Sommelier: Briccotondo Barbera

Fontanafredda Briccotondo Barbera could have been the wine you experienced on a recent trip to Italy—at some little café tucked deep in the village where the wine is produced by the locals and served only in carafes. It feels so authentic, so Italian. Somehow these wines almost never taste the same back home.

But now here it is. Briccotondo is a medium-bodied Italian red that’s a versatile everyday wine priced right and ready to drink. It begins with flavors of juicy black plum, dark cherry and blackberry. The layered midpalate shows smooth tannins softened with subtle oak and a spicy sweet finish. This is one of those few wines that follow the “you don’t have to spend a fortune…” rule.

Briccotondo is available BTG at DiGiulio Brothers Italian Café, where my friend Richard Cole pairs this soft red with the Five Cheese Lasagna. And sometimes you can find it at Sam’s or Costco, but for sure at Calandro’s Supermarket on Government for $15.99. Buy a six-pack and pull out this food-friendly Barbera for midweek pizza night. No corkscrew required.