Tag Archives: red wine

Seghesio Rockpile Zinfandel

Cost: Average price $35

Where buy now: Pairings – $21.99, France 44, North Loop

Grapes: Zinfandel

Region: Sonoma, California

Vintage: 2010

Seghesio Rockpile Zinfandel

Nothing says, “Happy Birthday, America” like a big Middle Eastern feast, right! I kid, but really, it was great fun to pair different wines with ample amounts of delightful gyro meat, beef samosas, lamb kofta, grilled veggies and saffron rice. After we began the night with my choice of Prosecco [see this week’s white wine review for more about it], it was time to sit down and englut. My friend whom you may remember from the Merlot tasting, Mr. Encyclopedia, and his wife brought a couple reds, a Bordeaux and this gem of a Zinfandel from Seghesio, which he chose specifically to pair with lamb.


Seghesio Family Vineyards established itself as a winery in 1895. Throughout the years, they bought other vineyards and that is why you’ll see Seghesio wines labelled “Old Vines Zinfandel”, “Home Ranch Zinfandel”, “Rockpile”, etc. I won’t go into details, so you can read up more here http://www.seghesio.com

I’d had Seghesio Zinfandel a couple years ago and I remembered that it was great but couldn’t recall which vineyard it hailed from. However, Mr. Encyclopedia brought the Rockpile-grown Zinfandel, which proved to be exceptional. Rockpile is a narrow ridge about 1200 feet above Dry Creek Valley in Sonoma County. This area along the hillside has well drained vines with shallow, rocky topsoil. What’s the big deal? Well, this terroir creates an intense and smokey Zinfandel that begs to be paired with BBQ and lamb.

The Rockpile Zin was opened for about an hour ahead of time. We poured glasses and clinked “To America!”

Cheers America

We piled meat upon meat and sprinkled said vittles with a smattering of hummus, baba ganouj, hot sauce and tzatziki. Each of us remarked how delicious it not only tasted but also how well it stood up to all the exotic grilled meats.


This wine is bold, but not in a “smack you on the face” sort of way. It has major fruit action, deep cherry and raspberry flavors, with smoke and spice. It wasn’t overly dry or tannic, just balanced and flavorful. I love Zinfandel but usually don’t buy one for more than $15. This one  is typically around $25, but it is sooooo worth it.

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. . .”

Famiglia Meschini Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva

Cost: Average price $14-$16

Where buy now: Byerly’s Ridgedale, Solo Vino, Sorella Wines & Spirits, South Lyndale Liquors, Swirl Wine Bar, Thomas Liquors & Zipp’s Liquors

Grapes: Cabernet Sauvignon

Region: Mendoza, Argentina

Vintage: 2008

Famiglia Meschini Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva

Sometimes all you need is a cheeseburger, fries and a Coke. What if I told you you could swap that Coca-Cola for a Cabernet?

This week’s pic is an homage to steak and cab, but in a good, down home kinda way. I was recently up in the Cloquet area, about two hours north on Hwy 35, and home to the “World’s only Frank Lloyd Wright designed gas station!” (Yawn) My in-laws live up there and many years ago, they introduced me to a hamburger joint that’s been around since 1960: Gordy’s Hi-Hat.

Gordy’s food is a real treat, and since it is only open Spring through Fall, it has become a righteous annual rite. The place doesn’t look like it’s been touched for decades, just the way I like it. Phenomenal hand-pattied burgers, crispy fries, amazing Wild Alaskan Cod fish sandwiches (don’t get me started about the malts and shakes!). When I go, I usually throw all caution to the wind and get a double cheeseburger w/ fried onions.

This trip, I only got a single. To go. Boy, that was stupid.

Since we ate a late brunch, it was time already to head back to “Da Cities”. But we HAD to make a stop at Gordy’s, so I got a cheeseburger to go. That puppy made it all the way back to town. As we were driving, I could smell nothing but the greasy goodness that was an all-beef patty, fried onions, cheese and melty condiments. You know what I smelled? I smelled America, folks, and it couldn’t have smelled any sweeter.

Once home, I raced to unpack the car. For the entire ride, I had one wine in mind to have with my delicious spoils. Famiglia Meschini Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva.

Why pair a smooth Cab with a greasy burger? Because it’s brilliant.

Years ago while on a business trip, I ate dinner at a hoity-toity Chicago steakhouse called Gibson’s. I dined with the president & CEO and a writer from the Boston Globe. I was really young and wanting to do the “right” thing. But on that night, I just didn’t crave steak tartare or a filet. I needed a cheeseburger and fries. So, that’s what I ordered. The Boston Globe writer said, “You know what, that sounds good,” and she had the same. Sometimes, right is just right. Nowadays, I typically choose to drink a Cab alongside a good burger. It’s nostalgic for me.

Oh yes, the wine. Silly me. I’ve waxed poetic about Famiglia Meschini in a previous review. http://www.thesavvylush.com/white-wine-of-the-week-|-white-wine-reviews/famiglia-meschini-premium-white-blend.htmlFamiglia Meschini

I just love that they are doing this as organic as possible. Making wines they like, importing and selling it all themselves. Again, this equals savings to you and me! The Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva is a triumph. Upon opening the bottle, scents of black cherry, oak and history come pouring out. This Cab isn’t super dense or thick, it’s just lovely. It has the usual characteristics of a Cab: bold, dark cherry fruit, slight oak presence and full bodied. And, at a price of around $13.99, it’s even more wonderful. If you’re a fan of Cab’s and enjoy the likes of J.Lohr or Liberty School, I implore you to give this one a try.

Red wine, red meat-damn son, let’s eat!