Tuscan Wine on a Budget

Tuscan Wine on a Budget

2017 Frescobaldi, Pian di Rèmole Bianco, Toscana IGT, Italy

Wine of the Week with Annette Tomei

Gone are the days when Tuscan wine on a budget meant Chianti in a raffia-wrapped jug. The wine cost about the same as the candle that would eventually drip down its neck! Since then, Tuscan wines have developed an opulent reputation, and they are frequently priced to match. But, sometimes we get lucky… sometimes we find a taste of Tuscany that fits our weeknight budget.

The Frescobaldi family has roots that run deep in the soil of Tuscany. They have been part of Tuscan wine history for seven centuries, and they are still breaking new ground. Their Rèmole estate took its name from a historic property in the hills, just east of Florence. The wines made here are experimental blends that incorporate traditional and grapes and methodologies with new–a hallmark of the IGT designation (the designation introduced with the creation of the Super Tuscans).

Pian di Rèmole roughly translates to the ground or soil of Rèmole. Frescobaldi makes a red (rosso) and a white (bianco) blend under this label. Both are made to be “everyday” wines–easy drinking and budget-friendly. (Translation: they’re great Tuscan wines on a budget.) The bianco is a blend of Vermentino and Trebbiano. In this blend, the Vermentino is the aromatic star, with the Trebbiano contributing the backbone of bright acidity.

About this wine

Aromatically, this wine develops as it warms slightly in the glass. Tropical pineapple, crisp Asian pear, and gooseberry on the nose are flecked with minerally white pepper on the palate. The crisp tartness leaves a super-clean dry finish with a whiff of fresh mushrooms at the end.

With such a clean finish and moderate (12.5%) ABV, this Tuscan wine on a budget is an easy sipper as an aperitif. It also makes a good companion for lighter, simpler flavors and textures – think flaky white fish steamed in banana leaves, fresh shellfish with a burst of freshly squeezed lemon, crisp salads, or garden fresh radishes and sweet butter. Even better…if your farmers’ market or personal garden have fresh carrots with their tops, try this wine with the Carrot Top Pesto from Romancing the Stove!

The verdict

This Tuscan wine on a budget has been my go-to white lately as I’ve tried to expand my horizons from my Sauvignon Blanc rut – trying to branch out a bit. This wine can often be found for under $10/bottle – a rarity these days, especially for Italian wines. Buy a bunch! Drink it with everything, and don’t feel bad about sharing a glass with your risotto, or in a buttery pan sauce for the above mentioned lighter seafood dishes.

Ready to try this Tuscan wine on a budget? Find a retailer near you with Wine Searcher.

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