Good bang for the buck. Drinkable with a bit of earthy funk. If you're not sure if she's coming for dinner and you're cooking alone its a good choice. And if the sauce needs some wine it won't break your heart. Lighter proteins and strong herbs work well with it. All in all a good wine to always have on hand.
Black Oak Pinot Noir $10.00
From the warm south of Italy comes this earth yet bright Pinot. Deep, ruby in color with a lovely bouquet of sweet spices, even a dusting of cinnamon and nutmeg. Ripe black cherry and some plum tones meld into a smooth, velvety finish.
Arbosto Bianco $10.00
Down in the south of Italy, wine and seafood are everyday if not multiple times a day. Straightforward, big acid to cut olive oil, body to fit on the table any time. A rare grape for us but one that dates back thousands of years to Greece. Try it with rich seafood and see how it simply works perfectly.
Caravella Limoncello $11.00
With the sweet fresh juice and the tart earthy peels of lemons from Italy's Amalfi coast comes this family recipe dating back to 1898. Great by itself after lunch or in a number of cocktails. 375 ml
Arbosto Rosso $11.00
We love affordable easy drinkers! Medium to full bodied with very soft tannins despite the high tannin Aglianico. Bright acidity and rustic notes with tart red cherries and green olives flavors. Add a little earthy herb and a light amount of spice then a long finish with hints of chocolate, baking spices, and some peppery, toasted oak.
Castelfeder Pertico Rosso $12.00
Such a pretty little wine! Deep, ruby color and a intense aromas of cherries, tobacco, blackberry. Just a little oak to mellow things out . The Cab and Merlot bring just a touch of richness and licorice but the Lagrein has the leading role with its bright red fruit flavors.
Col Solivo Prosecco $12.00
Yum! Soft peach and floral notes with a smooth finish. This Prosecco is classified "Extra Dry" which means its a touch sweeter than the "Bruts" that are next to it. A very easy drinking bubbly and a great price!
Pietraluna Negramaro $13.00
The wine is inky purple with tar and black fruit aromas, a gutsy middle and round, moderately tannic end that almost needs chewing. Itís a great deal and truly a wine to work with tomato sauce and herbs better than chianti!
Gran Passione Falanghina $13.00
From the south of Italy comes one of the worlds oldest varietals (800 BC). Bright pear, pineapple and lemon peel flavors that finish clean. Shows a solid mineral backbone and round body while being smooth but lively as well. Made for light meats and seafood.
Taburno Aglianico $13.00
It's not Taurasi but it is a great wine for the money. Juicy red berries, violets, and crushed stone show on the nose. It's a lighter, leaner style but still showing some fun smoke, tobacco, game and a nice vibrant acidity.
Latium Morini $14.00
A good deal on another "Baby Amarone" and a seriously delicious red blend from the region near Venice, Italy. Medium bodied, spicy and really lovely with summer cuisine with its zippy red berries, cherries and exotic spice notes, perfect for grilled poultry, pork, fish and summery pastas.
Most of the Lambrusco that has hit our shores has been syrupy, nasty stuff like Ruinete (ruin is in the name) and whatever they pour in the Garden of Olives. This is a different creature altogether, bringing soft red raspberry and pink grapefruit up front before finishing clean. It will change your worldview in a single serving.
Vignarco Orvieto Classico $14.00
The limestone soils of Umbria have produced famous wine since the days of the Etruscans. An organic beauty with fresh, outdoorsy aromas of delicate wildflowers. A brightly acidic white marked by key lime, melon and citrus zest notes that remain lively through the light, spring herb-accented finish.
Gertrude La Maialina Tuscano $14.50
A great deal! Take the best of Chianti and the depth of a Super Tuscan at an everyday drinking price. Warm blackberry on the nose with vibrant raspberry acidity on the tongue. A wine to drink with beef, or roast chicken or on any day that ends in "y".
The limestone soils from Monferrato show in this fun take on Barbera. A bit of Friesa is added for raw brightness. Easy drinking yet with gobs of Italian character. Nice plum and pepper show through nicely. No oaking.
A perfect summer red! Intense ruby red with soft garnet nuances in the glass, the Piemonte Rosso is intriguingly fresh, fruity and spicy on the nose. Perfectly round and balanced, pair with simple dishes like fresh cheese, ham, salami, or pizza. Easier drinking than most wines from this region.
Starda Paitin Nebbiolo $15.00
We love Neb but finding affordable ones are always a challenge. This guy is a little young still but shows garnet ruby color, with intense aromas of black currant, violets, cherries and sweet spices. Classic bright acidity with structure, finesse and balance. The Italian fat melter!
