Region: Tuscany, Italy
Price: < $30
Rosso di Montalcino, Sangiovese from the heart of Tuscany, is a great value for your money. In fact, any Italian wine that has "Rosso" at the beginning of the name is a bargain, the word Rosso indicating that this is the second label for a more prestigious bottling.
In this case Rosso di Montalcino is the village wine of Brunello di Montalcino. Winemakers will put only their best grapes into the Brunello bottling; some even believe that theirs is a superior clone of Sangiovese, leaving the second best grapes for the Rosso which will sell for significantly less.
Rosso di Montalcino is meant to be consumed young and should have sweet fruit flavors, like plum & currant, with some spice too. This is a wine that will pair well with stews, roasted fall vegetables or even a heartier dish like Osso Bucco.
One of our favorite resources for Italian wines is Italian Wine Merchants (108 East 16th Street). Look for the Altesino, it was a big hit at our last dinner party. Or you could head over to Vino Italian Wine Merchants (121 East 27th Street) who currently have the Mastrojianni, another classic example of Rosso di Montalcino, for $23.00, .