It’s the time of year for pasta with fresh tomato sauces, and tomato sauce makes me think of sangiovese. Chianti Rufina, east of Florence, is an appellation that’s lesser known than its Classico sibling, but the wines can be excellent (and often a little less expensive). And, like Chianti Classico, Chianti Rufina is based on sangiovese.
Castello Nipozzano is owned by the Frescobaldi family, one of the main producers in Chianti Rufina. This riserva offers lively red cherry flavors accented by tobacco leaf and some oak. Its freshness and structure pair nicely with many foods. And at $20, you could even open a bottle for pizza night.