Tag Archive: Italian Wine


Settesoli Nero D’Avola 2016

This wine was made by the Settesoli family, from Sicily, and sent to us at George’s with a picture of Angela Settesoli, the winegrower, and winemaker’s daughter.

This Nero d’Avola is thick with rich, luscious cherries, red currants, dusty sun baked clay. This wine holds wild sage, clove hints, and savory herbs. I love this wine’s nose. The palate is just as glorious, just precisely like the nose.

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“Plinio” Vermentino 2013

Plinio Vermentino 2013 is a fun surprise from Italy, made by Bruni. The last Vermentino that I had was dry, and unpleasantly fruity, in an unbalanced way, as though someone had taken pineapple can juice and injected it with gin or something.

I decided to give this varietal a second chance, thinking I might share it with someone. Plans fell through, but I opened the bottle, anyways. This wine turned out to be much more pleasant than expected. It’s a beautiful day bright gold. It’s mellowed pineapple, as though it were canned, and dry, but not overtly fruity. It opens to starfruit, with hints of kiwi, leading to orange rinds with a relaxed finish.

Masciarelli Montepulciano is a delightful Italian wine from Abruzzo Italy, with bright cherries, velvety tannins, and a warm masculine musk. The spices in this wine are wonderful, cinnamon bark, cardamom, and cherry chapstick. Masciarelli Montepulciano tastes precisely like it smells and would be a wonderful pairing for game, turkey, roasts, or rotisserie chicken.

Italian wines are rather simple by nature, created to pair perfectly with the delicious, straight forward, traditional Italian food.

At least that’s what they tell me. I’d say that wine, any wine, can be as simple or as complicated as you want to make it. The rule of thumb, is “Drink what you like.” I, personally, enjoy looking for a novel in a bottle, not just a wash-down in a glass.

Malvira Roero 2009

This delightful Italian from Canale, Italy is amazingly light. It enchants, a deep clear ruby in the glass, almost red, but bordering earth tones. This flavor is delightfully light, with brilliant vanilla cherries, whiffs of strawberries, and mulling spices. The Malvira opens to bright, full, honest red cherries in a barrel, with sage, white pepper. this wine is a candle lit cellar, earthy, friendly, and filled with a bountiful harvest of herbs, onions, and garlic, all dried and hanging in the flickering light next to the barrels of fruits. As it ages in the air, it is rich, travelled, with mushroom notes, with a taste that reveals fresh Challah bread, spiced with red currants. This is a winter wine to love!

The present: I asked for something that was familiar, something that I’d miss, because it had been around so long, even if it had been an enemy. Topper had the solution, with a humorous twist. “Il Bastardo.” “The Bastard.” This wine is a 100% Sangiovese from Rufina, Italy. This wine stayed steady over 3-4 days, without losing quality to become vinegar immediately. Topper said this was a wine that hadn’t ever let him down, and it proved true for me as well.

This wine is a whirl of ruby fruit in the beginning, cassis, garam marsala, cinnamon sugar, fruity strawberries. It mellows out to easy prune, loose cranberries, and open red berries. This wine pairs well with a variety of foods, and changes in adaptability to each food. With brisket, it’s red and tart, cutting beautifully through the fat and sauce. With white chocolate, it becomes woody, earthy, and well-paired.

This wine is delicious, standard, easy-going, but something I could always come back to. It’s exciting in it’s own way, adaptable, and friendly.

This zippy little white blend by Roberto Anselmi from Veneto Italy is relatively uncomplicated, except for one twist- he added sauvignon blanc! This lends a lovely amount of minerality to the lemons, peaces, white shale and banana hints. It has green leaves with white lillies and stunning aromatics. Adding sauvignon blanc is a minor act of rebellion- which is why, in 2000, Roberto Anselmi declared that his wines would be sold as IGT. This allowed him to experiment outside of the DOC’s restrictions.

Anselmi’s San Vincenzo isn’t complicated, but it is fun- and good with chicken and cheese.

Villa Luisa Chianti 2011

This is a different vintage of a wine that I’ve had before. I enjoyed the previous vintage, but this one is quite lovely. It comes from the Marchesi de Petri, from Pontedera Italy. This Chianti is blooming with blueberries, and raspberries. It is highly reminiscent of cherry cider with cider spices and whispers of chocolate. It is slightly meaty like venison.