Tuesday, January 02, 2007

A Trip to Italy

One of the wines I mentioned in my eclectic case was an Italian red from the DOC Rosso Piceno. I’ve mentioned before that I know very little about Italian wine, although, many years ago, one of my first discoveries from "Wine for Dummies" was that Chianti Classico Riserva represents an excellent value.

I uncorked my bottle of Saladini Pilastri Rosso Piceno Vigna Piediprato 2003 the other night and was promptly shamed by my lack of knowledge about what I was drinking. I knew it was 50% montepulciano and 50% sangiovese, imported by Winebow and Robert Parker thought pretty highly of it (WA 90).

A quick Google seach turned up an extremely cool Web site, Italian Made. Within seconds, I learned that Rosso Piceno is located in Marches, which is due west of Tuscany and right next door to Umbria. The vineyards are mostly located in the hills, ranging up to 700 meters above sea level, and montepulciano, sangiovese and trebbianno are the most common varietals, along with a local grape, passerina.

Italian Made is a goldmine of information about Italy’s regions, foods, wines and much more. It’s a great place to spend a slow day at work.

Not that I would know, of course.

If the Saladini Pilastri is any indication of what the other wines from this area are like, then I’ll be hunting down some more real soon. The nose was smoky and earthy with underlying dark berries. On the palate, it was more of the same, mixed with tar, violets and plum.

We enjoyed this one with some of my girlfriend’s lasagna. I was reminded that nothing—I repeat—nothing, goes with tomato-based pasta dishes like Italian reds. Not even Cal-Ital wines really do as well.

I’ll be exploring more of Italy in the very near future.

Molte grazie, Italian Made.

1 comment:

farley said...

Couldn't agree with you more about tomato sauce and Italian reds, so thanks for the link to that site.