casa del vino

Where wine is on the table everyday

Day 193: Let The Choosing Begin . . .

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Ali SangioveseWhat a spectacular day!  Spring is truly just around the corner and the temperatures today confirmed that fact.  According to a car thermometer, the temperature at 1:30 pm this afternoon was 78 degrees.  Not bad for March the 12th!  The sky was as blue as you’ve ever seen and the breeze was warm and light from the southwest.  So, it’s appropriate that we salute Spring Break and the time that ‘students’ are enjoying away from the classroom.  Unfortunately, most of the ‘real world’ has to endure office cubicles, sales meetings, webinars and telecommuting…oops, scratch that!  Telecommuting seems to have become passe’!

Sometimes, as we’ve learned over the past six plus months, we really prefer to sit down and enjoy a lighter wine with some structure, some fruit forward taste and a great finish. . .most of the time–if you’ve kept up with what we’ve been blogging about–we focus on the bigger, bolder, deeper reds and may not be as kind to those quality wines that are lighter, tastier and more balanced.  Call it ‘big red wine block’ because, there are times when that’s ALL we want.  In reality, the variety and diversity of red wines that we try is as different as the day is long.  Whether it’s a blend from Spain or a big Shiraz from Australia, we’ve figured out what’s big and what isn’t!

First ballots are in and the smoke is black at The Vatican.  It’s the signal that no Pope has been selected. . .YET!  As ‘baby boomers’ we were talking about the number of Popes selected in our lifetime and it’s a relatively small number compared to the early 20th Century and even the late 19th Century.  Near as we can tell, there have been five Pope’s in our lifetime. . .of the five, John Paul II was the longest tenured–from 1978 through 2005.  He was the second longest-tenured Pope and the first non-Italian since the early 1520’s.  We were still in college when JPII was elevated in ’78 and parents of teenagers when he passed away.  Life gives us these milestones as ways to remind us that each day we have with each other, with family and friends or with our spouses and kids is a special gift.  When the Conclave convenes, it’s usually a signal that change is about to happen–something that is a regular part of life.

Because changes are in the offing, we opted for a really nice 2007 Ali Sangiovese de Toscana. . .”According to the winemaker “…This wine has aromas of juicy red berry fruit. Medium-bodied and soft on the palate, with balanced acidity and ripe tannins. Delicious with pastas and grilled meats, yet also very drinkable without food.”  At $10 a bottle, you aren’t going to set the world on fire with your vast knowledge of Italian wines, BUT you will earn extreme value for finding a wine that tastes amazing for a lot less than most people pay for something similar!  At 84 points, this wine won’t set the world on fire, but it will cause you to take notice. . .a good wine for a good price. . .isn’t that a big part of what trying new wines is all about?

We enjoyed this wine with some fresh made pizza–stacked with prosciutto ham, red onions, green olives, lots of chopped garlic and Italian seasonings. . .and cheese!  LOTS of cheese.  It’s amazing how good a wine can taste when you factor in good food!  The addition of a beautiful sunset on a warm — almost Spring evening — is the perfect complement!  With tomorrow being the middle of the week of Spring Break, that means many will begin the process of packing up and heading out–or at least thinking about it.  We’re looking straight ahead into a St. Patrick’s Day weekend–and coincidentally, our very good friends Patrick and Richelle will be tying the knot this Saturday. . .how appropriate that they come together on such a festive time. . .just like good wine–they get better with age!

As you enjoy your spring break–or not–remember to enjoy your favorite wine responsibly and recycle whenever possible.

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