At $4.50 a glass at TraVino Restaurant north of Traverse City, this has to rank as one of best values I have encountered. Most house wines are either innocuous or all dressed up with oak chips. This Gabbiano Chianti offers honest fruit aromas and flavors--dark cherry and mushrooms--in a traditional format. There is no evidence of new oak or oak chips, but there are plenty of fruit tannins to give substance and backbone. A delightful match for Gorgonzola-crusted strip steak.
Gabbiano wines are widely available and decent values for about $8 to $12 a bottle. All that may change soon as the Australian makers of Foster's Beer have purchased the property and plan to "modernize" the wines. No thanks, I say.