Outside of Italy it is not always easy to fine top Italian wines that cost under 10. For some reason, we have associated the cost of wine with the enjoyment thereof. Just because you paid over 90 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 French wines are of a higher quality 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 50 most expensive wines in the world, 38 are produced in France. Just because something costs more, does not necessarily mean it is of a higher quality. There are some expensive wines that I enjoy, but then there are those that cost less than $10 dollars and taste just as delicious, if not more. I have decided to share some of my favorite low budget Italian wines with you.
Capezzana, Conti Contini Sangiovese Toscana 2005 – €9
The dark vine (Sangiovese) is usually synonymous when it comes to Tuscany’s red wines. This vine goes back for generations and is the core ingredient in some of Italy’s top wines. The slow ripening provides a stronger wine and is richer than those produced from earlier ripening vines. Having a wine that is 100% made from the Sangiovese blend provides a clean and fruity taste with a light spice tone. This wine is great for pairing with red meat or a vegetarian dish with legumes as the base.
Monte degli Angeli, Monferrato Pinot Noir – 2007 – €9
A great wine to have with any dinner has to be Monderreto Pinot Noir. It’s medium bodied with a smoky and fruity undertone. There is a hint of cinnamon and plum sauce hidden in there, which softens the taste just a little. If you are not a red wine person, the taste of this wine is easy to get used to and enjoy.
Feudo Arancio, Nero d’Avola – 2007 €9
When you are looking for an uncomplicated wine with medium intensity, this one might be a good option for you. It’s dry with fruity tones and a bitter finish that is not unpleasant. This is one of those wines where price does not determine taste. If compared to some of its more expensive counterparts, this wine does not make the competition easy.
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.
Cupcake Prosecco, Veneto – €8
Sparkling wines are fun and creates an atmosphere of celebration, even if there isn’t one. Just the name Cupcake Prosecco sounds delicious and it does not disappoint. It’s light and airy with an undeniable taste of cupcakes. The tones of citrus is prominent and although seen as a desert wine, it’s also great to sip on without any pairing. For me, in the battle of Italian Prosecco versus French Champagne, Prosecco wins of quality for price.
At the end of the day no matter what the occasion may be, there is just something special about opening a bottle of wine. It might be your reward for winning in the boardroom or simply in celebration of making it through a tough time. At the end of the day, even strangers can have a few things in common.
Semone Noel, a transplant New Yorker, born and raised in Brooklyn by Caribbean parents. After moving to Italy and discovering the Italian Sweet Life for herself. She created the food & wine blog www.Gastronomer.co, named one of the top 50 gastronomy blogs in summer 2017 by Facebook. Inc.