Tag Archives: red wine review

Poggio Anima Belial Sangiovese

Cost: Average price $14.99

Where buy now: France 44, Zipp’s Liquors

Grapes: 100% Sangiovese

Region: Tuscany, Italy

Vintage: 2010

Poggio Anima Belial Sangiovese

“When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that’s Sangiovese”

Ummm, whut?

“Quando beve questo vino, tu parlero italiano!” [When you drink this wine, you will speak Italian!]

To me, there is a state of bliss that resembles ignorance. Bliss that will have you singing in the shower, in the car, or whilst folding laundry, perhaps. Somewhat ironically, the “ignorant” bliss I was experiencing was due to knowledge I’d just acquired. If I had a rating system, this red of the week would be the tops. However, I’m not down with the “4-star-this” or “89-cork-lengths-that” kind of wine rating B.S., so you’ll have to use your imagination.

I would be remiss not to thank my friend (we’ll call her “Christine”), a local wine rep & graphic artist extraordinaire, for introducing me to this Sangiovese. Yes, she’s a wine rep. No, this is not a wine she was trying to unload in droves because it’s not selling. In fact, she bought this terrific wine for me, and it is NOT one of the hundreds of wines she sells.

So, where is this bliss coming from? It’s no secret that I’m in love with all things Italian, so going into it, this wine did have a slight [read: HUGE] advantage. This wine begs to be paired with food. Not that it isn’t delicious on it’s own, it just really comes alive with some good, old fashioned Italian cuisine. Pair it with pizza, lasagna, or simply drink it with your tried and true pasta and “gravy”. Grill a beautiful steak with some rosemary sprigs, toss a little pasta with a ragu of tomatoes, basil and pepperoncino (fancy for red pepper). Make sure you get your greens so add a salad of arugula in a lemon vinaigrette with toasted pine nuts and shaved pecorino. This is also a bottle you bring to the restaurant. Even though al Vento, in South Minneapolis, has an impressive wine list, bring this wine in and have it with their spaghetti in mother sauce & homemade meatballs or anything that includes wild boar. Tip: have them open it right away so it can bloom.

Goodness, all I’ve been doing is daydreaming about what I would do with this wine! I haven’t even begun to describe the aromas and tastes, or it’s native region.

The Poggio Anima Belial Sangiovese is easily recognizable by it’s pretty turquoise label. It’s crazy this is “just” an

{tip Indicazione Geografica Tipica, typical regional wine. Also commonly referred to as TABLEWINE, or in my house, everday wine.}IGT{/tip}

hailing from Tuscany, this red wine embodies all that I love about Tuscan wines. It smells and tastes of sun kissed red berry fruit; it’s dry, earthy, and delicious. After it continues to open, scents of cherry cola, minerals and spice emerge. Swirl that essence along with the red fruit, and there’s simply no way you won’t be transported to the rolling hills of Tuscany. I imagine sitting on a terrace overlooking vineyards, church steeples and cypress trees while I savor every sip. Am I getting through to any of you?


View from our Tuscan Villa 2010

Check out my Facebook page (shameless plug) where I posted a photo of this wine and read all the comments. I had no clue this was a favorite among so many people (and so many wine fanatics!).

“You’re just too be good to be true, can’t take my eyes off of you. I love you Sangiovese and if it’s quite alright I need you Sangiovese, I need you to warm a lonely night. . .”

Castaño Monastrell

Cost: Average price $9.99

Where buy now: The Wine Thief for $8.99

Grapes: 100% Monastrell

Region: Yecla, Spain

Vintage: 2010

Castaño Monastrell

What do you think of when you lust for the golden green of Spring? That’s right- BBQ. You can be anyone/thing: carnivorous being, gluten-free, vegan, Atkins dieter, you name it. As long as a fire is sounding off Pavlov’s dogs, you’ve got yourself something.

A BBQ is an event, it’s a reason to gather, nay, _the_ reason to gather, and likely the oldest meaningful reason.

Grilling is so fun! I love grilling vegetables. Eggplant, zucchini, onions, peppers, mushrooms- line ’em up! Lamb chops seasoned with salt, pepper and rosemary- head ’em up! Smoke some chicken, perhaps? We use whiskey barrel chips, soaked in water, then surrendered to the fire. Oh, let’s not forget about the quintessential American standard, the almighty hamburger – ride ’em in! Sure, have it your way: angus burger, kobe beef burger, turkey burger, bison burger, ostrich burger. Or hell, I love me a black bean burger! To blow your mind, my old pal Jer grills huge portabellas, slathers on the BBQ sauce, then slaps it on a bun. (Ooooohhhh. *Ahem* Are we still talking about BBQ?) Or, the mother of all things grilled & smoked, RIBS! Oh, sweet Sally Struthers, they’re good. All I can say is thank goodness Ted Cook’s isn’t in my neighborhood because within 48 hours, I’d be relegated to wearing a moo moo.

Simply stating that eating and drinking wine is complementary is almost missing the point. I get transformed, truly. My husband has caught me doing what he refers to as “the happy food dance”. Mid bite to final swallow, I’ll sit and bob my head back and forth, sometimes even humming. It’s like I’m possessed by the Adephagia http://www.goddessaday.com/greek/adephagia/Adephagia poltergeist. I’d rather be “big boned” and indulge in this stupor, than face an alternative.

Do you know what I ended up pairing with the red of the week? A Spanish Monastrell and… BBQ chips. Yep, dinner du jour. If it hasn’t yet occurred to you, let me enlighten: I was Homer Simpson in a former life.

This is a bottle off the “under 10” section at The Wine Thief. It’s a Spanish wine (surprise, surprise) but it is decidedly not Rioja. This one is a Monastrell (Spanish for Mourvedre). It’s a popular grape, second only to Garnacha in Spain. I’m not going to dive into the history, but will encourage you to: http://www.i-winereview.com/NonReportTastings/0910montastrellSelections.php/Monastrell

Lately, I’ve been chatting up Rioja’s value. Many of the best bang-for-buck wines are going to continue to come out of Spain, according to my sources. A departure from my beloved Rioja region, which is North Central Spain, I moved Southeast to the Yecla region. These wines are gaining in popularity as the wine making continues to improve. The Monastrell grape is a thick, black skinned fruit and they are finicky little buggers. They grow in very hot climates so the trick is letting them grow and stress enough, then cultivating them quickly before they go bad. The wine these grapes produce can really vary, mostly depending on seasonal temperatures.

The Castaño Monastrell is dark rich red in color, not as dark as the Graciano http://www.thesavvylush.com/red-wine-of-the-week-|-red-wine-reviews/rio-madre-rioja.html/Rio Madre (or as full bodied). However, this wine has character. I’m declaring this “The Spanish Zin”- sans the jamminess, but with lively juiciness. It reeks of dark berry, earth and smoke. Like a Zinfandel, it has more tannins in the flavor, which my husband refers to as “stank”. The finish isn’t long, but it teases you with a bit of spicy sweetness. This wine, like a Zin, is begging you to drink with some smoky BBQ. Or, in my case, the sad-clown snack of BBQ Pop Chips (which are surprisingly delicious, especially with this wine).

Buy up a bunch because you’ll swill this guy all Summer long! It’s so easy-breezy, drink-it-on-a-Tuesday night while catching up on your new favorite TV series or on the patio with the family. It’s going to give you an interesting and fun twist to the Rioja (Garnacha, Tempranillos, etc.) you’ve already been enjoying at a great price.

Blaze away, you golden green cowpoke, you.