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Robin Garr

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Wine Focus for July: Chianti & Co. as summer table wines

by Robin Garr » Thu Jun 28, 2012 11:49 am

Okay, it's already July 2, so let's make it happen. Apologies to David B, but maybe we can get him to hit an air-conditioned Italian restaurant or something. :mrgreen:

For this month we're looking not at the fancy high-end Italian stuff, no trophy Super Tuscans or Barolos or Barbarescos or whatnot, but just the meat and potatoes - er, pasta - of everyday Italian food and drink. Chianti, of course, particularly the values we find when we troll the bargain bins. Montepulciano d'Abruzzo, Valpolicella and Rosso di <fill in the blank> IGT ... Italian wines and food are just made to go together, and the affinlity of a Chianti or its cousins for a steak or burger, pizza or spaghetti alla marinara doesn't go away just because it's hot outside.

Please share your notes on these amiable wines, with extra points if you delve into the intriguing field of food-and-wine pairing when it's too darn hot.
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Re: Wine Focus for July: Taking nominations

by ChaimShraga » Thu Jun 28, 2012 12:14 pm

How not particularly reasonably priced? My birthday's coming up in July. :mrgreen:
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Re: Wine Focus for July: Taking nominations

by Bob Parsons Alberta » Thu Jun 28, 2012 12:35 pm

How about Chianti? I have not sampled many of late but recent vintages have been good and there are good selections out there.
Another idea might be a wine tie-in with the Olympics?
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Re: Wine Focus for July: Taking nominations

by Tim York » Thu Jun 28, 2012 12:43 pm

Bob Parsons Alberta wrote:How about Chianti? I have not sampled many of late but recent vintages have been good and there are good selections out there.
Another idea might be a wine tie-in with the Olympics?


Chianti always suites me :D . I can start with the vibrant Rancia 01 which I opened last night mistaking the label for that of the regular Fèlsina Riserva.
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Re: Wine Focus for July: Taking nominations

by Bob Parsons Alberta » Thu Jun 28, 2012 12:50 pm

Here are three samples I have available>
2008 Felsina Berardenga Chianti Classico (Tuscany - Chianti, Italy).
2010 Terre de Priori Chianti Classico (Tuscany - Chianti, Italy).
2008 Villa Cafaggio Chianti Classico (Tuscany - Chianti, Italy).

A wider selection is available with some scouting around!

If we are thinking white, how about GV?
Last edited by Bob Parsons Alberta on Thu Jun 28, 2012 8:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Bruce Hayes

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Re: Wine Focus for July: Taking nominations

by Bruce Hayes » Thu Jun 28, 2012 2:12 pm

ChaimShraga wrote:How not particularly reasonably priced? My birthday's coming up in July. :mrgreen:


Really? Mine as well. I'm July 3.
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Robin Garr

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Re: Wine Focus for July: Taking nominations

by Robin Garr » Fri Jun 29, 2012 12:25 am

Tim York wrote:Chianti always suites me :D

I love it too!

I've also got a Montepulciano d'Abruzzo here that needs tasting, though. Any objection if we open the door just a bit wider to accommodate something like "Hearty Classic Italian Table Reds"?
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Re: Wine Focus for July: Taking nominations

by Bob Parsons Alberta » Fri Jun 29, 2012 1:18 am

Robin Garr wrote:
Tim York wrote:Chianti always suites me :D

I love it too!

I've also got a Montepulciano d'Abruzzo here that needs tasting, though. Any objection if we open the door just a bit wider to accommodate something like "Hearty Classic Italian Table Reds"?


Robin, not a bad idea altho` some might refer you to the S Italian Focus of a while back. Me, I do not see a problem. There are some excellent price points out there for hearty Italian reds.

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Re: Wine Focus for July: Taking nominations

by David M. Bueker » Fri Jun 29, 2012 8:49 am

No offense to the idea, but Chianti in July? Too hot.
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Re: Wine Focus for July: Taking nominations

by Howie Hart » Fri Jun 29, 2012 9:09 am

David M. Bueker wrote:No offense to the idea, but Chianti in July? Too hot.
Nonsense! Generally Chianti is lighter bodied and does not have over the top alcohol. It pairs well with lighter, Summer-type fare, such as cheese, sausage and veggie plates, grilled foods, pasta and even pizza. If you were to say it's too hot for Cal Cabs or Oz Shiraz, I'd agree.
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Re: Wine Focus for July: Taking nominations

by Tim York » Fri Jun 29, 2012 9:45 am

Howie Hart wrote:
David M. Bueker wrote:No offense to the idea, but Chianti in July? Too hot.
Nonsense! Generally Chianti is lighter bodied and does not have over the top alcohol. It pairs well with lighter, Summer-type fare, such as cheese, sausage and veggie plates, grilled foods, pasta and even pizza. If you were to say it's too hot for Cal Cabs or Oz Shiraz, I'd agree.


Somewhere recently I have read a statement to the effect that Tuscan Sangiovese based wines stand up well to being served at higher temperatures than most red wines thanks largely to their lively acidity.

