Next October, a group of my friends and I are heading to Tuscany for ten days. Besides taking cooking lessons and a culinary tour, we are also hitting several (hundred) wineries. To prepare for our trip, I am organizing a series of get-togethers designed to pre-educate the group with all things Italian. Last night was Tuscany Wine 101 and our “teacher” was Alfonso Cevola, you know, the Italian wine director at Glazer’s who writes a wicked wine blog. Anywhoo, Alfonso showed up with six wines and I showed up with a couple of frozen sausage and meatball lasagnas from Jimmy’s Food Store. People, the wine was great, but the lasagna was even greater. A tin that feeds 6-8 is only $30. Our hefty group of ten barely touched the second one. I also picked up some tasty sesame crackers and several Italian cheeses. There is no better spot in Dallas for Italian food. And I’m including all of the restaurants that call themselves Italian. I’ll list the wines we tasted below. Good stuff.
In order of tasting:
Mionetto-Sergio “Mo”. A sparkling wine by contemporary master vintner Sergio Mionetto. 70% Prosecco di Valdobbiadene DOC and a 30% blend of Verdiso, BIanchetta, and Chardonnay. Perfect aperitif.
San Angelo Pinot Grigio. An aristocratic PG with an intense, fruity aroma followed by a clean, rich, and refreshing taste. The finish is soft and sweet like me.
Petra Zingari 2005. A yummy (new official wine descriptor) blend of Merlot, Syrah, Petit Verdot, and Sangiovese aged in stainless steel. I won’t get into the berry notes cuz there were lots of them. I love this wine. Goes with anything. Or nothing.
Castello di Monastero Chianti Classico Riserva. Another yummy blend made from 85% Sangiovese (my personal fav grape), 15% Merlot, and Cab Sav that is aged 18 months in small oak barrels and 12 months in the bottle. (That’s a great title for a short story: “Twelve Months in the Bottle.”)
Coldisole Brunello di Montalcino. Alfonso had me at Brunello. Who doesn’t love any bottle of this yummy Italian red. (Am I overdoing the yummy thing?) Why do I love this wine so much? It’s 100% Sangiovese grapes. It puts hair on your chest. Aged 3 years in oak and another in the bottle. Delicious.
Castello Banfi Cum Laude Sant’ Antimo. Italy’s newest Super Tuscan is also like me—complex, rich in color, and soft with the flavors of fruit. If you made it to the end of this, you must buy all of these wines.