Every great cellar has a cache of wines reserved for life's momentous occasions. These are the historic wines--the ones a collector looks at with adoring eyes; they're the kind of wines that define a great cellar. Usually, we bring out these great bottles to celebrate a child's birth, an extended family's gathering, a golden anniversary, or a parent's eightieth birthday. Often, the bottles themselves are considered honored guests. They're singular gifts that we give to the people we love and to ourselves.
You can't--and you shouldn't--drink the most renowned wines on a regular basis. But there are wines that fill the gap between "everyday" and "momentous occasions." These are the wines that we pull out to impress our friends, to treat ourselves, to use to introduce people who don't know Italian wines very well, or simply to show off a little. These are wines with flourish, with polish, rich in terrior and steeped in mastery. They might not be the wines you open for your fiftieth wedding anniversary, but they are the ones you open for your 43rd birthday. They're wines that create peak experiences out of really nice moments.
Today, I'm very proud to present three wines that fill this niche in between "momentous" and "everyday" and do it with pure Italian style: Giuseppe Quintarelli 2008 Valpolicella, Antinori Castello della Sala 2014 Pinot Nero, and Le Macchiole 2012 Paleo Rosso. It's hard to find a trio of producers more emblematic of Italy's history, traditions and variety than the Veneto's Quintarelli, Bolgheri's Le Macchiole and everywhere's Antinori. It's also difficult to find three bottles of wine that will make every wine drinker very happy than the trio offered below. Priced between $50 and $100, these Valpolicella, Pinot Nero and Super-Tuscan wines aren't for any old night, but I promise you that when you pour one of these delicious wines, you'll be experiencing a little magic.