Monday, July 28, 2014

Italian Wine With Italian Food

Everybody loves a good wine value, and I find great values over and over again in the wines of Italy.  The Italian restaurants of Los Angeles - there are so many great ones - are particularly adept at finding wines that offer a lot of quality for the money.

When you drink wine in a restaurant, especially by the glass, there simply is no way to think of it as a deal.  So today’s wine - at $9 a glass on the wine list at Da Pasquale in Beverly Hills - may not look like such a great deal at first glance, but it sure does taste like one.  And, considering that you can find this jaw-dropper for under ten bucks a bottle, the value is definitely there.

The 2011 La Maialina Chianti - named “Little Pig” to honor a centuries-old Tuscan pig breed - is crafted by respected Tuscan winemaker Attilio Pagli, who now also creates wine in Argentina’s Mendoza region.  This wine offers a great expression of the Sangiovese grape and yet another good reason to pair Italian wine with Italian food.  The grape's acidity makes for a perfect meal accompaniment.

The wine has a medium ruby tint and beautiful aromas of cherries and roses, hot from the sun, dominate the nose.  Tobacco notes come forward after it has been in the glass a while.  On the palate, there is more great cherry expression, also turning darker with time.  Great tannins, nice acidity and a medium-full mouthfeel make for a wine that’s easy to drink and pairs well with food.  It was particularly nice with my lasagna Napolitana.


Follow Randy Fuller on Twitter