Tag Archives: Tuscany

Cecchi Sangiovese

Cost: Average price $6.99

Where buy now: Costco

Grapes: 95% Sangiovese & 5% Merlot

Region: Italy

Vintage: 2011

Cecchi Sangiovese

My Savvy “Skank” vino d’Italiano is found at Costco right now. For how long? One never knows. It’s a Sangiovese straight out of Chianti country and it’s stupid, ridiculous good. The price point? A whopping $6.99, which makes it all the more delicious. (Remember, you don’t need to be a Costco member in Minnesota to buy booze. Righteous.)

This wine is easy drinking. You’re not going to be swirling a long time, contemplating the latest NPR think piece whilst reminiscing of your adventures abroad. What you will do is pour it in your glass, give it a couple swirls and enjoy it. This is a fruit-forward style Sangiovese- I get this unique, dusty strawberry fragrance. (I say that because I recently cut into a dusty, strawberry that was about past it’s prime. That aroma is this wine’s essence. In a good way.) It’s aged in stainless steel so no strong oak, vanilla undertones nor any earthy funk. It’s a straightforward wine ripe with spiced cherry and strawberry flavors with a bit of tang. One to try if all you’ve been buying lately are big Cali red blends. This will stretch your palate but not in a way that’ll make you cringe of cat tongue. The fruit forward flavors will be reminiscent of the big domestic red blends but without all that crappy residual sugar and overripe finish. Again, it’s $7, so live on the edge. The edge of frugality(?)

Since you’ll already be there, let’s pair this Sangiovese with some Costco vittles. I made an amazing grilled cheese, comforting on a frigid Winter’s night. Take some Boudin San Fran Sourdough, butter each side. Add one slice each of Swiss, Cheddar, Monterey Jack and Colby [oh my!] from the Finlandia variety cheese pack. The only non-Costco item I used was Stonewall Kitchen’s Bourbon Molasses Mustard http://www.stonewallkitchen.com/shop/speciality-foods/mustards/120810.html/Stonewall Kitchen Bourbon Molasses Mustard which I liberally schmeared on top of the cheese. Grill golden brown, then chomp into that ooey-gooey masterpiece that marries sweet and savory. Wash it down with this Sangiovese. Repeat.

Grilled Cheese Stuffs

Not a mustard fan? Well, you’re weird and we will never be friends. That aside, I’d recommend throwing some rosemary, oregano and garlic powder on the cheese slices and grill. There, I’ve just set you up with a paired dinner all for under $10. You’re welcome.

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. . .”