La Quercia Montepulciano d’Abruzzo 2015

Italian wine labeling is often a train wreck for consumers. Piedmont has three similar-sounding red wines in Barolo, Barbaresco and Barbera; the first two are subregions, the last one a grape. Meanwhile, we have Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, a Tuscan place name where the grape is sangiovese, and the underappreciated grape Montepulciano, which thrives in some non-Tuscan regions. An exemplary example is the La Quercia Montepulciano d’Abruzzo 2015 ($17), which fairly assaults the palate with blue and purple fruit — I love when a wine tastes “grape-y” — and great structure. The mouthwatering acidity of this layered red makes it a versatile food wine, playing especially well with grilled anything and pizza with most anything on top.

Available at Hennepin Lake, 1010 Washington, Kowalski’s, Lake Wine and Spirits, Winestreet Spirits, Stinson and the Wine Republic.

Bill Ward