Great Wines Under $30–Frappato!

As a young sommelier at the beginning of my career, I don’t have any kind of cellar to speak of. There’s the problem of resources–at 29, I’m more concerned with making the mortgage and don’t have lots of extra cash for vino. There’s also the problem of where I would store wine if I were able to buy it in any quantity. I need space and temperature control, and I don’t have either at the moment. So I usually just buy a few bottles at a time, choosing things to drink that are inexpensive and appropriate for any day of the week.

I’ve been honing my skills and am getting better at finding great everyday wines, usually for less than $30 a bottle. I want to share these awesome bottles with you, because who doesn’t appreciate good wine and good value?


Valle Dell’Acate Il Frappato, Vittoria Frappato DOC, 2012. About $23 retail

Matthew Slaughter, a lover of Italian wines who works at Arroyo Vino wine shop, recommended this fun bottle. Valle Dell’Acate’s Il Frappato 2012 from Sicily was perfect for a hot, late summer evening. It was beautifully light and juicy, full of red fruit and a distinct grapey aroma. Think Beaujolais (made from the Gamay grape), Italian style. The wine is made from Frappato, a Sicilian grape often used to add fruit and freshness to the more powerful Nero d’Avola grape. It’s perfect if you want to have a red instead of white wine with fish. If it’s really hot and muggy outside, serve it slightly chilled (57-59 degrees Fahrenheit). I only paid $22.99 for this bottle, so you have nothing to feel guilty about. Sit back, relax, and imagine what Sicily must be like this time of year. Cheers!

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