Occasionally we actually have practical wine suggestions.

Beppi Crosariol recommended Gabbiano Chianti 2007 some months ago in the Globe and Mail as a reliable $14 Chianti, also pointing out that (improbably) the operation was owned by the Australian megawinecorp Beringer Blass, better known for decidedly non-Chianti-like products such as the Wolf Blass line of Aussie reds (mainly) and whites. It’s a general list wine with widespread availability throughout Toronto Central and also (I presume) elsewhere.

As indicated it’s not exactly a Shiraz-y style wine — it’s young, relatively light (really medium-bodied), without a lot of oak (I think maybe a bit of oak). The LCBO says 12.7% alc/vol (the label 13%) which sounds about right. It’s got a pleasant bright fresh cherry/red berry nose — with a bit of air you also get  hints of spice, light cedar, maybe a hint of some kind of floral note. It drinks well immediately after opening but holds up well and (as noted) develops a bit of complexity with airing. Medium/medium+ body, medium acid, medium tannin. A good wine for a wide range of dinner food — pizza, pasta, chicken, sausages, etc. etc.

Definitely worth the money if you’re looking for something along these lines — a reasonably priced young red with some interest and no hint of vegetable patch, carbonic bubblegum, or overwhelming vanilla-oak.