It’s Italian Wine Month at Binnys!
First of all, don’t forget to check outthe list of wines we’ve got on sale this month here.Some of the wines listed are in short supply and only available atsome stores. Also be sure to check the eventspage for information on upcoming tastings and other eventsthroughout the month.
Adventures In Consumerism, Ravioli, and Rosso di Montalcino
My girlfriend and I recently entered anew level of commitment in our relationship: together we joined oneof those membership-required, bulk-buy, warehouse-style superstores.After several hours of grueling shopping and waiting in line andcarrying 32-packs of soda up the stairs to our apartment, we lookedover our mountain of newly acquired foodstuffs, and she asked me, Well, what doyou want for dinner?
Both of us feeling exhausted, weagreed that cooking a little of the eighteen pounds of frozen raviloiwe had just purchased would be easy enough. After about six minutesof boiling, I handed her a plate of pasta. She was amazed, and said it looked like something froma restaurant. We agreed on two things: 1) we needed to raise ourstandards regarding dining out, and 2) we needed some wine to go with dinner. And what’s perfect with pasta? I grabbed a bottle of 2003Mastrojanni Rosso di Montalcino, pulled the cork, and saw this:
That red wine stain going up the sideof the cork always makes me cringe it’s a sure sign that thiswine is oxidized along with the orange tint the wine had takenon. But surprisingly, it was still solid and drinkable understated tart cherry fruit balanced with an earthy minerality. The finish was a little abrupt, probably from the oxidization. All inall, it was really pleasant to see that this sangiovese, produced ina delicate, restrained, old-world style, still had the body andbackbone to stand up to this flaw.
Rosso di Montalcino
For those looking for wonderful wine ata reasonable price (and requiring less patience) a great choice isRosso di Montalcino. From the same grapes and region as Brunello diMontalcino, but legally requiring less barrel aging, this more moreyouthful expression of sangiovese is usually much less expensive, somuch so that you won’t feel bad popping one open on a Sundayafternoon to pair with bulk-buy frozen ravioli, butclasically-oriented and solid enough to withstand some aging.
A few weeks earlier, I had tasted the2005Mastrojanni Rosso di Montalcino, and knowing that I had the 2003waiting in the cellar (by ‘cellar’ I mean a little wine fridge from ahardware store) I was stoked. A friend was very excited about thiswine about how the wonderful aromatics gave it the presence of aminiature Brunello. The nose was indeed quite interesting. In thefinish was a hint of copper that I didn’t care for, probably a matterof taste.
After the Rosso, I compared the 2003Mastrojanni Brunello di Montalcino, which was bigger, dustier and hada little of that metallic note, but not as much. Binny’s doesn’tcurrently have this one in stock, and while bigger, more complex andbalanced, I don’t think I’d be able to drop twice as much cash on it.
I also tried the 2006Ciacci Rosso di Montalcino, which I can’t recommend enough tothose looking for a great deal. This month it’s on sale for $16.99(down from $25) so I suspect it won’t last long. A compact wine,with tart cherries and a little more depth than some sangiovese,balanced with tight tannins, this wine is all about finesse. Seriously, try it while we have it.
Have you had a Rosso Di Montalcino youlove? Think that they just can’t compare to Brunello di Montalcino,or other Tuscan wines? Share your opinion!
Expect more charming commentary soon, and be sure to check out the events page and specialpricing offered this month. Oh, about the bulk-buy superstore: afterfinally overcoming the existential horrors of our mass-consumerismsociety, I did get a really sweet deal on a fifteen pack of canned,organic, diced tomatoes. So, you know, if anyone needs sometomatoes….