Need suggestions for a nice dry, moderately priced red table wine?!

Question: Need suggestions for a nice dry, moderately priced red table wine?
Invited to dinner (not sure of the menu yet, but I'm betting Italian). Only one person attending drinks white..........and she brings her own bottle everywhere, lol. I know little about wine so what would be a nice wine to bring to the hostess?


What's your actual budget? Moderately priced means different things to different people. Let us know and I'll come back with rec's.

EDIT: If you're having red sauce Italian, you want something with high acid, like a Barbera or something with a lot of Sangiovese in it. Chianti is the most widely known Sangio-heavy wine. Some under $30 are Donna Laura "Bramosia" and Panzanello. They're both really tasty for the price, and dry, with great acid.

Or you could try something Nebbiolo-based, like Barolo or Barbaresco. These can be crazy expensive, so beware. For a cheaper, but still awesome Nebbiolo, you could look for a Gattinara. Travaglini is my favorite reasonably priced Gattinara producer. A tip to locating it is to look for a funky, square bottle. 2004 and 2007 have both been very good recent vintages in Italy.

These rec's are fairly specific, so you may not be able to find them. If not, just ask your friendly neighborhood wine store to recommend something interesting within your budget that isn't overly fruity, with nice acid. That should get you tons of options.

Good luck!

I'm a sommelier.

Penfold's Koonunga Hill Shiraz Cabernet

Widely available, very reasonably priced for the quality

La Crema Pinot Noir Monterrey -$20 in Houston. Fantastic!

I'd try to find a cheap Chiantis.

* Cheaper the better, I always say :-D

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