Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Sangiovese's Siren Call

As we try to wrangle from winter's grip, much of our diet remains squarely in the category of comfort food.  So, it stands to reason that hearty reds find their way onto our dinner tables to match the warming, robust flavors of the day. Whether looking ahead to sunnier days or just looking for a change of pace, sangiovese has been making more regular appearances in our home lately.  And why not?

Sangiovese's versatility and variety is incredible. Chianti, Brunello, rossos from Montalcino and across Italy all reflect their origins in radically different - and beautiful - ways. What all iterations share, however, is an indelible structure of acidity that cuts through fat like a hot knife, making these wines very food friendly - especially with winter fare. Osso bucco, I'm looking at you!

One recently enjoyed case in point is this sub-$10 pleasure to drink, 2016 Ruffino Chianti Superiore. Clean and bright, this medium-weight refresher is irresistible, especially with a little chill on it. And at this price, you can have it with pizza on a Tuesday night or a weekend grilled steak with green olives. Pro tip: open and decant one hour before eating, putting it in the fridge for the last 20 minutes.

A note for the wine nerds: Superiore is the designation given to Chianti wines of a higher quality (as defined by yield, alcohol, and ageing) from outside the Classico region. These wines must be aged at least 9 months, 3 of which have to be in bottle.  Though we tend to be enamored with Chianti Classico's, there's a whole lot of great (and affordable) drinking to be had in the broader Chianti region. Salut!

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