We are home after a lovely dinner in town with family. It is amazing how, like wine vintages, every year the same meal can be so different while still conforming to the tradition of turkey and trimmings. This year was no exception: delicious turkey and stuffing, but this year sweet potatoes cooked with grapefruit, spicy cranberry sauce with a bit of a kick, lovely salads, and a surprisingly tasty yet simple stir fry of very fresh snow peas hot out of the pan.
For wines we brought two from our recommended list: the OS riesling and the rosé prosecco. Unfortunately the riesling disappeared long before dinner, but we did just fine with the Rosecco and a lovely bottle of Cougar Crest viognier that our hostess provided.
All in all, in the larger context of the great human struggle to survive its ongoing Darwinian competition, we can be grateful to live in this time, in this place, blessed with an economic situation most of those who have gone before us would surely see as unimaginable luxury.
The “big” wine we are pouring this weekend, like the other three (see below), just arrived with our semi-annual shipment of Italian wines from Small Vineyards, an importer of mostly Italian, but lately some French and Spanish wines. The Lonardi Privelegia is an unusual blend of corvina and cab franc, and corvina is the primary grape is several lovely Italian wines: valpolicella, ripasso, and amarone.
In making amarone, the grapes are allowed to dry toward raisins before pressing, yielding a wine that is deep, rich, and full. Ripasso is made by adding the once-squeezed grapes already used to make amarone to valpolicella blends to add depth, body, and flavor. We have featured several ripassos in the past year or two, and they have been very popular with their seductive flavors and soft texture.
This wine knocked us out when we tasted it in August, so we couldn’t resist bringing in a few bottles for you to taste.
Okay, friends, it is after all Thanksgiving evening, so this is a short post. Hope to see many of you this weekend!
This week’s wines
Altarocca Arcosesto Orvieto ’11 Italy $14
A crisp, clean, fragrant white wine (grechetto, procanico, malvasia), bright and sunny with minerally notes of flowers, citrus, and dried fruits that pair well with savory dishes.
Bibbiani Treggiaia 09 Italy $10
A smooth and satisfying blend of sangiovese, canniolo & cab, serious but friendly, delightful with anything from pizza to lamb chops.
Palama Negroamaro 08 (Italy) $10
Elegantly expansive, rich and robust. Although it is 100% “rustic” Negroamaro, it is amazingly balanced; silky mouthfeel, aromas of violets, plums, fresh ground pepper and blackberry jam with accents of cinnamon, leather, tobacco and smoke.
Lonardi Privelegia ’08 Italy $36
A blend of Corvina (the primary grape in Amarone)and Cabernet Franc; intense, medium to full-bodied, and loaded with ripe dark fruit, spices, sweet herbs and earthiness, with lingering notes of sweetness from the dried Corvina that linger on the finish. Recently recognized by the Italian Sommelier Association as the top wine in Italy.