While the mountain-stream pure white wines of Italy's breathtaking Alto Adige region have always been a favorite, the red wines deserve their due as well. At a recent industry tasting and seminar I was invited to attend, wines made from the Lagrein grape reminded me of the complexity and range of flavors you get in Pinot Noir from Burgundy. There were examples that were lean and acidic to earthy and rich. It also struck me as a wine with aging potential; I tasted a Lagrein from the 2006 vintage (the Tenuta H. Lentsch Morus) that was fascinating and delicious.
Speaking of Burgundy, if you enjoy sampling expressions of Pinot Noir from all over the world, add Alto Adige to your wines-to-drink list as well. These are light and elegant expressions of Pinot Noir (called Pinot Nero here) that would be fun to add to a blind tasting. Finally, don't sleep on Schiava, another red grape that produces wines perfect for pizza. Or, as one winery representative called it, a "breakfast wine." It would work equally well with lunch and dinner, too.