Italian Wines Well Under $20

Best Buys

At one of the seminars at Vino 2010, the person next to me said, “It is impossible to get a good Italian wine for under $20.00.”  This got me thinking.  Often, maybe too often, I write about very expensive and very old wines, but I do not drink these wines every day. I like expensive older wines, but the price of a wine does not impress me. I would rather drink a $12 traditionally made wine than one that costs 20 times as much and tastes like every other wine. It is the style of the wine that is important to me — not the price.

Here is a list of wines all under $20 that I would drink instead of a number of more expensive wines.

Slivia Franco with the Nino Franco Rustico Prosecco

 Nino Franco Prosecco Valdobbiadene “Rustico”  NV  D.O.C. 100% Prosecco (After April 2010 the area is Prosecco and the grape which is Glera) Fresh citrus aromas and  flavors  with good bubbles. In the Veneto, Prosecco is always served in a white wine glass.  Veneto $16-20.

 di Lenardo Vineyards  Grave Del Friuli

1.TOH! Da Uva Friulano- Friulano Friuli D.O.C. Grave, 100% Friuliano (Tocai ).  It is a soft well balanced wine. Friuli, under $15

 2.Sauvignon.I.G.T Venezia Giulia, a vine blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Sancerre clones, aromatic  with aromas and flavors of sage and melon. Well balanced with good acidity. Friuli ,under $15

 3.Pass the Cookies I.G.T. (Great name for a dessert wine) Venezia Giulia 100% Verduzzo. Harvested late and dried three months on the racks. Dried fruit aromas and flavors with undertones of caramel. It is a 500ml but still a great deal for under. Friuli , under $15


 Cantina Lungarotti Rubesco  Rosso di Torgiano D.O.C. Made from 70% Savgiovese and 30% Canaiolo.   Red fruit aromas and flavors with a hint of violets, long finish and a red fruit aftertaste.  Umbria $14

Giovanni Busi and his Villa Travignoli

 Azienda Agricola Travignoli  Villa Travignoli Chianti Rufina D.O.C.G.   100% Sangiovese.  Aromas and flavors of red fruit, and real sangiovese character. Tuscany $15

Monte Antico  Toscana I.G.T.85% Sangiovese..% 10 Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Merlot. Red berry aromas and flavors and good acidity. Tuscany $14 


1. Trebbiano d’ Abruzzo  D.O.C. Citrus aromas and flavors with undertones of apple.  Abruzzo, $13

 2. Montepullciano d’Abruzzo D.O.C. Red berry aromas and flavors, a hint of cherry and a touch of tobacco,.Abruzza, $13

Diego Cusumano and his wine

Cusumano  Benuara  70%Nero d’Avola and 30% Syrah, Sicily I.G.T. Aromatic with red and black fruit . Usually I do not like Nero d’Avola blended with Syrah, but the wine is in stainless steel and 20hl barrels and it works very well. Sicily $15-18

 Sella and Mosca Cannonau Riserva  di Sardinia D.O.C. 100% Cannonau.  Red fruit with hints of spices and herbs and very earthly. Sardinia   $15 

 Agricole Vallone  Vigna Flamino  Riserva Brindisi Rosso D.O.C. Mostly Negroamaro with Malvasis Nrea and Moltipulicano.  Red fruit aromas and flavors with a under tones of prune. Puglia $15

Cantina Sociale Cooperativa Copertino  Copertino Riserva D.O.C. 95% Negroammaro and 5% Malvasia Nera  Black and red fruit aromas and flavors with hint  a of  tobacco. Puglia $15

Conti Zecca Nergroamaro Salento D.O.C. 100% Negroamaro, aromas and flavors of red fruit with a hint of prune, Puglia  $15


There are many more I could list, but these were the first that came to mind and will add more another time.

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