Thursday, March 6, 2008


x-fact ~ pronounced san-joh-vay-say or san-joh-vez. i've heard both. but, since i'm not an expert, pick the one you like! or the one that sounds the best after a glass or two.

ali sangiovese di toscana 2006
paid ??
reg. 9.99

i've had this before, but the forever designated driver was responsible for procuring this particular bottle. if memory serves, i do believe this has been at my store for 8.99 or something like that for the last bit of time.

it's a pretty bottle, the shape and the label. but, if you look carefully, the character/angel/peter frampton on halloween on the front is a bit creepy. there's a lot going on in that sketch. from afar, however, it is attractive and fetching. fabulous evenings have been built on this premise and even less, so i just say go for it.

this wine is good. a really rich color and smell in the glass. it's light on the tongue and real smooth going down.

despite it's lightness and smoothness, it's got a nice hit to it. it benefits from a bit of time in the glass being held. you know me, i like a wine that's had some body contact.

the thing is though, it's a bit of a lonely wine. meaning, i think it doesn't really like drinking alone.

perhaps it's because it's tuscan, perhaps it's just social by nature, but it seems like it would be a better sip if sipped with food.

in fact, and i could be making this up because i'm a writer and accomplished drinker and therefore given to my own reality, BUT if my addled memory serves me correctly i do believe the other time i had this wine it was with a wonderful italian dish i made awhile ago.

though i do gas on about the benefits of boxed wine in the post that contained the recipe, i do believe the wine i had with the meal was this one.

why do i remember that? how do i remember that? (i remember nothing. the original blank slate)

no matter! a crispy polenta round topped with a delectable and deeply and richly layered in flavor sausage and mushroom sauce. mmmm, boy was that good. oh, and so. very. easy.

just like this wine. it's so unobtrusive, but not in the way the forgettable wines are. but in the way a good companion wine is. a delicious wine, but one that can not only pair well with intense foods, but practically begs to be.

a true tuscan! that most romantic and yet overexposed patch of land. ah! tuscany! like the lindsey lohan or paris hilton or britney spears of vacation destinations, there is such a thing as overexposure even for the classics.

but what tuscany has that none of those other come and gone flavors of the moment have is actual beauty, endless grace, and an unrivaled sense of place.

i imagine tuscany to be the sophia loren of the business. timeless, gorgeous, the start and the end. and everything in between.

bathed in sun and olive oil and wine, tuscany is the gold standard. and when all the hoopla dies down, it will still be as gorgeous and relevant and magical as it was before. century after century.

and so goes the pairing of a wonderful red wine with a fabulous meal.

and yet, not always a given. just because you have a good wine and a good meal it doesn't mean they will pair well.

like most pairs in life, chemistry is key.

without that chemistry, you get harrison ford and anne heche in 6 days, 7 nights. /shudder.

with that chemistry, you get harrison ford and melanie griffith in working girl. /grin.

and if you are very very lucky, you will get meryl streep and clint eastwood in bridges of madison county.

never ever underestimate the lasting power and the lifelong impetus of a great wine and food pairing.

i'm not one of those who say this wine is the only wine for this food. BUT, like each. and. every. one. of. us. good food and good wine both deserve to shine. to be appreciated for their fabulousness.

drowning your meal with overpowering wine or overpowering your wine with an intense meal doesn't do anyone any favors.

appreciating flavor is one of the greatest gifts we are given. let us celebrate that in as many ways as we can.

i wish you great meals and even better wine to drink with them!

chin chin!


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