27 Best Italian Red Wine Under $30 | The Best Italian Wine!

Italian Red Wines

Italian Red Wines might be one of my favorite subjects to talk about. 

In my opinion, Italy is the hands-down, most beautiful wine region to visit. From Piedmont to Tuscany to Sicily. So much to see, drink, and eat… It’s a must on anyone’s bucket list! 


Table of Contents

What are the Best Italian Red Wines Under $30?

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Allegrini Palazzo della Torre

A true Italian beauty (in a bottle) – Allegrini’s take on the traditional Ripasso method from a beautiful renaissance Villa and vineyard in Fumane, near Verona. If you want a lovely red wine at a great Costco price to pair with tasty Italian dishes, you won’t go wrong with this one.

Tasting Notes: Blackberry, plum, vanilla, chocolate, oak, licorice, hint of spicy notes

A Sangiovese blend, resulting in a delicate, elegant, and decisive Riserva wine. It makes a day a bit special with its dark purple hue, a classical blast of flavor, and a persistent finish. Not too bold nor too sweet – just the perfect amount of supple tannin.

Tasting Notes: Smoke, tobacco, cherry, leather, earthy, cocoa, hint of sour cherry flavors

A blend of 80% Corvina and 20% Molinara grapes – exceptional value for a rich and smooth Italian red wine. With an intriguing earthiness in the palate and an impressively persistent finish, it’s nothing less than sensational! It’s a match made in heaven with many savory dishes or blue cheese.

Tasting Notes: Black cherry, oak, vanilla, chocolate, ripe red fruit

Masca del Tacco lu rappaio primitivo

One of my favorite and best Italian red wines are Primitivo.

And this wine made in southern Italy is full of fruits, velvety tannins, and easy to drink. Its an everyday wine that everyone will enjoy! 

Tasting Notes: Plum, blackberry, cherry, vanilla, oak, chocolate

ruffino chianti classico

From Tuscany, this is a powerful young Riserva from one of the most well-known brands. 

A blend of Sangiovese and Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, the aromas hint at an earthiness similar to porcini mushrooms while clearly indicating the concentration of cherry fruit that comes forward on your palate. 

Tasting Notes: Cherry, tobacco, oak, chocolate, leather, earthy

With vintages dating back to 1925 in their cellar, Villa di Capezzana is the flagship wine of Tenuta di Capezzana and representative not only for what they have achieved but also all that can be expected from this wonderful area!

The wine has bright red fruits and tobacco with soft tannins and smells of savory herbs.

Tasting Notes: Cherry, tobacco, leather, earthy, chocolate, smoke

Li Veli Pezzo Morgana Riserva Salice Salentino 2018

100% Negroamaro. Reminds me of a California Cabernet Sauvignon that is big, bold, fruit-forward and velvety smooth. Pair with red meat. 

Tasting Notes: Plum, blackberry jam, earthy, cocoa, leather, oak

Odoardi Terra Damia Rosso 2015

A unique red blend varietal of Magliocco, Gaglioppo, Nerello Cappuccio and Greco Nero. With a deep red color, this wine features an ample amount of smoke and spice character on its palate.

The oak is present in the background with hints from blackberry fruit joining them for depth; it’s medium-bodied yet juicy enough to be drinkable at any time!

Tasting Notes: Chocolate, leather, oak, plum, blackberry, smoke

Zeni Amarone

Zeni’s rich release is the perfect blend of elegant and flavorful. It has notes that are both complex in their flavor profile, yet easy to enjoy thanks largely due it being so well balanced with good acidity alongside its dark red coloration you’ll want more!

Tasting Notes: Black cherry, chocolate, plum, blackberry, oak, vanilla

The perfect wine for any occasion, the Ruffino Modus Toscana IGT Italian Red Wine weaves together vibrant fruit flavors from Sangiovese and Cabernet Sauvignon with finesse. This delicious beverage will have your taste buds dancing at every glass!

