IF ALL human life has deserted you for Chiantishire and other Italian parts, indulge in a little dolce far niente of your own.

Thresher Wine Shops are offering two bottles of the Grati family's 1988 Chianti Rufina Banda Blu DOCG ( pounds 3.69 a bottle) for pounds 6.99, a fair price for a sweet- savoury, cherryish chianti from high in Tuscany's hills.

The Viticoltori dell'Acquese in the Alpine foothills of Piedmont is a co-operative rapidly gaining a reputation for what Italy should excel at, affordable wines of good quality. Its Moscato d'Asti, pounds 2.99, Thresher, is sweet- scented and gently sparkling, and tastes of sweet, fresh muscat grapes. Serve well-chilled, on its own or with fruit or pudding.

From the same co-operative, Victoria Wine has the fresh and juicy young Dolcetto d'Acqui, whose sharpish edge makes it a good pasta wine, on special offer at pounds 3.39 (20p off).

Closer to the Loire in style, Fratelli Pasqua's Cabernet Sauvignon del Veneto 1991, pounds 3.25, Gateway, is a summery, light, fresh, green pepper-like cabernet. The same store's Copertino 1990, pounds 3.39, from Italy's giant wine region of Puglia, delivers a mouthful of resinous, raisin-like fruit.

A litre of Sardinian Bianco, pounds 3.59, Thresher Wine Shops, Bottoms Up, Wine Rack, looks jug-like in its screw-top bottle, but will do nicely as a party or house dry white for August.

The week's most unusual, and classiest, Italian dry white comes from the obscure wine region of Molise. Greco, a native grape introduced, as the name suggests, by the Greeks, is also the name of an intriguing white made by Luigi Di Majo's estate, Di Majo Norante; pounds 7.29 at Winecellars, 153-155 Wandsworth High Street, London SW18 (081-871 2668).