I agree. A couple of years ago we had a wine geek dinner with Italian as the theme wines on a torrid July day when most of the red wines were consumed at 21+°C (c.70°F+). I was impressed by how well balanced the Sangioveses seemed under that handicap. The Nebbiolos were not too bad either.
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Re: Wine Focus for July: Taking nominations

by Robin Garr » Fri Jun 29, 2012 12:05 pm

David M. Bueker wrote:No offense to the idea, but Chianti in July? Too hot.

Maybe it's just me, but I'm ready for these robust, food-friendly, not-overly-high-alcohol, crisp and acidic table wines all year round. Go great with food. Go great with picnic fare! You can serve them at cellar temp. Serve them with pizza from the delivery guy, serve them with burgers and dogs on the grill.
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Re: Wine Focus for July: Taking nominations

by Robin Garr » Fri Jun 29, 2012 12:13 pm

Tim York wrote:Somewhere recently I have read a statement to the effect that Tuscan Sangiovese based wines stand up well to being served at higher temperatures than most red wines thanks largely to their lively acidity.

Perhaps also a winning combination of climate and culture? Italy lies in Europe's (relatively) hot summer latitudes, with Provence/Languedoc and Spain, so the wine cultures evolve to respect that. Provence responded with killer rosé; Spain, honestly, doesn't seem to scale the same culinary heights as France or Italy; but in Central Italy, warm summers meet great cuisine and the response - in my opinion - has been the evolution of food-friendly wines that perform well in summer's heat.

Perhaps we could make this a feature, not a bug, for a July Wine Focus? "Chianti, etc., with summer fare"?
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David M. Bueker

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Re: Wine Focus for July: Taking nominations

by David M. Bueker » Fri Jun 29, 2012 1:21 pm

Happy to go with the group's consensus, but no Chianti for me.
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Re: Wine Focus for July: Taking nominations

by James Roscoe » Fri Jun 29, 2012 1:44 pm

They can't do Riesling EVERY month David! Maybe you would prefer they do SB?
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Re: Wine Focus for July: Taking nominations

by David M. Bueker » Fri Jun 29, 2012 2:01 pm

James Roscoe wrote:They can't do Riesling EVERY month David! Maybe you would prefer they do SB?


Don't care. Just not going to do Chianti on my table any time before September.
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Re: Wine Focus for July: Taking nominations

by Robin Garr » Fri Jun 29, 2012 5:31 pm

David M. Bueker wrote:Don't care. Just not going to do Chianti on my table any time before September.

Okay, I'm not hassling you, just interested (and promoting thread drift): Will you open any reds for summer sipping? Beaujolais? Chinon? Or do you just go over to whites (of acceptable varieties :mrgreen: ) and rosé for summer?
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Re: Wine Focus for July: Taking nominations

by David M. Bueker » Fri Jun 29, 2012 8:14 pm

Robin Garr wrote:
David M. Bueker wrote:Don't care. Just not going to do Chianti on my table any time before September.

Okay, I'm not hassling you, just interested (and promoting thread drift): Will you open any reds for summer sipping? Beaujolais? Chinon? Or do you just go over to whites (of acceptable varieties :mrgreen: ) and rosé for summer?


Very little, red unless we get cooler weather.
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Re: Wine Focus for July: Taking nominations

by Carl Eppig » Sat Jun 30, 2012 12:23 pm

David M. Bueker wrote:Very little, red unless we get cooler weather.



It's 90 F here, and I'm grillin steak tonight; and we're having Cabernet Sauvigon (a big one) with it. Love that central air!
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Re: Wine Focus for July: Taking nominations

by David M. Bueker » Sat Jun 30, 2012 1:11 pm

Carl Eppig wrote:
David M. Bueker wrote:Very little, red unless we get cooler weather.



It's 90 F here, and I'm grillin steak tonight; and we're having Cabernet Sauvigon (a big one) with it. Love that central air!


If I had central air I would use it.
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Re: Wine Focus for July: Taking nominations

by Thomas G » Mon Jul 02, 2012 5:55 pm

Summer reds? Perhaps overly broad but July's already begun.
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Re: Wine Focus for July: Chianti & Co. as summer table wines

by Jon Leifer » Tue Jul 03, 2012 8:02 pm

Summer is for grillin and chillin..My personal preferrence wd have been zin but no problem re chiantis..they go with most grilled foods, pasta, pizza and central air..
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Re: Wine Focus for July: Chianti & Co. as summer table wines

by Bob Parsons Alberta » Wed Jul 04, 2012 7:04 pm

http://learnitalianwines.wordpress.com/ ... -scansano/

Many of the Italian restaurants here in Edmonton feature a Morellino which I think might very well qualify for this months Focus.
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Re: Wine Focus for July: Chianti & Co. as summer table wines

by Tim York » Thu Jul 05, 2012 5:49 am

Bob Parsons Alberta wrote:http://learnitalianwines.wordpress.com/2011/10/18/morellino-di-scansano/

Many of the Italian restaurants here in Edmonton feature a Morellino which I think might very well qualify for this months Focus.


Definitely, IMO. Morellino di Scansano is made principally from Sangiovese and is quite similar to Chianti, a bit fuller perhaps and less acidic.
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