A Beginner’s Guide to Old-Fashioned Italian Wines: Best Bottles to Try


Chiantis and Barolos are buonissimo, for sure. But Italy has hundreds of lesser-known native grape varieties that local vino drinkers have served for generations. Here are four Italian wines to try.

1. Gaglioppo

This is the flagship grape of Calabria, the region in the “toe” of Italy, and it’s a robust yet giving red that can range from young and juicy to savory and herbaceous. Look for versions from quality producers like Librandi and Ippolito, as well as the 2017 Cirò Rosso ($16) from Enotria. It’s rife with aromatics that hint at pine and sweet mint notes, with a mouthful of dark plum and fresh fig flavors. It’s an excellent match for grilled sausages and sautéed dark, leafy greens.

2. Carricante

From Sicily, carricante is a medium-bodied white grape that thrives in the…

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