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Once again, we continue our series focusing on high quality wines, with wide distribution, that can be found for $20 or less.  This week we focus on great buys for your Italian dinners. Whether it’s pasta, pizza, or another favorite from Italy, these wines are yummy, will pair wonderfully, and don’t cost a pretty penny. Enjoy!

Fattoria del Cerro 2015 Rosso di Montepulciano

Grape(s): 70% Sangiovese & 30% Merlot

Region: Toscana, Italy

Price: 10-15

Tasting Notes:

A classic nose of bright cherries, leather, and herbs greet the senses. Plenty of cherry and raspberry flavors emerge on the palate with floral and earthy accents. Plush, dry, and bright, it’s a nice wine for under $15.

Rating: 90

Badiola 2014 Tosacana

Grape(s): 70% Sangiovese & 30% Merlot

Region: Toscana, Italy

Price: 10-15

Tasting Notes:

Notes of cherries, earth, and toasted walnuts combine nicely on the nose. The palate brings together flavors of bing cherry, cranberry, and raspberry with expressions of toasted nuts and very dark chocolate. Fairly supple with a friendly acidity, open a bottle next time you enjoy a pesto pasta salad.

Rating: 90

Cantele 2013 Salice Salentino DOC Rieserva

Grape(s): 100% Negroamaro

Region: Italy

Price: 10-15

Tasting Notes:

A deep nose of plums, black cherries, pepper, and earth greets the senses. Plum and cherry envelope the palate, alongside elements of minerals and spice. Mouth-filling but with balanced tannins, a deep dish pizza would work nicely with this wine.

Rating: 90

Valpolicella 2015 Alleguini

Grape(s): 65% Corvina Veronese, 30% Rondinella, & 5% Molinara

Region: Italy

Price: 10-15

Tasting Notes:

The nose is a combination of spicy, fruity, and herbaceous elements. The palate carries forth cherry and blackberry flavors that are complicated by suggestions of herbs, earth, and spice. Vibrant with polished tannins and exhibiting lively flavors, pair it with a light, fresh, hearty pasta dish.

Rating: 90