For many wine lovers, Piedmont—or Piemonte, in Italian—means one thing: Barolo. And indeed, Barolo fully deserves its moniker as “the King of Wines”: this regal red has few equals when it comes to transparently expressing place with power, delicacy, poise, and long-term aging potential. Within the Barolo appellation, it is fully worth exploring each commune, and on an even deeper level, each individual vineyard—the nuances are endless, and the wines are capable of inspiring the deepest of emotions. But Barolo represents only a small slice of Piemonte’s tremendous diversity of wines. Nebbiolo, the grape responsible for Barolo, thrives in distinctive terroirs all across the region, each with its unique virtues. Also found in the dramatic undulating hills known as the Langhe, Barbaresco—the Queen to Barolo’s King—enjoys almost as much prestige for similarly finessed reds, which tend to be softer and more accessible (in character and in price), and therefore ideal for medium-term cellaring. Traveling north, toward the Alps, the cool-climate Nebbioli of Alto Piemonte’s numerous small appellations all deserve a close look. While Piemonte’s most prestigious wines get all the attention, the heart and soul of the region revolves around its delicious everyday reds. Gulping down a pitcher of Barbera or Dolcetto is the way to truly drink like the locals. These unpretentious, straightforward crowd-pleasers offer fantastic value and marry brilliantly with Piemonte’s rich gastronomic bounty: vitello tonnato, bagna cauda, carne cruda, agnolotti del Plin, and tajarin noodles topped with slow-cooked ragù or the ultimate local delicacy, white truffles. Countless other grapes—Freisa, Brachetto, Croatina, and Vespolina, just to name a few—complete the vast spectrum of Piemontese reds. Less celebrated, but equally important are its whites, which represent roughly one third of total production. A cool glass of peachy Arneis, for example, is crucial before diving into the world of heavy-hitting reds, and no Piemontese meal is complete without finishing with a flowery Moscato d’Asti alongside panna cotta. Explore all these wines, and more, with our Guide to Piemonte—the next best thing to a cool, foggy day in the Langhe, the snow-capped Alps poking their heads out of the gloom, a pungent suggestion of truffles in the air hinting at decadent simplicity.
The list of factors goes on and our list of overachievers could, too. For now, we’ve narrowed down our selections to twenty-four wines—four each at six price points, because tremendous value isn’t exclusive to inexpensive bottlings. You can find it at all prices, from $12 to $120, as these wines resoundingly show.
Few wines pair better with grilled foods than a savory, smoky expression of Syrah. Additionally, its characteristic spice and assertive flavor make it a great partner to many dishes in Indian, Pakistani, Persian, North African, and eastern Mediterranean cuisines, without forgetting its affinity to rustic French cooking.
Many of our best values, all in one place for your browsing pleasure: bargain whites, rosés, reds, and even a couple of sparklers, made by real people and reefer-shipped so they arrive in your hands in nothing less than perfect condition.
Her wonderfully complex terroir of schist, granite, and galets roulés (alluvial riverbed stones) produces some of the most ethereal rosés you’ll ever taste. And the olive oil—well, it isn’t easy for us to get as excited about olive oil as about wine, but when you taste these, you’ll understand why they have become Corsica’s pride and joy.
You will be hard pressed to find better wines anywhere in the Côte Chalonnaise, and don’t underestimate their appellations—de Villaine wines routinely outperform more prestigious, more expensive appellations.
In very few appellations throughout France and Italy do we import the wines of three or more domaines. Joining Bandol, Meursault, Morgon, and a few others in that short list is Pic Saint-Loup, situated forty-five minutes north of Montpellier.
The Geggiano winemaking operation is about as artisanal as can be, housed in a thirteenth-century cellar filled with nothing but old wooden casks, where the elixir of these Tuscan hillsides patiently blossoms to maturity...
While Barolo and Barbaresco are aged for years in wood before release, many growers also bottle a fresher, lighter, more approachable expression of the variety under the Langhe Nebbiolo denomination...
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