Cost: Average price $20
Where buy now: France 44, Hennepin Lake, Haskell’s – several other shoppes for about $19.99
Grapes: 70% Corvina, 25% Rondinella, 5% Sangiovese
Region: Verona, Italy
One sip from this luscious red had my husband emphatically declaring, “This is some good wine!” Yes, he’s been in mediocre wine hell with me lately, sampling a helluva bunch of crap so I can write about the decent ones! He’s always willing to take one for the team, but the recycling boys are going to love us this Thursday: our backyard looks like the backside of the Liquor Depot [RIP].
This red wine is made up of Corvina and Rondinella grapes along with a little smidge of Sangiovese. It hails from the Verona region of Italy (shout out to my cuz Shelby who lives there!) This ruby beauty does have some tartness up front, but finishes smooth, especially for a drier red wine.
My husband said he could sip this alone, but thought it’d be better with food to play off of. Me? I think that just about anyone could sip this, but on this night, I prepared spicy Thai steak lettuce wraps: bibb lettuce wrapped around flank steak that was marinated in a mixture of Sambal, lime juice, fish sauce and garlic. Throw in some cilantro, red onion, carrots and we were loving life. This red really paired well, and was able to hold court with the dish’s distinct spice. Really, you could drink this with several different ethnic cuisines: Thai, Vietnamese, or even some good ol’ fashioned BBQ ribs. Or, pair it the way it was intended, with some truly Veronese cuisine such as gnocchi (or, as non-Italophiles call it, potato dumplings) with butter, sage and parmigiano or with a mushroom risotto or with fennel sausage and polenta. I’m getting side-tracked by my growling stomach!
This wine is made in the ripasso method. What does ‘ripasso’ mean? I had no clue, so I did a little digging. Literally, it means “re-passed”. It’s a method of wine making where about 70% of the grapes picked in September are immediately vinified. The remaining 30% are left to dry until the end of December, when they resemble raisins. These grapes are vinified and re-fermented with the juice from the fresh grapes picked in September. Voila: a more complex wine. It seems soooo labor intensive, but hey, we reap the rewards. Now, just because I said complex, it doesn’t mean you need a sophisticated palate to enjoy. It just has a bit more depth and rounded flavor to it. You’ll notice it just like my wino-in-making husband did.
My friend gave me this bottle for my birthday and I was tickled as I drank this wine once before at a friend’s house. I loved it so much that I ran to the store the next day, but found it came with a price tag of nearly $20! Too rich for my blood. Perhaps it seemed to taste even better because I didn’t pay a dime, but I could drink this sucker all day long. As I finish typing up this review, I’m tipping the empty bottle back to see if I can get one last drop. Oh sweet Maria, Mother of Italian grapes, it’s so smooth, it sings as it goes down!
The Palazzo Della Torre is more than the typical $15 price point I try to stay under (so as to feed my daily habit without the need to beg for change next to a highway exit). This bottle would make a great birthday present or hostess gift to any wino. Drink alone or with meat and cheese, you just can’t go wrong. Since this bottle is more than $15 but totally worth the price, I deem it the ‘Snob’ bottle of the month. However, there is always a wine sale happening around the Cities so you can pick it up from time to time 20% off. Guess I’m going to have to break down and buy a bottle for once.