Chianti with testosterone? Pretty much, a wonderful 90% Sangiovese (10% Cab) from Maremma in Tuscany. Big dark fruit flavors and a good tannic grip from time in small barrels. Changing every minute itís open. Try with Taleggio or Capocollo, it sings with food!
Gran Passione $15.00
From the land of Amarone comes a delicious Merlot based blend. To perfectly ripe Merlot (60%) is added juice from dried Corvina grapes ala Amarone. Rich, deep and smooth, this is a remarkable Merlot that may just change your Merlot worldview!
Made with organically grown Glera (Prosecco) and Raboso grapes, this outstanding fizzy rose is a joyful bottle of sunshine. The mousse (foam) is fine and vivacious. Lots of gorgeous aromas with a clean finish.
Anthilia DonnaFugato $16.00
Bright apple, melon and some minerality show strong on the nose. Nice fleshy body with juicy vibrant flavors of Honey dew, key lime and peach. Fun slight spiciness on the finish. A full figured Sicilian that will break your heart and make you forget your Californian chard twice over.
Renato Ratti Barbera $16.00
This refreshing little gem is one that youíll remember. Bright cranberry and red cherry flavors, brisk acidity, negligible oak. Just a touch of spice and herbs on the finish. It truly awakens with food, one of Piedmontís red gems.
A fairly unusual style from a very reputable producer. Very restrained and drinkable, with just the faintest hints of black cherry, tar, smoke and leather with the typical (if a bit softer) rose petal. Clean and easy finish with flavors of licorice, plum and violets.
Castelfeder Pinot Grigio 15 $16.00
Light green lusters run through the radiant straw-yellow colour of this wine. Its aroma is rich in fruits, the most striking of which are pears and apples. An excellent balance gives this wine strength and structure. It is dry and smooth on the palate with a pleasant, mineral aftertaste. Pinot Grigio goes well with many dishes, especially lighter foods, fried mushrooms and fresh water fish.
Poggio Ginepri Rosato $16.00
Italians don't quaff rose like the French or Spanish but this Tuscan blend of dark French grapes is done remarkably well and unique. It has a big, round mouthfeel but with a nice backbone of acidity. Have you ever had a Super Tuscan rose? Cherish this one as they are hard for us to get our hands on!
Tintero Moscato $16.00
Sori Gramella refers to the one of the only single vineyard Moscatos, and Marco is the only producer to bottle this striking limestone amphitheater commercially. Once the 30 year old vines give up their bounty, and the grapes are harvested and pressed, they are kept in stainless steel at a low temperature to prevent fermentation until an order is received in order to provide the freshest wine possible.
Located on the family vineyards in the Monforte díAlba commune, this 100% Dolcetto is a beautiful expression of what this grape can do. With leather, cherry, raspberry and tobacco accents, and a little acidity that goes a long way, itís really hard to not drink a second bottle. This gem will go with our sopressata on a platter, or any sharp hard cheese.
Adjacent to Salentino in the far south of Italy comes this smooth and rich Primitivo. Either a sister or identical twin of Zinfandel, you will find dark fruit but with a unmistakable sweet earthiness, flowers, figs, balsamic and mocha flavors. A secret gem.
Delicious, full of dark raspberry, violet, rose, blueberry and black pepper aromas & flavors. Called ďOld ModenaĒ as the winery in Modena (just above Bologna in Emilia Romagna region) is 150 years old. Done in the "secco" or dry style, this is nothing like the one you'd find in the "olive garden". This is the quintessential wine to drink with a friends on a hot summer day.
Ronco delle Betulle Refosco $17.00
Such a delicious and fun wine. Sassy nose showing blueberry, smoke, cigar, dried leaves and herbs. Palate brings violets, blackberry, plum and remarkable hit of acidity at the finish. Hard to stop drinking. Roasted chicken or pork would be amazing with this. Go go Refosco!
Vermentino di Sardegna Nuo $18.00
Quite possibly the oldest wine region in the Med, the now overlooked Sardinia has created remarkable wine for over 3 millenia. Long skin contact and a slight oxidation creates this beautiful golden color. Rich oily texture with a solid acid backbone surrounded by a sea breeze note and herbal tones showing basil, rosemary, sage and cedar. Yet underneath all are vibrant citrus and melon. Completely out of the ordinary, yet a style barely changed since the ceasars. Try it!
Luigi Giordano Langhe Rosso $18.00
A really fun and unique wine. The bouquet is full and fruity, with hints of crisp dried flowers, dried plum and red fruit jam. The light spicy notes are just delicately noticed. The wine is full-bodied, very drinkable, and well balanced. It's best with a light chill, drinks like a bright Beaujolais.
