Few of us have deep pockets anymore (and most of us never had them at all). If Nebbiolo is your game, you can still find some bargains in Piedmont, most notably the Barbaresco normale from the best little cooperative in Italy, Produttori del Barbaresco. The members have inherited some distinguished vineyards or rows of vines in the Piedmontese hill town. Produttori single-vineyard bottlings are a good value for the quality, but nothing beats their normal bottling for price/quality ratio.
The 2007 is textbook Barbaresco; the Nebbiolo is smooth and rich with an overlay of spice and earth and a taste of dark plums. This is a Barbaresco that won't leave you feeling guilty if you break it out for a roast chicken or a braised beef dish. It's also terrific with sautéed wild mushrooms.
Region: Piedmont, Italy
Price: About $34
Style: Rich and smooth
What it goes with: Roast chicken, braised or roasted beef, grilled chops, wild mushrooms
Where to find it: Beverage Warehouse in Los Angeles (Marina del Rey), (310) 306-2822, http://www.beveragewarehouse.com; Du Vin Wine & Spirits in West Hollywood, (310) 855-1161, http://www.du-vin.com; K&L Wine Merchants in Hollywood, (323) 464-9463, http://www.klwines.com; Mission Wines in South Pasadena, (626) 403-9463, http://www.missionwines.com; the Wine Club in Santa Ana, (714) 835-6485, http://www.thewineclub.com; Wine Exchange in Orange, (714) 974-1454, http://www.winex.com; the Wine House in West Los Angeles, (310) 479-3731, http://www.winehouse.com; and Woodland Hills Wine Co. in Woodland Hills, (818) 222-1111, http://www.whwc.com.