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.