The Inspired Wine Club, August 2009: Hot Italian Nights
“Peccato gravissimo ē quello di stare senza vino e senza amante.”
Translation: “It is a grave mistake to live without wine and a lover.”
~ Giuseppe Lonardi, winemaker
It’s that sultry part of summer. August is here and what better way to celebrate than with a couple of reds from steamy, passionate Italy. Yes, it’s time to pull out the Dean Martin or Louis Prima music to accompany your red-checkered tablecloth on your own private terrazzo. The summer breezes will win out over the humidity as the sun sets and you can enjoy some of Italy’s fine wines with penne Puttanesca, veal Parmigiana or the old standby spaghetti Bolognese (with meat sauce). However, these are versatile reds that are suitable for your quasi- Tuscan grill, too. These are your spicy Italian reds, ready to embolden and enliven you or just soothe your soul as you watch fireflies from your favorite deck chair.
Giuseppe Lonardi Valpolicella Ripasso,
After 12 months of aging in small oak barrels that provide more surface area to the wine inside, this mix of 75 percent Corvina Veronese, 20 percent Rondinella and 5 percent Molinara, has another six months of bottle aging. A very “Corvina” wine, it has dark, lush cranberry and smoky chocolate flavors. It’s a deep ruby wine that is bold and can stand its own with red meats, grilled meats, game, and your spiciest pasta dishes. It’s a traditional “ripasso,” which means it has to conform to that process – fermenting with the unpressed, but drained Amarone skins and lees. Amarone is a very dry red wine that when used in this way produces beautiful Corvinas that are generally best suited to enjoy with food.
Perazzeta Sara Rosso Toscano,
Bring the Tuscan sunset to your own backyard with this Sangiovese wine. Named after his daughter Sara, Alessandro Bocci has produced a wonderfully bold Chianti-esque wine that clearly gets its intensity from the Tuscan sun and the large river rocks that are found on his Estate there that hold in that heat at night. Fermented first in steel tanks, followed by the smoothing malolactic fermentation in small wooden barrels, Bocci has produced a wine with bright cherry flavors and spicy notes and earth tones. Again, this is a crisply acidic wine that goes well with your meats and Mama’s favorite red sauce.