It's been nearly two years since my husband and I vacationed in Italy. We left the day after Christmas in 2016 and spent ten full days wining and dining in Milan, Genoa and Alba. As a wine and food lover—as well as an Italian—spending that much time in Italy was a dream come true for me. Today, as I think back on our trip, one thing I miss most are the incredible red table wines offered at such affordable prices.
At any trattoria in Italy, you can order a full carafe (equivalent to a bottle of wine) of the house red for about $10, and the wine will be amazing. When I recently opened the Stella Montepulciano d'Abruzzo and paired it with a classic spaghetti and meatballs dinner at home, I was taken back to our trattoria experiences in Italy.
Like many of Italy's red table wines, this Montepulciano is clean, crisp, fresh and full of fruit. Dried cherry aromas give way to crisp red fruit on the palate: strawberry, cherry and cranberry. Orange zest and a touch of a touch of kirsch add some complexity. This light-bodied wine has bright acidity and great flavor. It's downright delicious and tastes great with tomatoes. Coupled up with spaghetti and meatballs, this food-friendly, easy-drinking wine brought me back to Italy for the evening.