Sip Italian, and Sip Cheaply

By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 11, 2009 4:48 PM CST
"In the 1970s and ?80s, lambrusco became infamous in the United States as the fizzy semisweet soda pop of wines," writes Asimov.   (©tnarik)

(Newser) – When it comes to wine, Eric Asimov likes to promote the "sweet spot," bottles that cost between $10 and $20. "Few places offer a wider selection of singular wines in the price range than Italy," he writes in the New York Times. He begins by calling out a light and dry white with "the ungainly name Cave du Vin Blanc de Morgex et de La Salle. In my neighborhood, I found a bottle for $16."

But in addition to discovering little-known wines, Asimov happily rediscovered lambrusco, "a dry, fresh and frothy red, with an earthy tang that makes it irresistible with salumi, lasagna and hard Italian cheeses. Good brands like Vini, Villa di Carlo or Medici Ermete are almost always under $20." And then there's Soave, "for so long a standard-bearer for the banality of Italian whites. That’s so 1970s!" He recommends ones from producers like Coffele, Prà and Monte Tondo, which are generally in the $15 range.