Friday, October 23, 2009

Vino Rosso

The third selection for my wine party was a Montepulciano. This red wine from the area surrounding Montepulciano (south of Siena in Tuscany) is made primarily from the Sangiovese grape (about 70%). This is not to be confused by another familiar Italian red wine, Montepulciano d'Abruzzo, which is made from the Montepulciano grape (at least 85%) in the Abruzzo region of Italy (east of Rome). I never realized that there was this distinction! Anyway, this Canneto is an easy to drink, fruit forward, medium bodied red, and is meant to be drunk young (the wine, not the drinker).

Typically one would pair hearty dishes (meats, rich tomato based pastas) with an old world red wine, but since we were just snacking, I offered a few aged cheeses. If you look in the lower right had corner of my table photo, you will see a Valdeon (a terrific blue from Spain) and an aged Gouda (mine was three years old). If you haven't tried an aged Gouda, should! It has this amazing nutty, caramel flavor that is addictive. I also made some of my Pan con Tomate just to have a little bread to chow on after all of the vino.

I'm starting an intensive wine class soon, so I plan to have another mini-wine party in a month or so, after my brain is jam packed with lots of new wine info (first come, first served!). Hopefully my wine knowledge and food pairings will be much more advanced and nuanced than what I've shared in that past few days. But that's just me and my crazy interest. Really, who cares? Drink and eat what you want! And if you don't feel like hosting your own party, hit up one of the million wine bars that have recently sprouted all over the place. It's a great way to sample new wines without committing to a whole bottle...or drink a few glasses AND a whole bottle. I don't judge.

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