabernet Sauvignon, offering dark cherry fruit and firm tannins. The wine finishes with licorice and spice notes accented by time spent in French oak barrels. Buon Appetito! – BR

Franciacorta Extra Brut, Faccoli – NV $44.96
One of the kings of Italian sparkling wine, Claudio Faccoli has inherited the toil of his father’s life work along with some of Italy’s most exquisite vineyards for classic bubbly. As much terroir-driven as they are a personification of his larger-than-life personality, his Italian wines are uncompromising and evocative. – NAB