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Open a wine list in Italy and you'll almost always see bottles made nearby—which makes sense in a country where grapes grow everywhere. Key takeaway: For an authentic experience, drink the hometown juice.
Marche & Abruzzo: Juicy, intense Montepulciano
Wines: Montepulciano d'Abruzzo, Rosso Conero
Go-to bottle: 2015 Cataldi Madonna Cerasuolo Montepulciano d'Abruzzo ($21)
Piedmont: Powerful, floral Nebbiolo
Wines: Barolo, Barbaresco, Roero, Ghemme, Carema, Langhe Nebbiolo
Go-to bottle: 2014 Michele Chiarlo Il Principe Langhe Nebbiolo ($20)
Tuscany: Tart, berry-scented Sangiovese
Wines: Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, Morellino di Scansano
Go-to botle: 2013 Boscarelli Vino Nobile di Montepulciano ($40)
Find your favorite Italian varieties:
If you like Chardonnay, try Trebbiano.
If you like Sauvignon Blanc, try Vermentino.
If you like Pinot Noir, try Barbera.
If you like Cabernet Sauvignon, try a Super-Tuscan.
If you like Zinfandel, try Primitivo.