Best Italian wines to give as gifts
The easiest person to find a gift for is a wine lover. Here are some recommendations for the imbiber who savors the flavors of Italy:
The 2011 Poderi Luigi Einaudi Barolo “Terlo” (about $50) and the producers’s 2010 Langhe Rosso (about $45) are rich, full-bodied choices. The Barolo has a long life ahead. Expect spice notes and a hint of truffle after its initial fruitiness and tannic quality. The Langhe Rosso uncorks intense and balanced, with suggestions of plum, cassis and vanilla. It’s a union including cabernet, merlot, nebbiolo and Barbera. Both call for red meat and pair well with red-sauced pastas, too.
Sangiovese and cabernet sauvignon define the ruby-hued 2013 Avignonesi Grifi (about $45), a lush and versatile winner that offers a note of black cherry and good company for hearty fare, from braised beef to braciola, pasta Bolognese to a meat-filled lasagna.
Refined and ripe is the 2012 Tommasi Amarone ($80), which is excellent now, but also will mature for holidays over the years. Round, fruity and aromatic, it has a celebratory style that’s a match for soulful Italian cuisine, from Piedmont to Sicily, cheese-spiked polenta to tuna with olives and capers. The 2011 Tommasi Brunello di Montalcino Casisano ($60) displays finesse and flair, plus a harvest of dark fruit. It’s a potent wine, with a trace of spice, that’s ideal with grilled meat and serious cheeses.
The 2012 Marchesi di Gresy Barbaresco Martinenga ($50) is harmonious, floral and offers a long finish. Along the way, you’ll enjoy berry and cherry, as well as some tartness. Open this one with meats red or white, or with cheeses from Parmesan to blue. More modestly priced and fine are the producer’s 2014 Nebbiolo Martinenga Langhe ($22) and 2014 Barbera d’Asti ($18), which will enliven any party with accents of blackberry and plum, with antipasti and more.