There is Gertrude Stein (author), Gertrude Atherton (author), and Gertrude B. Elion (Nobel-winning pharmacist). But let’s face it, Gertrude is about the only name that makes Howard feel contemporary!

I was recently introduced to another Gertrude who may not become famous but is quite a shapely charmer. la Maia Lina Gertrude Toscana is also known as Sangiovese, Merlot, and Cabernet.

This uber-value Tuscan blend really, really suprised me. I loved it. La Maialina means little pig – and there is a cute little pink pig on the bottle – she is a charmer.

This wine has wonderful cherry, some hints of pepper and, frankly folks, is crazy good wine for an average price of $12. It is rich, nice acid and all at 13.5 percent alcohol.

This little piggy can come to my market any time. You get big flavor, a nice finish, and even a good second-day wine for $12? Crazy!!!!!

This wine isn’t going to overpower any meal but would be great with just about any red sauce dish or even beef.

I’ve written on previous occasions that inexpensive but drinkable Italian wines are hard to discover. If you find this pink pig, grab a few bottles.Oink! Oink!

la Maialine Gertrude, $12, Very Highly Recommended.I bought this bottle at Indy’s Cork + Cracker.

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