This wine cost nine bucks. How do the Italians do it? Their economy is in shambles and the euro is killing the dollar. If this was French wine, it would cost $15 or $18. I’m not complaining, of course. I’m just continually and pleasantly surprised by the quality and value so many Italian wines offer.

The Farnese (purchased, available at Jimmy’s) was exactly what I was hoping for when I bought it. There is soft white fruit in the middle (an English critic described it as “gently fragrant,” which is why Engish wine writing is so much fun), low alcohol (12 percent), not a lot of acid, and a kind of stony finish. In this, it’s a wonderful antidote to all the mass-produced, turpentine-like pinot grigio that we’re told we’re supposed to like and that everyone seems to be making these days. Right, Drew B.?

Pair this not only with seafood, but spicy food. That’s what I did (chicken tamales with green sauce), and it worked wonderfully. And, for those of you keeping track of grape varieties, there is apparently a difference between the trebbiano grape and the grape that is called trebbiano in the Abruzzo region of Italy. The former is more or less ugni blanc, one of my old pals, while the latter is something called bombino bianco. Maybe I can get the Italian Wine Guy to explain the difference.

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