About Italian Wine

About Italian Wine
Italy is regularly the world's leading producer of wine quantity-wise (or second next to France - the numbers are very similar), which should come as no surprise, as wine is produced in each of the country's 20 regions (this is the only country in the world where this is true). While there are still many inexpensive red wines produced in the south as well as in Abruzzo in the country's central region,along with a multitude of value-priced whites from the Veneto region in the north, the emphasis over the last thirty years in the Italian wine industry has been more on quality as well as regional and varietal differences in their wines.

Some of the world's most highly regarded red wines, such as Brunello di Montalcino (Tuscany) as well as Barolo and Barbaresco (Piedmont) are produced in Italy and have brought the country great respect from critics and consumers the world round. Of course, Chianti is a moderately priced red that is as popular a red wine as there is anywhere and Barbera from Piedmont and Nero d'Avola from Sicily, two tangy, spicy reds, have become extremely popular over the past two decades.

As of late, Italian white wines have made great strides, as examples from Friuli, Alto Adige and Campania among other regions, have been recognized for their distinctiveness and vibrancy.

Combining a sense of history with the emphasis on traditional indigenous varieties, along with a willingness to experiment and craft wines that modern consumers are looking for, the Italian wine industry is as strong and as relevant as ever.

Top Picks for Italy

Collina San Ponzio 2018  Barolo DOCG
94 points
$44
Garnet black color. Aromas and flavors of lingonberry, capers, buttery pastry crusts, and pate with a tannic, vibrant, dry medium-full body and a warming, layered, very long finish with notes of caramel and tar. A firm but generous Barolo with distinctive caper berry flavors; stylish, balanced, bodacious.
Kirkland Signature 2016  Brunello di Montalcino DOCG
94 points
$19.99
Best Buy
Ruby black color. Aromas and flavors of blackberry, cherry tobacco, cocoa, and vintage leather with a tannic, racy, dry full body and a warming, very long finish revealing notes of cranberry sage jam, rose hip, cured meats, and juniper with firm, well-integrated tannins and moderate oak flavor. Complexity abounds in this Brunello; easily pair with show-stopping meals or allow it to unfold in the glass over long conversations.
Awards: '2021 World Value Wine Challenge-Top 10 Red Wine $15 and Under' Best Value Tuscan Red
94 points $19.99 Best Buy
Ruggeri 2020 Giustino B Prosecco DOCG
94 points
$31.99
Emerald straw color. Aromas and flavors of pineapple gummies, lemon swathe, and mandarin with a lean, vibrant, finely carbonated, dry light body and a smooth, delightful, medium-length finish that presents touches of ripe pear and cantaloupe with fruit tannins and no oak flavor. Perfectly balanced bubbly; great for sipping or pairing.
Awards: 2021 Best Prosecco
94 points $31.99
Acquesi NV Spumante Asti DOCG
94 points
$14
Best Buy
Brilliant straw color. Aromas of peach puree, fresh apricot, yellow apple, lime zest, and lemon candy with a satiny, lively, fizzy, moderately sweet light-to-medium body and an interesting, relaxed lemon curd, honeycomb, pineapple cola, mineral, and peach syrup finish with no oak flavor. An ethereal, delicious, and precisely balanced Sparkling Moscato; ready to pair with a fresh fruit and cream dessert - or replace dessert entirely.
Awards: 2021 Best Asti Spumante
94 points $14 Best Buy
Collina San Ponzio 2018 Fossati Single Vineyard Barolo DOCG
93 points
$85
Burnt sienna color. Aromas of toasted cinnamon sticks, spiced raisins, and ripe persimmon with a tannic, vibrant, dry medium-full body and a warming, complex, long hints of espresso, five spice, and pressed flowers finish with light oak flavor. Excellent balance, beckoning style.
Kirkland Signature 2015  Brunello di Montalcino DOCG
93 points
$26
Burnt sienna color. Aromas and flavors of leather, rose, black tea, fresh thyme, sandalwood, and dried cherries with a round, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a smooth, complex, long finish that exhibits shades of hibiscus with well-integrated tannins and moderate oak flavor. A delicious, well-integrated Brunello that will continue to improve with age.
Omina Romana 2016 Ars Magna Merlot
93 points
$70
Brick red color. Aromas of candied cherry, raspberry gelee, and red bell pepper with a round, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a complex, long leather, licorice, cola, and cafe au lait finish with silky, well-integrated tannins and moderate oak flavor. A silky, well integrated Merlot that will fit right in with an excellent steak.
Ruggeri 2018 Giustino B. Extra Dry Prosecco Superiore DOCG
93 points
$31.99
Emerald straw color. Aromas of dried pear, hints of dried peach, purple flowers, and lime curd with a satiny, crisp, effervescent, fruity light-to-medium body and a polished, interesting, medium-length green apple, almonds, and shortcake finish with no oak flavor. A fruity, palate-pleasing Prosecco that’s a joy to sip and celebrate with.
93 points $31.99
Contempo 2020  Montepulciano
92 points
$9
Best Buy
Garnet black color. Aromas of fruit and goat leathers, chocolate covered cherries, roasted peppers and cherries, and pistachio date toffee with a full body and a long roasted tomato, cedar, and pomegranates and mint finish. An Old World world red well suited for a nice Italian meal.
92 points $9 Best Buy
Risata NV Blueberry Flavored Semi-Sweet Red Blend Italy
92 points
$12
Best Buy
Light garnet color. Aromas and flavors of cranberry-blueberry herb relish, pomegranate chutney, and sage and bay leaf with a supple, vibrant, finely carbonated, off-dry light-to-medium body and an effortless, interesting, medium-long finish with elements of citrus and berry sorbets and honeyed peach and apple with no oak flavor. A spicy and spry Brachetto-like wine that will be great with bbq or on its own for the pool party.
92 points $12 Best Buy