While I can never seem to take a regular photo…I always have a great time doing wine dinners. This one was with Chef Melissa Gellert (seen in the blur) for a birthday celebration. It was a lovely night and I think we hit the pairings pretty spot on! My personal favorite was the Salmon Ceviche and the Dr. Franks Grüner Veltliner…or maybe the Crispy Chicken and the Angeline Pinot Noir…I can’t decide! : )
Charles Ellner Brut Rosé
Pinot Noir and Chardonnay
Paired with:Herbed Polenta “Fries” with Muhamarra (Roasted Red Pepper & Walnut Dip)
Dr. Konstantin Frank
Paired with:Salmon Ceviche with Micro Greens and asparagus
Mönchhof Ürziger Würzgarten
Paired with:Lentil and Rhubarb Curry, Cucumber Lime Raita, Cumin Naan
Paired with:Crispy Pressed Chicken Thighs with Garlic and Aleppo pepper marinade
Kopke LBV Porto
Blanquette de Limoux
Paired with:Chocolate Coconut Truffles with Mint and cheese with fruit
This Sangiovese blend almost got lost in my wine rack…I honestly wasn’t going to open this particular bottle, didn’t even know I had it, but accidentally did one Saturday night when starting to prepare dinner. Happy accident!
The 2005 CeppaianoToscana “AlleVIole” was a surprise, very old world in it’s expression, which might have something to do with a bit more development due to it’s age. Balsamic and even some anise scents got me really excited to have with my kale salad with pecorino (a familiar Tuscan cheese) and cranberries and my simple quinoa pasta with tomato sauce. Perfecto!
Barbera from these two distinct regions pridefully give us the best the grape has to offer. I think these two Barberas define the difference of these two reps form the region.
Here’s how they stack up with my ANTE method of tasting wine.
Appearance-Asti has a bit lighter in color with a lighter hue than the Alba
Nose-Asti smelled like roses (there are rose bushes planted on this vineyard…so makes sense), earth, cinnamon baking spice while the Alba has more dark fruited qualities, but also had a minerality (on clay soils, so makes sense).
Taste—Alba certainly is fuller, darker and a bit more black fruit while the Asti was a bit more acidic and more fresh red fruited.
Enjoy-Both of them can be enjoyed especially with tomato based foods like pasta with marinara or a pizza.
Who wins? Barbera!!!
Kermit Lynch Wines may sound like a misplaced drunk muppet, but in the wine world that name is synonymous with quality.
While his distribution has a truly spectacular French portfolio, it’s Italian selections aren’t too shabby either. It shows the respect that Kermit gets in Italy when he can make his own Italian blend and put his name on the label… the winemaker Alessandra Bodda must’ve trusted him implicitly to make a quality wine that is representative of this region.
Delightfully easy, simple but still with that hint of dust, cranberry and cinnamon I often get in Italian reds. It’s a blend that includes mostly Barbera…so it’s medium bodied which is a terrify pair with a variety of foods. Try somehting tomato based, whcih will enhance both this wine and food.
The 2008 Sella & Mosca Cannonau di Sardegna is made from 100% Cannonau on this Italian island, west of the shin of the boot. This rather unusual expression of the Grenache grape has a decidedly Spanish influence as seen in the wines and the foods of the region. If you like the earthy, dirt, spicy, salty wines with some ripe to overripe dark plum and other black fruits, You might want to check this one out. Begging to have some food along with it, I think this would be a super compliment for the traditional salty Bottarga with pasta. Mangia!
Whats your favorite kind of Grenache?
This cinnamon scented Riondo Amarone della Valpolicella from @WineChateau really rocked the #gluten free pizza. It was lighter in color and weight than I expected, but it was full of spicy tones, clean with a great acidity that complimented the tomato and cheese perfectly.
A blend of grapes from the Veneto region of North Eastern Italy (usually the indigenous Corvina, Molinara and Rondinella among others), where they also make the Amarones, which are raisinated and lean towards higher concentration and alcohol. The Valpolicella is the lighter cousin of the Amarone, made with the same grapes in a more restrained style.
This was my “office” yesterday. Thanks to @hobobrown for the pic!
Q: What’s under $15, from Italy that tastes great with foods like spaghetti or pizza?
A: These wines!
1st up is the Mocali Fossetti Rosso Toscano from Montalcino. Mostly made of Sangiovese, with that touch of cinnamon on the nose that I often get from this region. This tastes like more expensive juice, but is affordable enough to have with Monday night meatballs or Friday night date night.
2nd is the Roberto Ferrari’s Barbera D’Asti. Again, great value… taste like you drove home in a Ferrari, but at the cost of a Ford Fiesta. I adore Barberas because they go so wonderfully with so many foods, but it’s true pair is anything Italian…As they say, “What grows together, goes together.” Wines and food from the same place are always a win.
From Loazzolo, the tiniest DOC (Denominazione di Origine Controllata) in Italy makes some BIG wines This small, family owned vineyard with a careful, natural approach to viticulture and vinification shows a real respect for the terroir and a great pride in their wines.
These wines have an earthy, spicy quality and depth that gives a sense of the place. Perfect with Italian fare, basically anything with tomato sauce. What grows together, goes together!