Tag Archives: Italy

Fattoria Colmone della Marca Bianco del Moro

Cost: Average price $19

Where buy now: Zipp’s Liquors, South Lyndale

Grapes: Sangiovese

Region: Le Marche, Italy

Vintage: 2010

Fattoria Colmone della Marca Bianco del Moro

Get this: a white wine made of 100% Sangiovese grapes. It’s truly unlike any other wine I’ve ever had -in all the best ways- a white wine in a red wine’s body.  

What? Did I just blow your mind?

I found out about Fattoria Colmone della Marca due to their familial connection with Famiglia Meschini, whom I’ve sung their praises in past reviews. It just so happens Eugenio Meschini’s cousin, Giovanni, who resides in Italy, not only makes great wine, but also helps run a five star restaurant, Ristorante A Piero! One, a wine maker in Argentina, the other a wine maker/gourmet restauranteur in Italy! Can I marry into this family, already?

One gorgeous Summer evening I had the pleasure of meeting Giovanni whilst tasting his wines. We chatted about food and wine in a mixture of his Italian and broken English and my English and broken Italian. “I could have danced all night, I could have danced all night and still have asked for more.”- the in/famous song from My Fair Lady swam in my head.

Amanda, Giovanni & me

I enjoyed all his wines, but this, this was special- I needed to write about it toot sweet.

So we all know grape juice is clear. (Well, if “we” don’t, now you do.) It’s only the contact of the juice with skins of red, purple and black grapes that give red and rose wines their hue. For this wine, the juice is extracted from Sangiovese grapes, hardly exposed to the skins, resulting in a clear white wine culled from a red grape.

FC’s Bianco del Moro has floral and apple notes. It’s acidic and fresh but has a smoother and creamier body than you’d expect. This is a great year-round white wine. In the Summer, it will taste great with grilled fish, seafood, chicken and green or pasta salads. In the Winter, it tastes amazing with a mixed green salad of romaine, arugula, herbs and gorgonzola cheese. In fact, I’m not sure what happened in my mouth, but I swear the combination of gorgonzola cheese and this wine tasted a bit like red sauce [aka my people’s gravy]. I know you probably think I’m stretching here. Truly, I couldn’t stop eating bite after bite of gorgonzolistic salad washing each morsel down with a sip of this wine. Repeatedly. Over and over. Could…not…stop.

This wine is so very fun, delicious and versatile. You must try it. While it may confuse at first, it will please white and red wine drinkers alike. Yes, this white in a red’s body- akin to a wolf in sheep’s clothing, or perhaps a transgender wine. [Can you really say “transgender” wine? I guess I just did!] Enjoy this:

Ducceto Chianti

Cost: Average price $11

Where buy now: Zipp’s Liquors

Grapes: Sangiovese

Region: Italy

Vintage: 2010

Ducceto Chianti

It’s Christmas Eve and I’m sitting in a coffee shop at a not-to-be-named Casino and hotel. It’s a mildly strange vibe, and yet at the same time, completely non descript. As I type, the barista is trying to vacuum Pergo flooring; the scraping sounds are like finger nails on a chalk board. They do serve Starbucks coffee, so at least I’m not in church basement brew hell. This is not, however, Christmas at home. It’s the first Christmas Day away from my immediate family, and I don’t take well to change. Alas, I’m doing my wifely duties by spending time with the in-laws. My sole caveat was that I needed my pasta with sauce, meatballs and bracciole on Christmas. Since I married into the right in-laws, there was no opposition.

Every year of my existance, I’ve spent Christmas with my family. We’re a tight knit clan, and hold our traditions sacred. Typically, family arrives a few days early to prepare the big vat of red sauce (aka “gravy” to the Paisanos), and prepare the meatballs. Now when I say “meatballs”, I mean the big guys. Italian meatballs are not made to be a one-bite morsel. We also make bracciole (in Ital-American dialect “brahj-shole”). These are long, thin cuts of round or flank steak slathered with chopped garlic, breadcrumbs, parsley and grated Parmigiano or Romano cheese, then delicately rolled up and tied with string. Like the meatballs, these fatty little packages of meaty bliss are browned, and then plopped right into the sacred gravy where they take their sweet ass time cooking (not hours, days) until they nearly fall apart.

I had a duty to find the best wine pairing possible to accompany this feast. I’ve had Chianti, Super Tuscans, Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, Sfrusat and the occasional Barolo or Brunello. Then I started thinking, people eat red sauce all the time. What can be a go-to red that won’t break the bank, yet will pleasingly compliment and balance the flavors?

I found this wine at Zipp’s: Ducceto Chianti. Unlike most Chiantis, it’s 100% Sangiovese and is fermented in stainless steel tanks. Since it doesn’t lie with any oak, you get a rare red wine that has a bright acidity and freshness to it. Not heavy on your pallet, but with earthy tannins. It’s medium body still evokes flavors of red berries with hint of spice and mild-tobacco. The light tannic structure doesn’t leave a flabby wine, instead it finishes with a soft, plump feel.

If you or someone you know likes red wine but complains of headaches, try this wine. Often times it’s the tannins that create the headaches, not sulfates as once believed.

The wine is phenomenal, but how did it pair with my traditional Christmas dinner? All I can say is that no one spoke (other than the occasional “Mmm”,  “Oooh” and “Wow”). It was music to my ears.

Cantina Zaccagnini

Cost: Average price $13

Where buy now: Sorella Wines

Grapes: Montepulciano d’Abruzzo

Region: Italy

Vintage: 2009

Cantina Zaccagnini

I’ve been lazy, forgive me. I didn’t think it got that bad until I was out recently and a handful of folks said, “hey, where are your weekly updates?.” Gosh, you actually read this drivvle? And like it?!?!

So, let’s get back to my wheel-house, Italian m’f’in’ wine!

Let me transport you…

Upon opening the bottle, like sizzling bacon and coffee awakening you from a fuzzy slumber, fragrances of red berries, spice, leather and earth emerge. Mmmm! The motherland, she’s calling me home. I pour a glass of the violet nectar and swirl. Taking a sip, I get a mouthful of just what I want: flavors of red berries, pepper, leather and a hint of herbs. This dry red wine coats your mouth, yet it’s low acidity doesn’t leave you overwhelmed. It has a great sense of {tip Terroir, a French term that loosely translates as “sense of place”, and is often batted around to describe wine that is indicative of it’s geographic origin. Think of it as the soul of a wine.}Terroir{/tip} for just $13, and I can actually say that, first hand, having spent quality time on the Italian country side (eating dirt and licking plants– whut?).

I simply love, love, love this wine. It’s 100% Montepulicano d’Abruzzo; an Italian wine I can sip without any food and savor the tastes. However, if you’re looking for a new Italian wine staple, or you’re just new to Italian wines, pick this one up. This wine would pair very well with a few different sauces (or “gravies”, if you will). Either try your hand at creating, or pick up some store bought Puttanesca or Arrabiata sauce, and toss with your favorite pasta. This wine would go very well with a pizza, perhaps sausage & peppers, or good ol’ spaghetti and meatballs. Just stop thinking about it and go purchase it.

An instagram friend said they call it the “stick wine”, due to the decorative branch that adorns each bottle. That works and makes this bottle easier to spot in the store. I bought mine at Sorella Wines for a under $12 during one of their sales.