Outside of Italy, it is not always easy to fine top Italian wines for less than a steak dinner. People have always associated the cost of wine with the enjoyment thereof. Just because you paid over 75 be it dollars, euros sterling etc for a bottle of wine, does not necessarily mean that it is to your taste. I enjoy pairing wine with food as many of you might know and the price is not really something I focus on. If the wine tastes good and can be paired with the dish I have in mind, then I buy it. Usually, I attend as many wine tasting as possible to sample what is not only good but also affordable.
Some would have everyone believe that the French produce the best quality wines than almost any other country. However, if you were to compare to the wine produced in Italy to that of almost any other country you would find that Italian wines are amazing especially when compared in price to their French counterpart. Out of the 100 most expensive wines in the world, 38 are produced in France. Just because something costs more, does not necessarily mean it is of higher quality. There are some expensive wines that I enjoy, but then there are those that cost less than steak and taste just as delicious, if not more. I have decided to share some of my favorite low budget Italian wines with you.
Bricco dei Tati, Barbera Piemonte – 2007 €7
Barbera wines are usually full-bodied, but this one I would place more in the medium category. Besides the prune and cinnamon tones, you can also experience some earthy tones like mushroom, sage, and leather. As sinful as it might be to pair a red wine with white meat, this works surprisingly well. If I had to guess, I’d say it has to do with the light fruity tones of blueberry and cherry.
Antinori, Santa Christina Pinot Grigio – 2016 €8
Apples and citrus are the undertones that make up this beautiful bottle of Pinot Grigio. Sometimes you just need a good bottle of white wine to go with your seafood, white meat, and pasta dishes. It’s a balanced wine that you would find is easy to drink. There is no heaviness to this wine and it a great option on a hot day.
Barone Fini, Pinot Grigio Valdadige – 2016 €9.99
If you love juicy fruity flavors, this wine is going to become your best beverage. It is so light but packed with flavor. With a long finish consisting of apples and lychees, this wine is great on its own and paired with light vegetarian dishes. There are some grapefruit and citrus tones on the nose with a very light minerality. It’s just one of those uncomplicated and delicious wines to enjoy.
Cantina Frentana, ‘Frentano’ Trebbiano – 2015 $7
Founded in 1960, Frentano winery is one of the original wineries in Abruzzo. Cantina Frentana goes through a fermenting process in stainless steel tanks, which accentuates its fresh orchard flavors. Apple blossom and citrus are tones made in heaven and can be paired with pasta dishes and seafood. In fact, orzo pasta dish with shrimp would be a great option if you want to experience all the tones. With the many years behind this winery, we can be assured that there has been some thought that went into creating this delicious white wine.
Castelvero, Contese Piemonte – 2016 €9.99
Just looking at this bottle of wine is stunning. The pale yellow color has hints of green with a white wrapping that just looks fresh and clean. A crisp and light wine with grapefruit tones would be another good option to pair with seafood or appetizers. If you are hosting a dinner party, you could make this your wine to pair with the starters.
Cavit, Lunetta Rose Sparkling Wine
This option comes in 3 x 187 ml packs and is great for entertaining. Think about raspberries, apples, and peaches. Some people believe that sparkling wines are not exactly wines, but it sure is fun to have. Invite some girlfriends and hand each of them their petite bottle of bubbly and you should have a fun time.
At the end of the day no matter what the occasion may be, there is always something special about opening a bottle of wine.