We Taste Tested Meghan Markle’s Favorite Wine, Tignanello—But Is It Worth the High Price Tag?

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As co-hosts of the Royally Obsessed podcast, we’ll admit: There are several royally-tied items on our bucket list from attending Royal Ascot to enjoying a summer picnic in the gardens of Buckingham Palace. (Yes, both are possible.) Still, top of the list for years has been to finally taste test Tignanello, the Italian Super Tuscan red wine that yielded such a major a-ha moment for Meghan Markle she decided to name her (now defunct) blog, The Tig, after it.

Tracking down a bottle was surprisingly easy once we put our minds to it. We worked with Drizly, who helped us source it from a local wine shop in Brooklyn and delivered it to our front door. (It’s not cheap—a bottle of Tignanello will set you back on average about $200, which means it’s a bit of a splurge.)

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On to our taste test: The locale was likely a bit less glamorous than wherever Markle enjoyed her first sip. My podcast co-host Roberta Fiorito and I were together after work at our office, which does happen to feature uninterrupted views of New York City. But an Italian winery it is not.

Still, as we removed the cork, we read aloud the words Markle once revealed about her favorite bottle, long before meeting Prince Harry: “Tignanello is a full-bodied red wine that I tried about seven years ago,” she said. “In wine circles, it is nicknamed ‘Tig.’ It was my first moment of getting it—I finally understood what people meant by the body, structure, finish, legs of wine. The Tig is my nickname for me getting it. Not just wine, but everything.” With those words hanging in the air, we were ready.

After our first sip, we couldn’t help but pause. It was so elegant. So fragrant. So smooth. There were notes of cherry, but also spices and herbs. More than anything, Tignanello was incredibly easy to drink—the texture was so balanced and the flavors worked so beautifully all together. Did we have our own Tig moment as we took stock of what is at the heart of a truly good wine? Yes.

tignanello wine review
Roberta Fiorito

A bit of background about Tignanello, which is pronounced teen-ya-nello: It was the first commercially produced luxury wine to blend Tuscany’s iconic Sangiovese grape with regal Cabernet Sauvignon. According to sommelier Mark Sayre, “The two grapes work so well together because you have the rusticity of Sangiovese wrapped in Cabernet’s velvety dark fruit—both providing their own sense of power.”

As for its definition as a Super Tuscan, that simply refers to its grape origins, meaning that wines with this classification often include non-native varieties. (Tignanello, which was brought to life by Marchese Piero Antinori in the early 1970s, kicked off this winemaking trend.) 

Back to the cost: If you want a more affordable alternative, Sayre recommends another Italian wine producer, called Ornellaia, which is famous for its Tuscan Cabernet-based wines. Their Le Volte dell’Ornellaia features a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Sangiovese and Merlot, plus the same regality as Tignanello. It also clocks in under $30.

But for those who’ve been searching for the perfect red for quite some time (and don’t mind the splurge), Tignanello is it.

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Royal family expert, a cappella alum, mom

Rachel Bowie is Senior Director of Special Projects & Royals at PureWow, where she covers parenting, fashion, wellness and money in addition to overseeing initiatives within...

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Food Editor

From 2017 to 2019 Heath Goldman held the role of Food Editor covering food, booze and some recipe development, too. Tough job, eh?