1. Marchesi Antinori “Guado al Tasso” DOC 2008 (Bolgheri, Italy), $88: The Guado al Tasso estate, located near the medieval castles in the town of Bolgheri, is rich with history. In the wine world, Bolgheri’s known for producing reds similar to Bordeaux, such as this vintage with elegant tannins and flavors of coffee, plum, and toasted oak. Enjoy now or cellar age.
2. Pio Cesare Cortese di Gavi DOCG 2007 (Gavi, Italy), $40: The Cortese varietal for this wine has been fermented and aged in stainless steel vats, producing a clean and fresh drink. Aromatic and silky smooth with ripe fruit flavors, this wine is the ultimate pairing with seafood dishes and can be aged for up to three years.
3. Zenato Amarone della Valpolicella Classico DOC 2007 (Veneto, Italy), $68: Amarone wines go through a very special process. The grapes are selected then dried on straw mats for up to four months. Once the juice has been extracted, it’s barrel-aged, bottled, and then aged for one year before release. Decant this big, juicy wine before serving with a favorite cheese.
4. Barone Fini Pinot Grigio DOC 2008 (Trentino-Alto Adige, Italy), $12: Made from 25-year-old hand-selected grapes, this pinot grigio is soft and juicy with ripe apple flavors. It’s the perfect aperitif or for pairing with vegetarian dishes and shellfish. Enjoy on a warm, sunny day sitting on your favorite Charleston porch.
5. Pala “I Fiori” Cannonau DOC 2008 (Sardinia, Italy), $40: Thanks to its exceptional quality, Pala is one of the most respected wine producers in Sardinia. This vintage, made from the indigenous Cannonau varietal (or grenache as it is known elsewhere) has an intense, fruity perfume and beautiful ruby-violet hue. Decant and pair with an antipasto of meats and cheeses.