Italy boasts thousands of different wine types—some of them brooding reds with formidable tannins that make us want to wait years to drink them, yet others are low-fuss, exuberant and great for everyday drinking. Knowing when a bottle is ready can often seem like a crapshoot. So we tapped Jeff Porter, wine director for the Batali & Bastianich Group (Del Posto, Babbo, Lupa, among others), who has spent more than a decade focusing on the country’s vinous bounty, for a guide to what to buy and when to open it.
Porter admits that the task of filling just one case is tough. “There are so many Barolo, Brunello, Chianti, and Super Tuscans that I love,” he says. Many of the wine lists he oversees are impressive tomes, with each bottle selected for its own purpose and unique capacity to provide pleasure. But after serious reflection, he was able to distill his expertise down to twelve bottles – six to drink right off the shelf and six to save for later.
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Drink It Now