While sampling Basilicata's rustic, sun-baked cuisine, we were struck by how naturally the rich, red local wines made from the ancient aglianico grape—which is cultivated in the volcanic soil of the hilly region of Vulture—complement the local fare. Below, some choice bottles.
Cantine del Notaio Il Sigillo 2004 ($60) Big and jammy, with hints of wet leaves and earth.
Cantine Sasso 2006 ($15) Uncharacteristically light and fruity; perfect with pasta in tomato and pepper sauces.
Casa Maschito La Bottaia 2003 ($29) Red fruit with a hint of dried fennel.
Caselle D'Angelo Riserva 2003 ($36) Deep, dried fruit with a whiff of smoke.
Elena Fucci Titolo 2006 ($45) Sweet berries with dark chocolate.
Re Manfredi 2004 ($30) Supple fruit layered with leather and spice. A classic aglianico.