Exceptional, unattainable in North America, Italian wine?
July 11, 2011 3:40 PM   Subscribe

What excellent red wine should my partner buy in Italy to bring home that he can't get here? We're fans of Luigi Righetti Amarone, but we can, uh, get it in Toronto. Seems silly to fly it home. Likes: dry, full-bodied, spicy. also enjoy dry pinot noirs (lighter body). Dislikes: sweet, fruity, herbal Price: up to $100/bottle, but that would have to be out of this world amazing.
posted by lizifer to Food & Drink (9 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Not on point, but you can order just about anything in quantity from the LCBO if you like it enough.
posted by mhoye at 3:52 PM on July 11, 2011

I know, which is a limiting factor for sure. The Age of Internet ordering is putting a cramp in our "unique Italy souvenirs" style.
posted by lizifer at 3:59 PM on July 11, 2011

Years ago, when I went through an Italian wine phase, I thought Montevetrano was the best Italian red I'd had. I can't vouch for any recent vintages, but it looks like it's still getting 3 glasses from the Gambero Rosso guide (which I still find more reliable for Italian stuff than other guides). If you prefer whites, I have fond memories of "Were dreams, now it is just wine!" (a Chardonnay from Friuli) -- but it kind of looks to me like that one has a Canadian importer.

In general, you could do a lot worse than going through the Gambero Rosso, looking for the "three glass" winners, and picking a few that aren't imported. They're almost always going to be really tasty, and not all of them are pricey.
posted by chalkbored at 4:49 PM on July 11, 2011

yeah Italy isn't exactly terra incognito for wine importers. Pretty much anything that's good and from a producer of more than miniscule size is going to be found in NA.

What part of Italy is he in? That'll help give you ideas for particularly interesting stuff. If you are in a big city I would see if you could find a great producer with some bottle age on it.

Quintarelli is the reference producer for Amarone. Given your interest in that DOC I would also aim at one of the more modern barolo houses with some age on them. Or maybe a super tuscan.
posted by JPD at 5:21 PM on July 11, 2011

Where in Italy are you going?

Wines are very local. Furthermore, some regions of Italy have wines that are more popular to export.

A couple months ago traveling through the Veneto and Friuli-Venezia-Giulia I was crazy for Soave, Refosco, Italian ros├ęs, as well as Prosecco - which is obviously plentiful in the US, but better quality and almost cheaper than water. But you should bring home wines that are local to where you'll be traveling, of course.
posted by Sara C. at 5:23 PM on July 11, 2011

Bring it home or drink it there. You will have to do the price comparisons but this is an excellent wine--tends to be very pricey in the US
posted by rmhsinc at 5:39 PM on July 11, 2011

Red Castelli Romani DOC wine is nearly impossible to find here but very good. You can get it in and around Rome, but it's been awhile since I've been to Italy so I can't advise where. The white wines are much more well known (Frascati anyone?) but I have never found anything like the reds here in America.

No links, sorry. Wasn't able to find much about them on the Internet.
posted by fiercekitten at 5:56 PM on July 11, 2011

If you get around Montepulciano (I may have butchered the spelling here) check out Brunello. It is exquisite.
posted by dgran at 5:26 AM on July 12, 2011 [1 favorite]

I didn't see this answer until just now, but wanted to report back that he brought home a Brunello (and we've since found some in Toronto too) and it is, indeed, exquisite!
posted by lizifer at 1:53 PM on August 15, 2011

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