For most wine lovers like me, it’s all about a great wine at a great price!

I opened a bottle of Chianti Classico Friday night that really fits that bill. Brancaia Chianti Classico (2003) was one of nicest inexpensive Italian wines I’ve opened in awhile.

Hats off to the folks at Cork and Cracker in Indianapolis who recommended this super value wine at $14.99.

This is 100 percent Sangiovese that is silky smooth that was aged 18 months in French Oak. What I like about it is how it held up to food. Many of the Chianti’s are fruity and easy to drink, but disappear when paired with food of strong flavor.

This wine was very smooth on the palate with enough punch on the back side with smooth tannins and the French Oak aging to hold its own.

A bit of education here. There is Chianti and Chianti Classico. Remember that Italian and French wines are named by the region. It’s pretty simple, Chianti is a major Italian wine area based largely on the Sangiovese grape. Classico is an area within the Chianti region.

This was a super bottle of wine for the price. I made some kicked up pasta and it paired up perfectly.

This is not a mass produced wine either, just 4,500 cases. And, it got an 88 from Wine Spectator. If you’re near Cork and Cracker, by the old Glendale Mall in Indy, stop in and pick up a bottle. I’m sure you’d see it elsewhere too.

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