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Great Italian wines for summer drinking

During these languid hours, when daydreaming wanders in with the tides and concentration vacations, Italian wines call in white, red and rosé.

For a light refresher, suitable when your feet are in the sand and your appetite stays with fritto misto, pesto or white pizza, there's Antinori's 2010 Tenuta Guado al Tasso Vermentino di Bolgheri ($25), with a hint of the peaches you'll have for dessert.

The same producer's 2010 Scalabrone Bolgheri Rosata ($25), dry and fruity, holds out for some grilled shrimp or a fish stew, maybe a spicy or smoky dish, a tricolor salad, or another with chicken or tuna.

And with that big bowl of rigatoni alla Bolognese you've been thinking about, uncork the 2006 Monsanto Chianti Classico Riserva ($20) -- dependably fine, ruby-hued, just gutsy enough, with a suggestion of black cherry.

Wake me when it's all ready. Ciao.

 

 

Beach-side reading

 

Sip a bit, then peruse "Great Wines Under $20" by Elyse Luray (Krause/ F+W Media, $14.99), a paperback summed up in the title. Easy to follow, easy on the budget, but could use information about vintages. ... "Wine Bites" by Barbara Scott-Goodman (Chronicle, $24.95) is a very appetizing collection of recipes for snacks, dips and spreads, sandwiches, cheeses, seafood, meat and the wines that pair with them. ... "An Ideal Wine" by David Darlington (Harper, $26.99) peers into the bottom-line wine business and the elusive, subjective/objective goals of winemakers. Randall Grahm and Leo McCloskey are the lively subjects through which the tale is told. How many wine books quote Mephistopheles from Goethe's "Faust"?

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