2015 Ciù Ciù Bacchus Piceno: Explore outside the better-known regions of Italy and you can find some pleasing values, such as this red blend from Marche (on the Adriatic Coast) made of 50 percent sangiovese and 50 percent montepulciano — that’s the grape, not the village in Tuscany, which makes a red wine from sangio, actually. It does get confusing.
The sangio gives the wine its oomph and acidity, while the montepulciano helps the price point ($14) as it’s a high-yield grape, and it also mellows the wine out, making it accessible at a younger age. (Sangiovese can tend tannic.) Together they add up to a pleasing cherry-plum mix dusted with oregano notes that you’ll want on your dinner table.