Remember when Valpolicella was a popular go-to red? It added a hit of Italy to our Italian foods. Nobody ever raved about the wine ““ but it felt good. Then along came Shiraz with its smooth spicy richness and Valpolicella was blown out of the water. Why drink a light, tart red when you can have an Aussie bombshell!

Now that some of us are over “˜show-off’ reds maybe it’s time to revisit the simpler life and pour Valpolicella with our pizza, pasta or roast chicken. For sure it’s light but that can be okay with Tuesday’s whatever. And moderate alcohol means finishing-off the bottle won’t do too much damage. Lightly chill, of course.

If light and tart is not your thing, let me introduce a sturdier edition of Valpol (not the Ripasso or Amarone editions), but regular Valpol with more concentration and body. Tedeschi has done a wonderful job achieving this without losing the soul of Valpol. Ripe fruit flavours are cut with Italian gusto for the best of both worlds ““ deliciousness and refreshment. Of course, this “˜bigger’ experience costs more but, for dinner parties Tedeschi’s wine can stand shoulder to shoulder with Cabernets, Malbecs, or Merlots in this price range. Definitely a gusto, red meat wine.

ZONIN Valpolicella, Veneto, Italy 475145 $12.95

TEDESCHI 18 Valpolicella “˜Capitel Nicalo’, Veneto, Italy 984997 Vintages $17.95

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