Cheap Wine Challenge
Italy’s Answer to Beaujolais
2012 Le Fraghe Bardolino
Photo courtesy of Bardolino

Here, wine experts reveal their favorite bottles costing less than $17. Many of the selections are lesser known but absolutely worth the search.

Who: Liz Vilardi, co-owner and wine director at Belly Wine Bar, The Blue Room and Central Bottle Wine + Provisions, all in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

What: 2012 Le Fraghe Bardolino

Why: "Bardolino is DOC (a controlled designation of origin) produced near Lake Garda in Italy. The grape in this wine is Corvina, and the Le Fraghe estate makes a simple, beautiful and tasty Bardolino. It is sort of Italy’s answer to Beaujolais Villages—so versatile, delicious with or without food, it can take a chill for a warm day and it's easy on the wallet. This wine has a screw cap, too, which allows easy, effortless access for alfresco sipping."

Kristin Donnelly is a former Food & Wine editor and cofounder of Stewart & Claire, an all-natural line of lip balms made in Brooklyn.

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