A Ruby Sangiovese red wine, with artist designed label

11 best Italian wines that are worth celebrating, from fruity reds to feather-light whites

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Best: For display

Rating: 8/10

  • ABV: 12.5%
  • Size: 75cl

If you believe opening a good bottle of wine should be savoured, this is the bottle to choose. The garden of Italy selection from Wickhams includes six bottles from the Montaia vineyard based in the Cesena foothills of Northern Italy where the sea breeze from the nearby Adriatic Sea creates the ideal microclimate for winemaking. All the bottles feature striking labels using designs by celebrated poet and painter, Tonino Guerra, who was a fan of Montaia wines.

Though it was hard to choose a standout wine from the excellent range, this easy-drinking red is a dream with food. A ruby sangiovese, it has been fermented at a controlled temperature in steel tanks and matured in small oak casks for an elegant, tangy taste with a subtle tannin. It’s substantial enough to hold its own with red meats – and even cheeses –but lively cherry and strawberry aromas mean it works lightly chilled for summer sipping too. We’d recommend trying the equally delicious Montaia gnoletto DOC vino frizzante too (£13.50, Wickhamwine.co.uk), a semi-sparkling dry white produced using only Pignoletto grapes grown in the region since the Roman Empire.