The Italian Sangiovese adds texture to the red wine, while Merlot works in smoothness. And the Cabernet provides structure for this great vintage!

Tasting Notes: Oak, blackberry, leather, earthy, vanilla, plum

The Bakan range from Torri Cantine in Abruzzo is a firm expression of premium quality. The deep ruby full to medium bodied red from 100% Montepulciano grape has an intense and persistent aroma with blackberry notes. The taste is deep and smooth with some spice notes. 

Tasting Notes: Blackberry, chocolate, cherry, earthy, leather, dark chocolate

Antiche Terre Venete Baorna

A rich Italian red wine with juicy bright acidity and creamy medium tannins – high in aromas of toasted oak, plum, cherry, and raisin. It’s one of the noblest wines, tried and tested, with a lingering aromatic aftertaste. A balanced, consistent, and crowd-pleaser if you’re looking for one. 

One of the best Italian red wines at this price point. One of the most delicious wines with silky tannins. Just what you want your Amarone wines to be.

Tasting Notes: oak, vanilla, raisin, dark fruit, cherry, chocolate

Buglioni Bugiardo Valpolicella Ripasso Classico Superiore

“Il Bugiardo” meaning “the liar” – an Amarone-tasting Ripasso wine, often casually referred to as the baby Amarones. It’s a somber, brooding red wine packed with savory dried fruits and spices, elegant and refined on the palate. The explosion of flavors from your first taste will get you reaching the glass to take a second sip.

Tasting Notes: ripe fruit, spice, vanilla, tobacco

Sordo Massucchi Superiore Barbera d’Alba

Medium-bodied and fragrant made from 100% Barbera grapes. A dark, bold red hue with a light taste and fine grained tannins like a Barbera wind should be. It packs with acid and mouth-drying refined tannins, the perfect combination with your favorite pasta dish.

Tasting Notes: cherry, fresh herbs, blackberry, spice

Made of a majority of Sangiovese grapes from one of the most consistent vineyards in Tuscany, you will never go wrong with an Isole e Olena wine. But this lovely red wine packs a beautifully balanced character best for current drinking – simply delicious to enjoy by itself or paired with any food.

Tasting Notes: Dark red fruit, cedar, smoke, vanilla, tobacco

best Italian red wines

A big wine with solid acidity at the finish but a real and irresistible smoothness at the center.  Fruity, slightly tannic, and dry, it would make a fantastic drink paired with rich, creamy pasta or a juicy steak. But it tasted better when decanted first!

They have some excellent wines at Trader Joe’s, including this one for $16! So get 2!

Tasting Notes: raisin, chocolate, cherry, oak

peppoli chianti

The Pèppoli vineyards are known for the rich expression of their wine, which is a blend made from Sangiovese grapes and complementary varieties. Peppoli produces an authentic Chianti with typical floral notes that represent this territory’s historic grape variety  – fruity flavors await you in each sip!

Tasting Notes: Floral, cherry, red berries, oak, leather, chocolate, spicy flavors

Aromas of black-skinned berries and leather emerge from the wine. The savory palate offers black cherry jam, vanilla and licorice alongside smooth tannins.

Tasting Notes: Black cherry, leather, licorice, tobacco, vanilla, smoke

Ripassa Valpolicella Ripasso Superiore 2017

Zenato again delivers the high quality we have come to expect from Italy, with their Ripassa Valpolicella Superiore 2017.

This wine is a blend of 85% Corvina, 10% Rondinella, and 5% Oseleta. The deep ruby-red wine shows intense aromas of blackberries and currants. Its well balanced acidity that harmonizes nicely against the alcohol content in this tasty treat!

Tasting Notes: Plum, blackberry, oak, chocolate, cherry, vanilla

This wine gives you the charms of Italy from every sip – light, velvety, aromatic, and overall seductive in the palate. It’s an authentic Italian blend, a new winemaking concept using some of the most recognized Italian varietals from different wine regions. 

A complex and versatile but one of the most harmonious wines. It’s just a simple Italian red wine that tastes good. 

