When I explored the limitless wines of Italy’s Tuscany wine region during a trip last year, I became enamored of the high quality “Toscana IGT” labeled reds (read more about what this means). These simple table wines helped salve my weary wallet, already weathered by the leather purse and jacket shops of Florence. But they weren’t just inexpensive — they were high quality Sangiovese-based reds, reminiscent of the more expensive Chianti which normally cost a lot more money but are rarely worth it. Buying Toscana reds are kinda like shopping at a good designer outlet mall… the quality is there but the high price isn’t.
Isn’t that what everyone is looking for these days?
So I was pretty stoked when I recently tried Centine 2008 Toscana red, made by Italy’s winery giant, Castello Banfi. With the buying power to source grapes from all over the Tuscany wine region, they blended together Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot to craft a pleasant, easy-to-quaff, fruity, light-hearted red wine that sings harmony with food and puts a smile on the face. Shockingly good for the price.
Sweetness: 1 out of 10
Rating: 3 stars out of 5
Price: $10 – $12
Occasion: Tasted at the Wine Blogger’s Conference Speed Tasting event
Availability: Widely available. Find where to buy it here.
Food pairing: Italian meat sauces over pasta, braised meats, Asiago cheese