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Just the ticket for group suppers of spaghetti and meatballs, lasagna and buttery, crusty French bread

Thatsa real good wine

Cheap Chianti always found a home on my dinner table during those long pasta supper nights as a college student, an then a struggling young journalist. Somewhere in the the time line, these once predominately Sangiovese–based wines fell prey to bad blending, over exposure and a general move from cheap wines in favor of beer or frozen cocktails.

Wanna relive the good old days? I’ve found a nicely priced version called simply, Chianti. ($12.99) that brings back the memories – and the quality.

No, it’s not a Super Tuscan or cellar worthy Italian juice, but it’s just the ticket for group suppers of spaghetti and meatballs, lasagna and lots of buttery, crusty French bread. Rich, dark and filled with aromas and flavors, this Chianti is imported by Terra Verus. I found mine at Johnnie Ganem’s Package Shop.

Bottle of White

Terra Verus owner Steve Lawrence also sources the grapes for a wine labeled simply Prosecco. This poplar and refreshing white while is, at its freshest, slightly effervescent and a real refresher. Consider it a before dinner palate refresher before powering down Chianti and tomato gravy.
It’s a steal at $10.99 or less at several local retailers. Watch for its distinctive waxed cord closure and mushroom cork.

Night of the Living Dead

The Magic Hat Brewery folks are back with a new seasonal variety 12–pack, Night of the Living Dead. Of course, expect to find popular No. 9, the not quite pale ale, not quite fruit beer that’s been a mainstay of the company’s portfolio. Take gentle hoppy bitterness, marry it with apricot extract and you’ve got the recipe for this refreshing brew.

The three treats in this box of tricks from Magic Hat are as diverse as a pre–school costume contest.

Hex is “Ourtoberfest,” a malty amber ale with hints of toffee and caramel and a slightly smoky finish.
Odd Notion, which varies from season to season, it back with as the apple bobbing beer. It’s a green apple Wit beer with hints of coriander and orange peel.

Finally, the “I.P.A. On Tour” program (which sees a new I.P.A. each season) continues with the return of Hi.P.A., a former spring seasonal with label design by Grateful Dead artist, Stanley Mouse.

Night of the Living Dead stays on shelves from now through November. The three seasonals enjoyed solid reviews at the Savannah Craft Brew fest and I’m particularly fond of this fall’s Odd Notion, which offers a new spin on a fruit Wit beer experience.