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Top 10 Best-value Italian Wines

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Interested in trying Italian wines, but not sure how to read the labels, determine the DOC or figure out who makes what, where? Look no further, here are ten reasonably priced Italian wines to get you started.

1. Stella Pinot Grigio 2003 (Umbria, Italy) $10

A lively, 100% Pinot Grigio with clean, crisp flavors of citrus fruits. Imported by Leonardo LoCascio and sold at a very reasonable $10 per bottle. Pair this number with a spicy stir fry, cream sauce dishes, or a well-seasoned fish dish.

2. Villa Sandi Prosecco Extra Dry $12

This Prosecco, a sparkling wine from northern Italy, is amazing with appetizers such as chilled shrimp and cocktail sauce, also plays very well with Gorgonzola, Mozzarella, and fresh goat cheese.

3. Saracco Moscato d'Asti 2004 (Piedmont) $12

This mildly sweet wine from northern Piedmont's Asti area, has a slight sparkle to it, bringing both balance and clarity. Perfect for foods with a heavy hitting spice that needs a bit of taming.

4. Produttori del Barbaresco Nebbiolo delle Langhe 2002 (Piedmont) $16

This Barbaresco wine from the Nebbiolo grape, boasts amazing clarity and tongue-tying tannins. Game, specifically venison, will mellow this wine a bit, but give it a go for its endearing intensity and all over peppered flavor.

5. Antinori Peppoli Chianti Classico 2001 (Chianti) $ 15

This Chianti (named for the Italian region, not the grape - the grape is predominantly Sangiovese)is a delightful accompaniment to traditional Italian fare. Rich flavors, good, solid structure with well placed tannins.

6. Castello di Monastero Chianti Superiore 2001 (Chianti) $10

This is a well-worn red that can go the distance with a wide variety of foods (yes, innately bent towards Italian fare). Easy to buy, easy to drink and undeniably Italian in character. A sure shot with tomato-based pasta, prosciutto and Italian cheeses.

7. Fontodi Chianti Classico 2001 (Chianti) $20

This is a medium-bodied red with distinct ruby red color, blackberry and dark cherry flavors dominate this well-rounded wine. Enjoy the versatility give it a try with hearty Italian fare or New World favorites like pizza, pestos, grilled meats or veggies!

8. Righetti Amarone 2000 (Veneto) $18

This is a super bargain Amarone with rich, dark flavors of dried cherries and a warm, spicy finish.

9. Marenco Scrapona Moscato D' Asti (Piedmont) 2003 $13

You should be able to find this wine for around $13 at a local wine shop, and it is well worth the hunt. This is a very aromatic white wine with super zesty flavors of both tangerine and grapefruit, mixed with melon and surrounded by honeyed overtones. A very easy going sweeter wine with the flexibility to pair with appetizers, follow a cappuccino and chocolate covered biscotti or shimmy up to a summer pie.

10. Famiglia Anselma Barolo 2000 (Piedmont) $40

OK, so $40 a bottle is typically not categorized as "best bargain" wine; but for a Barolo, $40 is a steal and this wine is worth every last dime. A strong, full-bodied red wine that with tantalizing berry flavors and a nose full of roses. Recommend serving with a zesty pot roast or noticeable cheeses.
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