Cheap Wine That Doesn't Suck

Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of South Florida and help keep the future of New Times free.

Familiarity, sometimes, breeds content. Take Castello di Gabbiano. The wines of this 900-year-old Tuscan winery are as ubiquitous as bad drivers on I-95, stocking the shelves of just about every place from mass-market grocers to tiny neighborhood wine shops. So it's easy to look down our long, snooty wine noses and sniff something about grape juice for peasants. 

Most sniffable of all are two of Gabbiano's wines most recognizable in the U.S. -- Chianti and Pinot Grigio. I haven't always been a fan of Gabbiano's lower-end Chiantis, which seem to range from passably drinkable to thin and weedy, though at around twice the price ($23, more or less), the black label Chianti Classico Riserva is not only a good value but a usually excellent wine to boot.  

I've been even less of a fan of inexpensive Pinot Grigio, which typically translates from Italian as "not quite as tasty as tap water but acceptable to people who don't really like wine." But here's the familiarity = content part: I just tasted Gabbiano's 2008 Pinot Grigio and -- kazoot! -- it's a really lovely wine. 

In other words, it's got some gonads. Take a whiff and you get nice lemon, green apple, and mineral aromas; take a sip and it really opens up in your mouth, with the expected lemon-lime crispness and smoky/mineraly nuances but also with floral notes and hints of melon and pear that give your taste buds something to hang onto. At $10 and available just about everywhere, that's some contentment.

Keep New Times Broward-Palm Beach Free... Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering South Florida with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in South Florida.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in South Florida.