A lot of people getting into wine have to force themselves to move beyond the unknown. You can spend your life drinking Merlot and Chardonnay, and perhaps a few other varieties, but there is a world of other grapes that you just might like if you’ll give them a sip.

I’ve always enjoyed most Valpolicella wines but they’re often a bore – a tad thin or a bit too sour on the finish.

Tonight I opened Sartori di Verona’s 2007 Regolo. The wine is made from the Corvina grape, grown in northeastern Italy. It normally makes up about 70 percent of the wine in a Valpolicella. I thought this wine was better than any straight up Valpolicella I’ve previously tried. It wasn’t to the level of Amarone, the premier wines of the region, but it was delicious Italian red wine.

The Sartori was a full-flavored wine that was definitely dry and not overly fruit driven like many of the lesser Valpolicella offerings. It was soft and rich in the mouth with a little bit of cherry evolving to sour cherry on the finish.

The wine spends 18-24 months in oak but the tannins are very supple and smooth. This wine gets distributed in the U.S. by the Banfi folks so it should not be difficult to find.

It was great with some basic pasta and even chocolate after the meal. This is one of the best Italian wines I’ve tried in a long while.

This great juice was a trade sample with a suggested retail price of $19.99.

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