Negro Angelin $18.00
Just when I think we have enough Nebbiolo comes this new style. Classic fresh bouquet with hints of rose, leather, blackberry and blackcurrant. Drinkable but quite structured as well. I would love to see it in 5 years but I can't stop drinking it now.
In an enchanted place, on a beautiful strip of Sicilian land surrounded by vineyards within the Nature Reserve of Lake Preola and nurtured by the sea breeze comes this very rare fortified Zibibbo. Warm aromas of roses and almonds. Well balanced and full, perfect with desserts, especially pastries.
Andrian Finado $19.00
Nice, clean crisp Italian white. Beautiful white peach notes, easy drinking by itself and pairs well with summer foods. Nice minerality, mild hints of honeydew. The acid freaks rejoice with this one!
Kettmeir Muller Thurgau $19.00
For over a hundred years Kettmeir has been producing wine in the Italian Alps, since before they were Italian even. Muller is a bit aromatic and the nose is intense showing notes of nutmeg, lemon zest and white peach. Long cool fermentation keeps the acids vibrant and makes this wine shine with high fat risottos, grilled white fish and any fried foods.
Zorzon Sauvignon Blanc $19.00
Bright ripe green apple and passion fruit on the nose supported with wet, clean stone and a touch of basil. Light and elegant with clean bright flavors of lemon, mint, and apple. Doesnt abuse you with too much acid, and has a lovely lingering finish.
Soft nose of blackberry, tobacco, spice and volcanic earth with a little hint of Kirsch as well. Explosive cherry flavor with a nice structure to finish. Really fun. I know there are cheaper ones out there, but this is the liveliest, and a delicious expression of the grape. Just enhanced with a few months in 2nd pass French oak.
Made from the Sangiovese, the king grape in Tuscany, Chianti can come in a variety of different styles, ours is light to medium bodied with hints of dried cherries, mushrooms, mint and leather. A wonderful wine to accompany any beef and aged cheese, also not to shabby with a meat sauce.
Carpinetto Chianti Classico $20.00
A traditional styled Chianti aged in Slovenian oak bursting with bright red fruit joined with smoke, violets and just a bit of earth. One of Tuscanyís most notable producers yet affordable for Classico fruit.
Be the first of your friends to try a Bolgheri DOC by the glass. Made with all French invaders, Cab Sauv, Merlot and Syrah, this is almost like a Bordeaux but from Italy. Intense and deep aromas of red berry and mature plums with hints of eucalyptus and liquorice. Come on, why not?
Sometimes I think I need an intervention with regard to Italian wines. A sparkling Falanghina? Really? Oh yes and it's so delicious. Made similar to Prosecco and "extra dry" means the fruit is the star of the show. Itís clean, a little soft and charming without being pretentious. Nice soft nose of apple and lemon cream with a little pie crust. You may not want Prosecco again, but good luck finding this anywhere but here or another geeky wine shop.
San Brizio $23.00
This is a 100% Garganega from the vineyard behind Villa Buri. Maturation in 500 lt oak barrels fills out the typical scents of Garganega with delicate tertiary hints of vanilla, acacia honey and a complex ripe fruitiness that make it concentrated, mouth-filling and faintly balsamic. This great Soave from the Alpone Valley is rich and well-structured, with a deep straw yellow hue and golden highlights.
Maley Cider $24.00
Abandoned alpine orchards planted upwards of 4000 feet, half of them in the French Alps surrounding Chamonix and half in nearly-deserted Alpine towns in the Italian Valle díAosta. No chemicals. Some of these sleepy apple trees havenít been picked in decades. The only Italian cider made with heirloom apple varieties. It's just the best, really.
Palazzo Della Torre $24.00
This blend of 70% Corvina Veronese, 25% Rondinella and 5% Sangiovese is a smooth, fullbodied cru made in an innovative ripasso style. After the harvest, the grapes from the Palazzo della Torre vineyard follow two different paths: 70% of the grapes picked are vinified immediately, and the remaining 30% are left to dry until the end of December. The fresh wine made at harvest is blended with the fermenting juice of the dried grapes, initiating a second fermentation, and rendering a more highly concentrated and complex wine. Allegrini affectionately refers to Palazzo della Torre as its "baby Amarone." Deep ruby red in color, this wine is brimming with notes of dark, dried cherries, blackberries and hints of dates and mocha.
