Top Summer Wine Picks by Frank D. Pond

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When the heat of summer hits and I start thinking about running away to a beautiful place filled with great food, wine, people and fun, my thoughts almost always go to Italy.  With that in mind, I thought I would search wine.com for some spectacular options and bargains that well represented the wines of Italy especially those for a hot day and warm night with rustic food or meat on the grill.  Wine.com didn’t disappoint.  I searched with their handy toolbar aiming for wines under $40.00 from Italy in the Sparkling, White and Red options.  For sparklers from Italy, I generally recommend looking to the North.  For Whites, I am all about Southern Italy and the brilliant Fiano’s and Greco di Tufo’s.  For Red, heck one can look anywhere and everywhere in Italy and find some spectacular options but these days the price point has jumped so some extra care and grabbing a sale bargain is the way to go.  So, what will I be drinking this month:

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 Sparkling:

Adami Prosecco di Valdobiadene, Brut, Bosco di Gica, NV.

Wine.com has an excellent and thorough selection but for price, as well as taste and complexity to pair with a hot day or warm night, I would go with the Adami Prosecco di Valdobbiadene, Brut, Bosco di Gica., NV.  It’s a steal right now at $19.49.  Open it and the wonderful light yellow color and definitely yeasty aroma will waft out of the glass.  The nose likens a fruit tree at blossom yet the acids are solid enough to quench one’s thirst on even the warmest of afternoons.  And there is a hint of mineral depth on the back end that makes the tongue tingle and want more.  Great with light food or simply to sip with great friends.  From the Veneto region.
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White:

Mastroberardino Fiano di Avellino 2007

For this gem, one moves to the southern part of Italy (not quite the heel or toe or Sicily–all which deserve a column in their own right).  I must confess somewhat of an addiction to the Fiano grape from all vineyards especially when pairing with foods.  But, for price point, phenomenal flavors including some tropical or North African hints, the stunner is the 2007 Fiano di Avellino from the master producer Masterberardino (with some of the best land in This one holds its own with rustic pork, seafood, all sorts of poultry.  I have had it with tomato sauce based items and it doesn’t miss a beat.  The wine comes from Southern Campania and is a unique and small grape production.  Fruity and nutty (the wine notes on wine.com say that the grape is often grown near hazelnuts and that might explain the nutty taste that works very well with fish and shellfish).  And this wonderful wine is also a great bargain this summer at $19.99 (reduced from $24.99) on wine.com.
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Red:

Valdicava Rosso di Montalcino 2009

Italian red wines can be earth-shattering in flavor and complexity but they can also be earth-shattering in price.  That’s why it pays to search for the best bargain but great taste.  Wine.com doesn’t disappoint with one of my favorites from the world renowned Montacino region in Tuscany.  Right now, wine.com has the 2009 Valdicava Rosso di Montalcino at the reduced price of $29.99 (reduced from $40.00).  Frankly, this bottle drinks almost as well as its older brother, the Brunello di Montalcino from the house of Valdicava, but at a fraction of the cost.   This is one to to stock up on while the price is very right.  Like most wines from the Brunello grape, this one has brilliant berries and some tobacco and coffee hints.  It is a perfect match to any grilled meat and spectacular with a platter of cheese and other snacks.  Frankly, I can drink it without any pair just as well.  This one is ready to drink now but I recommend that you open it up a little early and let the first glass breathe a bit and you are sure to impress your friends and drink a bit more of it than you originally planned.
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All in all, these wines will be the perfect answer to “what did you do on your summer vacation.”  Enjoy.  Drink wine often so as to live life most fully! Search for these wines in the search box below or go straight to wine.com to look for these picks!
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