Verdicchio and Chianti used to be the go-to wines for a taste of Italy. The white came in a sexy amphora-style bottle, and the Chianti bottle was often wrapped in straw. Neighbours would steal your empties for garage sales. Today these wines are a bit out-of-fashion, which is a shame because they still represent the heart of central Italy ““ where wine has the perfect pitch, the “˜just right’ feeling for everyday life.

Burton Anderson, an American transplant who devoted his life to telling the world about every single wine produced in Italy, candidly listed Verdicchio as the quintessential Italian white. As in the “˜ideal house wine’. Check it out. I love how the slight earthiness grounds the freshness and fruitiness. The Italian signature.

Italy is one of the homes of BBQ/grilled meats, so don’t ignore its reds. Especially when chicken, pork or other lighter meats are involved. Why not take a break from nice/lush/smooth reds and liven-up your palate with some Italian pucker and vitality. Chianti-style. Lightly chill and enjoy how the wine flatters the food, and keeps your palate refreshed. Chianti loves food ““ trust it. Tomorrow you can go back to smooth.

FAZI BATTAGLIA 16 Verdicchio, Marche, Italy 24422 $12.95 ($9.95 till July 22)

GABBIANO 16 Chianti, Tuscany, Italy 78006 $14.50 ($12.50 till July 22)

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