Tasting Notes: Plum, blackberry, wild strawberry, cherry, oak, vanilla

Vespa Raccontami Primitivo di Manduria 2016

If you love the Zinfandel grape variety, then this Puglia Red is your jam. The grapes are grown in the warm southern region of Italy and their intense flavors meld with traditional Bordeaux techniques to create one-of-a kind wines that will make any red lover swoon!

Tasting Notes: Ripe dark berries, tobacco, vanilla, oak, plum, leather

Santadi Italian Red Wines

A unique blend of predominantly Carignan grape variety with Syrah. It has flavors of red berries and lots of dried grapes with hints of raisins. It’s full-bodied, layered with fruit and has firm tannins.

Tasting Notes: Plum, dark fruits, leather, smoke, oak, chocolate

This red wine blend is inviting and warm, with hints of plum in its flavor profile backed by strong tannins that linger on the palate for an extended period.

Tasting Notes: Chocolate, black cherry, raspberry, plum, tobacco

What are the Best & Most Famous Red Wines?

best Italian red wines

Most famous “Super Tuscan” wine (most popular in the world!) – strong celebrity following. David Beckham, The Obamas, Rihanna, LeBron James, and Mark Wahlberg all prefer this iconic Italian red wine. They gained international recognition overnight after a blind-tasting victory in 1978 – when it beat out 33 Bordeaux blends from all over the world.

Antinori Tignanello - best Italian red wines

Another super famous Tuscan wine, a blend of 80% Sangiovese, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 5% Cabernet Franc varieties – the first untraditional blend for a contemporary red wine.  It’s a milestone red wine: the first Sangiovese aged in “barriques” and one of the first Chianti Classico region’s red wines that didn’t use white grapes.

It’s simply one of the best Italian red wines ever!

Banfi Brunello best italian red wines

One of the largest importers of Italian wine to America, so you can see them in many wine stores and restaurants. They import all different types of Italian wines, and their Brunello di Montalcino is a great Italian wine!

I can’t think of a better way to enjoy Italian wine than with this five-star rated bottle. This Brunello di Montalcino is one of the most accessible in the US and it won’t disappoint. 

Tasting Notes: Full-bodied, soft fruit savory flavors, velvety smooth texture, with traces of spicy notes.

giacomo conterno barolo

This is a fantastic and unbelievable Barolo. One of the best Italian red wines I have ever tasted. Highly-rated by the all the famed wine critics for a reason. 

Giacomo Conterno’s wines are known for their intense, long-lasting flavors that mature beautifully in old oak barrels. With traditional methods like maceration and aging on the skins to extract tannins from the grape juice it is no wonder why Barolo lovers love them so much!

Top 7 Most Popular Italian Red Varietals

So there are hundreds of Italian wine varietals, therefore let’s just go over OUR FAVORITE Italian red wines:

1) Sangiovese

central italy vino nobile di montalcino

Best known and most planted Italian red grape, a name that means ‘blood of Jove’ in Latin. Sangiovese grapes are more than just Chianti or Chianti Classico wines. They make some of the best Italian Reds like Brunello di Montalcino (a must-try, my favorite!) and Super Tuscan are some of the greatest wines produced! The wine regions include Tuscany and sub regions like Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. 

amarone dried grapes

A unique Italian red wine made using dried grapes (raisins). In addition, this wine is notoriously labor-intensive and the trickiest Italian wine to get right. And when when it’s right, it is one of my most favorite Italian red grape and it’s delicious!

3) Barbera

3rd most planted grape in Italy in the 20th century (although its acreage is diminishing now), underappreciated but easy-to-love Italian red wine. Barbera a juicy, drinkable, and light-bodied red with bold purple color. It’s the Italian’s answer to its traditional French wine, Beaujolais.

piedmont northern italy

Made with 100% Nebbiolo grape, it is one of the best Italian red wines with exceptional quality. This wine appellation is located in Northern Italy in the Piedmont region. And is most well-known for the Nebbiolo grape and making full-bodied red wines.  

