September Wines of the Month & Newsletter
Fall is right around the corner, and with the change in weather comes a change in wine styles. Light, crisp, refreshing whites; swanky, crisp roses; and chilled reds become mere nostalgic memories of warm, summer days. With the cool, brisk air and whispering breezes that Autumn brings, we begin to look towards fuller-bodied whites and medium-bodied reds that offer us a sense of warmth. Hence, we bring to you our Welcoming the Fall Wines of the Month...
Verrazzano Rosso Toscana IGT, Tuscany, Italy $12.99
This wine holds a very special place in my heart. In college, I studied abroad in Florence and studied the Italian language, the Italian Mafia, and Italian Food & Wine (top 3 best classes of my college career, obviously). One of our "field trips" was to the Castello di Verrazzano in Chianti Classico, Tuscany. Ugh... the beauty. Etched into my brain for the remaining days of my life--this beauty was simply unreal. We tasted everything Verrazzano had to offer and then died over it all. Not only that, but the little old lady whose family has owned the castle for centuries made us her homemade family recipe "pasta pomodoro", which is this insanely delicious spaghetti with tomato sauce. We devoured our pasta with this beautiful "table wine" that is the Verrazzano Castle family's favorite everyday little sipper--the Verrazzano Rosso. Believe it or not, HISTORICALLY, Chianti wine producers blended a small percentage of white grapes into their Chianti wines to help balance out the wine's structure and soften it overall. Today, it is actually ILLEGAL to blend in any white grapes if producers still wish to call their wines "Chianti" and put that name on their label. This Verrazzano Rosso is still 80% Sangiovese (standards call for at least 70% Sangiovese to call the wine a "Chianti"), but the remainder of the blend includes two white grapes: Trebbiano Toscano and Malvasia Lunga. "The body and vibrant fruit of the red Sangiovese and Canaiolo grapes,combined with the softness and suppleness of the white Trebbiano and Malvasia varieties,
together create a pleasing wine that complements both traditional and contemporary
cuisine." Because the family decided to rebel from quality control standards, and instead revived ancient traditions, calling this wine "Chianti" was forbidden. Still, the name means nothing. Once you taste the wine, which smells of youthful fruit and freshly picked violets and tastes harmonious with red fruits and black currants, you are taken on a deliciously historical journey of Tuscan winemaking.
Experience Verrazzano through my personal photos...
Au Bon Puits Cotes du Rhone Blanc, Rhone Valley, France $12.99Well, I don't have a super cool story to share with you about this wine and its place of origin, because (very unfortunately), I have yet to venture over to the beautiful French countryside... Ahh... one day. I HAVE been lucky enough to spend a few crazy nights in the bustling city of Paris during my adventurous college years. Still, Paris and the Rhone Valley are two very different beauties. This wine in particular I found quite fascinating. It is a "Cotes du Rhone", but while many of you red wine connoisseurs delve into deep glasses of RED Cotes du Rhone's, this one, my friends, is WHITE. It is a blend of 50% Grenache Gris, 20% Clairette, 20% Bourbolenc, and 10% Roussanne. It is completely aged in stainless steel and produced by one of France's BEST Co-ops who truly strive on creating single vineyard cuvees and promoting "reasoned agriculture"--a French movement pushing for the minimum use of chemicals in the vineyards and fields. The estates working with the Co-op are not fully organic, but follow the "Terra Vitis" charter. The charter requires:
- Use of natural processes to control pests whenever possible and minimal use of chemical treatments
- Planting varietals appropriate to soil and the climate
- The use of ground cover and compost to provide habitat for useful micro-organisms and to prevent erosion
- Continuing education on organic control of pests and parasites
- Documentation of the winemaking process, literally, from the ground up
Check out these super cool grapevines and how completely different the Rhone's terroir is from Chianti's...
(Photo courtesy of wineterriors.com)
So there you have it folks, the interesting and fun wines of the month of September. I do hope you enjoy them! As always, feel free to contact me with any questions at DomsWine@yahoo.com.
We will be doing 2 tastings this month:
Saturday, September 13th from 1-4 : "A Taste of Abruzzo" with Abruzzo's 3 famed styles of wine- Trebbiano d'Abruzzo (white), Cerasuolo d'Abruzzo (rose made from the Montepulciano grape), and, of course, Montepulciano d'Abruzzo (red)
Saturday, September 20th from 1-4 : "Hello to Autumn" with a selection of reds and whites to complement Fall favorite foods like pot roast and butternut squash.
Hope to see you all there as they will be fun and fabulous as always.
Salute! Cin cin!
-The Wine Dork