We are now in Venice after 5 weeks in Spain. Additional wine posts will be much shorter since our wine drinking in both San Sebastian and Bilbao often took place in Tapas (in Basque, Pintxos) bars where we were drinking the house reds. About 1 to 2 Euros a “copa” (glass). Some were better than others, but all surprisingly good. We drank mostly reds mixed in with an occasional Lambrusco and of course, Txakoli, which is a Basque white wine poured from very high so it aerates as it hits the glass. It is slightly fizzy and very refreshing.
One bottle we ordered on our first night in San Sebastian(Donostia) was a2006 Vina Alberdi Crianza that was magnificient at 18 Euros in a restaurant near our apartment, Oliyos.
So far in Venice we have had some good house reds but the full bottles have been young and not particularly memorable. Also much more expensive than in Spain. We have found one wine shop that retail wines more reasonably but I don’t know any of the vineyards as I do in Spain. Will have to do much more research. Italy never used to list wines by grape varietal but they do now and it is kind of strange to see Italian Cabernets and Merlots. We had a Pinot Nero last night that was drinkable but overpriced for a 2011. I hope we will do better when we get to the country outside of Venice.