Right now, most sports fans are watching Italy vs. Spain in the Euro Cup. From a wine perspective, I love both Italian and Spanish wines, but I think I may just be obsessed with good Italian wines at the moment. I’ve been impressed and satisfied with even the simplest table wines, and then I also have my favorites, Montepulciano D’Abruzzo, Nero D’Avola, Barbera D’Asti, and that’s just a few of my favorite reds. I almost forgot Primitivo – perhaps the original Zin – and Super Tuscans… I’ve been reading a great book about Thomas Jefferson (called T.J. around this circle) and his love for wine. It explores his passion for wine; and his relationship with acquiring, growing, and keeping wine throughout his life are chronicled through letters. It is chock-full of fascinating correspondence, and memorable tales from Paris to Monticello fill the pages of conversation and history.
I decided to try a new Italian red with dinner recently. This one is a Rosso di Montalcino from 2009. In the same area of Tuscany as it’s famous big brother, Brunello di Montalcino (the longest barrel-aged red in Italy at 5 years), Rosso di Montalcino is a new regional DOC made to cover younger, fresher, and less aged wines of this style. Thus it is also 100% Sangiovese. This new DOC is also often applied to Brunello that did not make the grade, but that doesn’t mean it’s bad. On the contrary, this Caparzo poured deep-ruby, and had a strong nose of wild black and red-berry fruit. The palate displayed firm structure and tannins, and powerful black fruit and wild berry flavors prevailed as well here. It delivers on all levels, and shows the potential of its longer-aged relatives. There was some oak notes from 2 years in barrel and a bit of earthiness, which is one thing I love in particular about Italian wines.
In fact tonight I am going out to a nice new Italian restaurant in the neighborhood to enjoy some delicious native cuisine and wine — after the game, of course. Can I really vote for a country based on their food and wine as my bias?