The Best Cheap Wine from Around Italy

Posted June 22, 2015

WineLibrary Staff


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One of the most striking details about Italian winemaking is that viticulture is viable in just about every corner of the country. From the foothills of the Alps, to the bottom tip of Sicily, Italy is a country whose heart, soul, and soil all seem to invite grape-growing and winemaking. To illustrate the point, we’ve selected three wines (all under $15) that will take you on a round-trip journey of Italy’s mainland. You may not have time for an Italian vacation, but you can buy wine that will get you most of the way there!

2011 Terre Di Monteforte Valpolicella Superiore DOC

Let’s do this clockwise starting in the Veneto. Italy’s largest wine-producing region, Veneto is located in the northeast corner of the country, and is home to internationally renowned wines like Amarone and, of course, Valpolicella. The Terre di Monteforte is actually a Valpolicella Superiore which, as in Bordeaux Superior, means it’s of a slightly higher alcohol content, and has spent at least a year in oak. This “mini Amarone” is full-bodied and brings tons of cherry, vanilla, and great structure to your dinner table. This is a big wine that wants big food, but carries a shockingly tiny pricetag.

2011 Sciara Fiori Del Sud Primitivo Salento

Heading all the way down Italy’s eastern coast, we eventually meet Puglia, the heel of the boot. Largely known for table-wine, Puglia is still capable of turning out some truly great wine from regions like Salento in the south. The 2011 Sciara Fiori Del Sud Primitivo Salento is just such a wine. It’s made from Primitivo, which is well known to be a relative of Zinfandel, and shows concentrated fruit, some baking spice, and relaxed, drinkable tannins.

2012 Roggiano Morellino Di Scansano

Finally we round the bottom of Italy, and make our way up the Amalfi coast to Tuscany. Eventually we hit a town about midway between Rome and Florence named Scansano. Like many other Tuscan DOCGs, Sangiovese is the name of the game here, and Scansano has been doing it the right way for longer than most of its neighbors. What you get here is a ripe, rounded expression of Sangiovese, replete with cherry, blue flowers, and middle-of-the-road structure that won’t tire out your palate should you choose to drink this wine on its own.



Item: 89281

750 mL

Retail: $15.99

$12.99 per btl

Item: 89282

750 mL

Retail: $14.99

$10.99 per btl

Item: 89283

750 mL

Retail: $14.99

$5.20 per btl