casa del vino

Where wine is on the table everyday

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Day 133: Under The Tuscan Sun – We Wish . . .

Tempo Riserva

There is something special about Italian wines.  We can’t quite put our fingers on it, but we’re guessing that the wine coming from Italia is getting better and better.  This ISN’T Riunite!  This isn’t CELLA LAMBRUSCO!   Thank Goodness!! Except that Jean would tell you that when in college (yes, way back when it was legal to partake at the ripe ole age of 18) that she and her dorm friends thought they were pretty cool enjoying a glass of Lambrusco with their home made spaghetti on Sunday nights when the cafeteria was closed up tight.

You know, when you hit Friday nights, sometimes it’s hard to be able to just sit down and enjoy a glass of wine at face value.  Whether you’ve been in the car for an extended period of time (like Jean has been) or are working on an exciting project for early May (like Brian is), Friday nights are tough nights to kick back and relax.  When you factor in the rain we received this week, there is no dry wood to start a fire in the pit; the deck is too damp to enjoy any time outside and there’s a pretty good chance that the rain we did receive helped bring the mosquitoes out of their dormancy!

We still laugh at the age – old wise tale about giving Brian a six-pack of beer and putting him in a corner at your next outdoor party.  He’ll draw the mosquitoes away from your guests and they’ll thank you for it!  Yep, Brian is a MAJOR mosquito attractor.  Not sure where it came from, but his Dad, Hugh was the same way–if there was a mosquito in the house, chances are it found either Hugh or Brian or BOTH!  To this day, Brian can hear the high-pitched sound of a mosquito in the middle of the night and when he does, forget about getting any sleep–either it gets ‘nailed’ or Brian finds a new place to catch some sleep!

Tonight we FINALLY broke into a bottle of wine that we’ve held onto since August when  Twin Liquors had their 75th Anniversary sale.  This little Italian wine has been nothing short of phenomenal to the nose, the taste and the finish.  It’s an all around wine that we decided–early on–needed to be de-cantered to maximize the flavor and aroma perfection.  A great nose of earthiness and subtle cherries punctuated by a nutmeg overtone.  It’s a darker wine than we’re used to from Italy–laced with smoke, earthiness grilled herbs, black cherries and an array of darker aromas and flavors.  This tough as nails, intense Morellino di Scansano Riserva 2006 Tempo, Terre di Talamo will require a measure of patience, something that we don’t always have.   Make no mistake about it, this is a serious wine. The Riserva is 90% Sangiovese, 5% Alicante, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon.  At under $20 this wine is an AMAZING value!!  Truthfully, we couldn’t have been more surprised.  The longer it sat in the decanter, the smoother, and silkier the wine became.  And, what a terrific combination of grapes to give this Italian blend the chops to stand in with beef, salmon, roasted potatoes and much more–clearly, a wine meant for food.  From what we’ve learned about this little gem, Wine Advocate rates this one at 91 points and if you can get your hands on a 2006, grab it and as many of them as you can stock.  You won’t be disappointed.

As Friday gives way to Saturday, we hope that you’ll stop along the way to enjoy a really good glass of wine.  By this time tomorrow, we’ll enjoying a variety of wines as good friends from north and west of us come calling for an evening of cooking and taking care of business!

Until tomorrow, please enjoy your favorite wine responsibly and remember to recycle whenever possible!

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Day 111: Sometimes, We Just Don’t Get It . . .

Bere Toscana 2009Do you remember when you were younger and someone would tell you a joke, and they got to the punchline and you just kind of stood there . . . expressionless?  You’re supposed to be laughing, but you just don’t get it.  Then they explain the joke to you, and . . . you start laugh – albeit reluctantly since you still don’t get it.  Or how about this – you’re sitting in class and the teacher/professor is going on and on about a subject and everyone around you is nodding their heads, and you kind of look off into space because- . . . you just don’t get it.  This type of class is usually followed by a visit to the said teacher’s office for a more ‘detailed’ explanation, but you walk out of the office and – you just don’t get it.  Or some half crazed lunatic with a plethora of guns breaks into an elementary school and shoots as many as possible before taking the easy way out and shooting himself – we just don’t get it.

Maybe it’s age . . . maybe it’s education . . . maybe it’s environment, or a combination of all of them or none of them but in our ‘new and improved’ electronic communications era, we’re seeing more and more things that we just don’t get.  Why do we have to get a phone with 4G today, when yesterday the most important thing on the market was 3G?  Why do some places require you to have a PERMIT to have a garage sale?  Really?  A permit?  To sell your junk?  Oh, and of course no dissertation on ‘not getting it’ would be complete without what some neighborhoods call, “The Lawn Police”- – yep, your blades of grass get too long and you get a gentle reminder that it’s time to trim those little beauties.  Ignore that and the warning becomes a little more stern and focused on consequences.  Ignore that and get a citation . . . look we know that we need to maintain our landscapes but a ticket?  We just don’t get it.

How appropriate that we’d talk about this tonight after opening a 2009 Fattoria Viticcio Bere.  It’s from Italy, but you’ve probably already guessed that, and we were a little concerned when we pulled the foil off the top and the cork is synthetic.  It’s not a BAD thing, but when we think of Italian wines, we think long traditions of winemaking, bottling and corking . . . so a synthetic cork seems out of place.  Anyway, after an initial jolt on the nose, the wine actually opens up quickly.  Pouring into the glass, you’ll see a beautiful, full-bodied wine.  A swirl of the glass followed by the first sniff – and – and – “Houston, we’ve got a problem!”  Not sure what it was, but this wine didn’t smell right and when we tasted it and most definitely, it didn’t taste right.  Sour – bitter with little to no fruit and no finish – other than sour!  So, we looked up the wine online and here’s what the professionals said, “Boasting dark cherry and berry aromas and flavors, this polished red is vibrant and harmonious. Lingers on the finish, with a tight, fruit- and spice-filled aftertaste. Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Best from 2013.”

Wow, we just don’t get it.  Wine Spectator gives this wine 90 points.  We’d give it less than 10.  Robert Parker gives this wine 88 points.  We’d give it less than 8.  Now, it could have been the bottle we bought – yet another deal at Central Market where the regular price was $13.99 but because of the sale, we paid $11.89.  So we were left scratching our heads and doing something we rarely (if ever) do.  We dumped the wine.  Yep, we just didn’t get it and so BECAUSE we didn’t get it, there was no reason to try.  Since the price point is excellent, we glad to have someone buy, taste and review this wine, but if not, no big deal!

Do you have 4g?  Did you absolutely HAVE to  have it?  Of course, it’s WAY faster than 3G–even though most of the world is still on 3G–but like this wine, you’ll want to be careful before you try it, and when you do – enjoy it responsibly and remember to recycle whenever possible.