Returning to the rest of Italy

An excellent cheese pizza from Louisville's MozzaPi.

Who doesn’t love Italian wine? I got my start in wine with the lovable wines of Italy, enjoying them at the homes of Italian-American friends before I was old enough to drink legally.
But a funny thing happened as I grew up and my interests in wine evolved: I got so busy exploring the rest of the world’s wine regions and grapes …

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Cantine Montagna 2017 Sangue di Giuda

Sangue di Giuda

Dark reddish-purple. The narrow natural cork comes out with a pop, but only a few bubbles line the rim. Light, simple but pleasant scent of plums and mixed berries leads into a bright, appealing flavor that’s more forward with plum-berry fruit. It’s on the sweet side but not at all cloying; crisp acidity and a light prickly effervescence helps hold the sugar in balance, as does a light but perceptible bitter almond note in the finish. A soft drink for grown-ups, best served on the warm side of refrigerator temperature, its light 7.5% makes it an easy quaff. From Oltrepò Pavese, it’s a blend of 45% each Croatina and Barbera plus small amounts of the local Ughetta and Uva Rara.

FIND THIS WINE ONLINE: returns only limited vendors for Cantine Francesco Montagna Oltrepò Pavese Sangue di Giuda on You might check in with the importer via its online contact form for information on retailers accessible to you.

Try this Wine-Searcher info page on Sangue di Giuda, though, for a list of about two dozen bottlings from other producers. Read article.

Masciarelli 2015 Montepulciano d’Abruzzo


Dark reddish-purple with a clear garnet edge. I detect fresh, subtle mixed berries on the nose, blackberry over back notes of strawberry and blueberry with a touch of warm spice. Fresh acidity wakes the palate, with soft tannins adding structure to simple but pleasant ripe plum and berry fruit. On the rustic side, but there’s nothing wrong with that in a modest Italian table wine. Tannic astringency, not unpleasant, lingers after the fruit fades. The label’s midrange 13% alcohol statement seems about right.

Compare prices and locate vendors for Masciarelli Montepulciano d’Abruzzo on

Browse a broad range of other Montepulciano d’Abruzzo wines on (Page down past the information page to find an extensive list of wines, prices and vendors.) Read article.

Three good wines under $10

We’re enjoying our month-long exploration into good-value, low-price wines generally under $10 (or the equivalent in Euros, Pounds Sterling, Yen and such) in Wine Focus: How low can you go? Here are my reports on three more good cheap wines, including two French reds and an excellent white from Italy’s lake country. See below, also, for links to buying information on another half-dozen good cheap wines that I’ve enjoyed recently. Read article.

Domaine de Pouy 2016 Côtes de Gascogne

Domaine de Pouy

Clear, bright straw color, with a marked melon aroma, a mix of musky cantaloupe and more subtle honeydew. Fresh and tart flavors carry over the melon character and add a bright squirt of lemon. Medium-bodied, its texture becomes more evident as the wine warms in the glass, and a hint of pleasant peach-pit bitterness joins in on a very long finish. Its rather light 10.5 percent alcohol makes it an easy sipper. It’s fine now but will become even more appealing as spring returns and warms into summer.

Check prices and locate vendors for Domaine de Pouy 2016 Côtes de Gascogne on Read article.