My next wine review on this blog is going to be another international wine--and an under-$20 pick! I found this guy at BevMo for about $15.
I not always-but often-try to pair Italian food with Italian wines. I had ravioli in a marinara sauce last night, and so decided to break open an Italian red that I recently picked up. And it did NOT disappoint.
The placard at BevMo described this wine as a "Baby Barolo" which I thought was exciting because Barolo is NOT CHEAP, you guys.
My first reaction was: CHERRIES. Lots of lovely cherries--it reminded me, in a lot of ways, of the dried sour cherries you can get from Michigan. So--the wine itself had a great deal of acidity, but was really balanced by the fruit flavor. This was also a smooooth wine--I'm glad I didn't pair this one with lots of beef because the tannins were so mild.
The aroma is where a lot of the complexity comes in: sticking my nose in the glass, it's not just fruit aromas that jump out. (Aromas--for me--are where complexity generally shines. I usually can only taste recognizable food flavors in my wine, but the aroma is where I get essences of non-edible ingredients: grass, leather, tobacco, smoke, florals, etc.)
In this case, the aroma (because I refuse to use the word bouquet) is really, really reminiscent of roses. The whiff of perfume-y florals plus the flavor of cherries and an aftertaste of coffee add up to a great wine.
BevMo wasn't kidding--this really does have the characteristics of a Baby Barolo. And at under $20, this is one I will buy again to accompany a pasta dish, or maybe even try it with lamb chops.