This is a full bodied great wine that has bright acidity and high tannins. Two aromas often used when describing Barolos: Tar and Roses. One of the most complex wines in the world. 

5) Barbaresco

Fresh acidity and aromatic, the little brother of Barolo – lighter and softer than Barolo wines but is no less than noble. It’s a very age-friendly wine – truffle, licorice, cherry, and fennel flavors when young and leather and tar as it ages. Made with 100% Nebbiolo grapes, it’s one of the few Italian wines that need to be produced in purity.

Dark, dramatic, and brooding Italian red wine. It’s the 2nd most planted Italian grape (next to Sangiovese) and makes some of the most flavorful wines and an ideal wine to pair with pizza! Simple Montepulciano wines have dark fruit flavors of plum, black cherry, boysenberry, and oregano. But higher-quality bottles are more concentrated with clove and chocolate notes.

primitivo di manduria

Similar to the US red zinfandel, big and bold! Medium bodied to full bodied wines. It’s rustic and earthy flavors, fruit-driven, and high in alcohol. And these wines are best drunk within 3 to 4 years of harvest.

Italian Wine Regions Map

Italy Map Super Tuscans

Who is the King of Wines?

Brunello vs Barolo

I respect Brunellos and Barolos so much, and most Italian red wines from these regions are GREAT! This is just a list of some bottles that I have tried and were amazing. And I must say, these are some of the best Italian red wines. Super Tuscans, Barolo, and Brunello, so far and in my opinion, are some of the BEST wines in the world!

List of some of my favorite Brunello: Lisini, Il Poggione, Fuligni 

List of some of my favorite Barolos:  Massolino, Pio Cesare, Giocomo Conterno 

My Best Italian Red Wines Ranking

As you can see with Italian red wine, there is so much variety and high quality. And even within these red wines, there are different types and regions. Not to mention, there are hundreds more I failed to write about!

So let’s rank them! Why not? 

This is truly a difficult task and everyone’s ranking should be different based on your own taste profiles and experiences. Below is my list of the best Italian red wines:

Italian Red Wines Rankings

Italian Wine Classification System

The next time you buy Italian red wines, you can tell which ones are the higher quality simply by looking at the labels.

  • DOCG – highest quality level – the label for the best Italian wines. Barolo and Barbaresco were the first DOCG wines, among the 74 total DOCG wines in Italy.
  • DOC – means ‘designation of controlled origin,” and there are around 329 DOCs in Italy. They cover different wine types, including a range of white and red wines, Prosecco, and dessert wines. Each DOC has its set of rules regarding varieties and aging requirements.
  • IGT – is the broadest category – wines from the IGT regions but don’t have to conform to strict DOC and DOGC standards.
  • VdT – wines without a geographical indication, Vino de Tavola, meaning table wines, and they are delicious in Italy!

What does the Black Rooster and Pink Label mean?

black rooster label

The easiest way to distinguish a Chianti Classico from a Chianti – a black rooster silhouette. 

Also, wines bottled under a DOCG are required to include a status label/seal on the neck: often pink for Italian red wines and green for white wines.

Italian Red Wine Fun Facts

Italian red wines facts
  • High-End, Best Italian Red Wines – Barolo, Brunello, Super Tuscans can compete with any red wine in the world (and most probably win!).
  • Super Tuscans are actually IGTs
  • Chianti woven straw basket shells are called FIASCO or FIASCHI (plural)
  • In Italy, some restaurants still serve red wines in tumblers/normal drinking glasses
  • Italy is the world’s #1 wine producer


Italian dry red wines are considered some of the best in the world. This is due, in part, to the fact that Italy is the number one wine producer in the world. Italian red wines come from a variety of different regions, each with its own unique climate and soil type. This diversity leads to a wide range of flavors and styles among Italian red wines.

So, no matter what your taste preferences are, there is sure to be an Italian red wine that you will love to have in your glass. So, what are you waiting for? Start trying some of the red wines above today!

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