Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Ciao a tutti ..

We started the New Year at The Stones, just eight of us, so no extension to the table required although it may have given us a little more space and Geoff wouldn't have knocked the glass of red wine over.. first spill of the year. 'Apparently' not his fault the mat was in the way... I think not !

The Stones decided we would taste Italian wines to go with the tasty lasagna.. one white (bianco) & three reds (rosso) came under scrutiny. Well poured into glasses, swilled a bit & then down the hatch with a few mummers about cherries and tannins.. no seriously we did actually make a few notes.  Although on collecting the tasting notes we seem to doodle more than we write, I am thinking about a) having the doodles analysed  b) making a collage..


A very light wine in colour taste & aroma, quite pleasant would be a good lazy afternoon in the sunshine wine, although you would end up more drunk than you would expect as it was, surprisingly 12.5%


The three reds were all voted as drinkable with none particularly outstanding but isn't this generally the case with the cheaper Italian wines ??

As Mick said this is 'R' wine (ie. the hosts offering )

Gran Conti Rosso Del Molise Riserva 75Cl from Tesco £5.39 (half price offer)
The Blurb from Tesco website ~

This noble wine is crafted from a selection of the best Montepulciano and Aglianico grapes grown in the rolling hills of the Molise region of central Italy. The wine then achieves its 'Riserva' status following three years ageing, including time spent maturing in oak barrels and in bottle.

A generous and richly textured dry red wine. Made from a blend of Montepulciano and Aglianico grape varieties grown in the hilly Molise region of Central Italy, it exudes bramble fruit flavours and its richness is balanced by sweet spiced notes.

Naturally we agree, although we had, fruity, cherry, long finish & lots of tannin and no mention of spiced notes.

Then we had a Chianti (not in the wicker covering that you used to see in restaurants with a candle stuck in the top).

This Chianti and the previous wine both included Sangiovese grapes (who knows how you pronounce that.. not 'grape' but 'Sangiovese')

Typically Sangiovese grapes make medium to full-bodied wines with tannin structure ranging from medium-soft to firm. Dominate flavors associated with Sangiovese derived wines include: cherry, plum, strawberry, cinnamon and vanilla.

( We had dry, ordinary and harsh tannin)

There is often a herbaceous quality associated with Sangiovese wines. As for acidity levels, Sangiovese leans towards medium to high acidity content. The finish can range from elegant to bitter.

Italy's most commonly planted red grape varietal, boasting over a dozen distinct clones, is a thin-skinned grape that tends to linger longer on the vine, takes its time to mature. Central Italy, specifically the region of Tuscany, is the agricultural heartland of the Sangiovese grape. 

So now you know & can impress your friends..if your friends are impressed by that sort of thing !

The last Rosso was from Mafia country..Sicily.. so only good things to be said, don't want to end up in concrete under a motorway somewhere, do we .. although I hear its nice there for holidays, thats Sicily not under a motorway !

A nice enjoyable deep ruby red wine with spicy hints. Not sure where this wine was bought, in was in our wine rack, distinctive label, maybe someone recognises it ..

Like me you may not know much about wines from Sicily, so you can expand your knowledge now.

Sicily is one of the larger expanses of vineyards in Italy and has been probably been making wine as long as people have been making wine for. Sicily's full bodied, flavoursome and fruity wines are considered the best in the world. (By the Italians ??)

The vineyards are usually owned by large cooperatives, but the rise in modern technology have meant that smaller vineyards in prime locations by dedicated and passionate winemakers have began coming to the fore.

The main grape variety is the Sangiovese, which has over 10 clones, including the Prugnello and Brunello.

Well there you have it until next month, February, the month of love, Italian wines might have linked in well with that, but hay ho will have to think of another option..

As a passing note we have been challenged to possible a 'Wine Off' with a group from Folkestone..we had better brush up, not that we are competitive !

Thanks again for the photos Mark.

Tempo di mettere un tappo di sughero in esso

Bye x

PS I hope that says what I meant it to say !!!!