Bramito Chardonnay $24.00
From the famous Antinori family comes this Italian beauty showing fresh, complex flavors and aromas of pineapple, citrus fruits and butterscotch. Full bodied and crisp with just the right amount of oak, this Chardonnay is sure to be a hit at your next dinner party! !
Outside of Chianti lies the lesser known Sangiovese stronghold of Montalcino. And hiding beneath the expensive Brunellos are the Vino Nobile de Montalcino. Powerful red fruit, cigar box, herbs on the nose. Nice tannic backbone and all around a good solid wine. You might not go back to Chianti after this!
Tramonto Limoncello $26.00
Amalfi coast lemons have few seeds, minimizing the bitterness, while the lemon itself is bursting with sweet and sour flavor. The lemons are fermented and steeped in a mixture of natural sugar and alcohol for at least 20 days. Lightly toasty lemon poppy seed muffin aromas lead into almost a lemon sherbert character with a light lemon zest note. Somehow it finishes quite clean with a mineral and pepper tone.
Lazzaroni Amaretto $26.00
Made from the original secret formula created in 1851 by Paolo and Davide Lazzaroni in Saronno, Italy, this classic liqueur is the only Amaretto made from an infusion of the famous Amaretti di Saronno cookies, rather than from some lab constructed extract. You can't say you don't like amaretto if you havenít tried the real stuff! Try it alone on cool evening or with a friend anytime!
Primitivo may be related to Zinfandel through a common Croatian grandmother, but this is far from any CA jammy slurper. Dark and brooding color, intense nose of smoke, meat and blackberry, and a lean earthy backbone. the fruit does show, but this is a hearty spicy wine that yearns for roasted meat.
Paolo dAmico Falesia $29.00
Wow, soft French oak, round and rich flavors with a lovely floral and mineral character on the nose. From the wild and rugged Umbria region and its rare volcanic soils comes a gorgeous organic wine. Just trust me here, its that good.
On the north side of Etna, the Calabrettas are a fourth generation family of winemakers farming near 100 year old ungrafted, organic vines. Truly a remarkable wine. 10 years old and still a little tight but giving up huge leather, blueberries, violets and black licorice aromas and flavors. Pretty much buries any new world red blends costing twice as much.
Calvo Vin Santo del Chianti $32.00
Curing the plague since 1348, this "holy wine" is crafted from selected late harvest bunches left to whither on straw mats for 2 months. After painstakingly meticulous selection they are then gently pressed, sealed in oak to ferment for 4 or 5 years. A gorgeous amber, this dessert lovely is medium sweet with hints of tangerine peel and toasted nuts and toffee nuts.
Classic voluptuous nose of everything neb. Roses. Hyacinth. Leather. Cocoa. Black tea. Tar. Spice. Still pretty lean and grippy. But quite drinkable with a little fat.
Grappa like no other! Perfectly infused and nuanced by chamomile, this is slightly sweeter than most grappa and so smooth! Crafted by the the Francoli family who've been making grappa for 5 generations. Drink this over ice with a splash of soda or at the end of a wonderful meal.
3 years in small oak barrels, this is Sangiovese that is unlike Chianti in every sense. Wild herbs and dark fruit pulse from the class, big and brooding with sulty interplay of smoky tar, vanilla, blackberry, and roses. Sorry CA cab, this is the wine for filet mignon or even a ribeye. Don't try this unless you are open to an epiphany.
Baracchi Ardito $42.00
Intense ruby red colour. Black pepper, fruity hints on the nose blend well with the toasty, chocolate and vanilla notes from ageing in wood. A complex, harmonious and well structured wine with smooth tannins and persistent fruity hints.
Barolo Chinato Cocchi $45.00
Guido Porro Barolo $48.00
Don't recognize the label? Guido makes beautiful wine but shies from the limelight or even the daylight. Rugged vineyards in Serralunga are where you'll find him, not at festivals or tastings. Lazzairasco is a south facing amphitheater producing dense, powerful ripe fruit with the classic leather, roses and pekoe tea character. Classic styling but drinkable now, although just.
I'm sorry. 65 year old vines, remarkable vintage, and already drinkable. This single-vineyard gem is hedonistic addiction in a bottle. Don't even try to explain what Barolo does to those not in the know, just keep this one to yourself. All it needs is some animal fat in flesh or cheese format and the tears will flow.
Argentiera Superiore $63.00
If you liked the Poggio ai Ginepri then this is definitely worth the step up. A little different blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc, a true Bordeaux, this little beauty packs on the flavor and finesse. Heavy dark fruits with elegance to spare. One of our GREAT, hard to find gems that is very much worth its weight in gold.