Ok, I admit it. I occasionally buy a lottery ticket and dream of having an unlimited budget to spend on any wine I want, any day of the week. However, until that day comes I’ve resigned myself to being a bargain hunter like most people. And after all, who doesn’t love finding a great value in their local wine shop? That’s not to say I’m content drinking just any plonk solely because it’s inexpensive.
The truth is that in today’s highly competitive wine market there are plenty of great values if you just know where to look.
With few exceptions, you can find tasty, value-priced wines from almost any country but since I’m an unabashed lover of Italian wines, why change things up now?
One of my favorite sources for “value” reds in Italy comes from the Abruzzo region on Italy’s eastern central coast. Montepulciano d’Abruzzo is an Italian red made from the Montepulciano grape variety in the Abruzzo region. It is often confused with Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, a Tuscan wine made from Sangiovese and named after the village of Montepulciano rather than the grape variety Montepulciano. Hey, I never said Italian wine was easy to understand!
Montepulciano from Abruzzo (Montepulciano d’Abruzzo in Italian) typically can be either light and easygoing or massive and rich, loaded with ripe cherry fruit and thick tannins. This variety in styles further complicates your buying decisions but don’t be discouraged. Once you find a Montepulciano that suits your palate you will be a fan forever.
Maturo Montepulciano d’Abruzzo ($8.99) has everything I’m looking for in an everyday red wine. Deep, intense ruby color. A bright fruity nose bursting with tart cherry and earthy flavors. Due to its soft tannins, you can enjoy this wine with food or just on its own. A world class wine? No, but a world class at less than $10 a bottle… definitely!