When it comes to good, inexpensive wines from Italy, those from the central Abruzzo region are often high on the list. The signature red from the region is Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, made from the local Montepulciano variety. It’s important to note that this grape has nothing to do with Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, which refers to a wine made from the Sangiovese grape in a town of the same name in Tuscany. No one ever said navigating the wine world was easy.
When I think of the Abruzzo region, I think of the $10-a-bottle Italian red — more than decent and easy to drink; the kind of wine you want on hand for those quick pasta dinners and burgers on the grill.
One worth trying is the 2019 Montepulciano d’Abruzzo from Cantina Valle Tritana, which plays to Abruzzo’s reputation in describing itself on the label as “the ideal everyday wine.” You’ll find it for $10 or less in most stores.
The wine is medium-bodied, with an ABV of 13 percent and tastes of concentrated red and dark fruits, including blueberry, blackberry, and over-ripe strawberry. Some herb and floral notes emerge on the finish. With soft tannins and good acidity, it’s at its peak right now and is a good choice with a dinner of sausage and broccoli rabe tossed with spaghetti.
Like so many wines from this region, Cantina Valle Tritana’s Montepulciano d’Abruzzo is solid and rustic. With its straightforward appeal and budget-friendly price tag, it would work well as a refreshing red in the summer months — especially with a slight chill.