Review Of A Red Vermentino Italian Wine

Rocca di Montemassi Vermentino Maremma Toscana IGT 12.5% alcohol about $12.50

My first pairing was with chicken thighs slowed-cooked in a sweet and sour sauce. The wine was floral, light tasting and refreshingly acidic. It was an excellent accompaniment to the dessert of thin, dry biscuits containing pistachios and almonds, which brought out the wineís subtlety.

I then tried this wine with poached Tilapia fillets in a red pepper, onion, and chicken broth sauce accompanied by potato patties and green peppers in tomato sauce. The fish was delicate and not overwhelmed by the wine, which presented fruit and a bit of pepper. But frankly, the wine was too light and too short.

The next meal was kube, or kibbe, a Middle-Eastern specialty, balls of ground rice filled with ground meat. They were cooked overnight with potatoes in a somewhat spicy sauce. The wine was fruity and floral, with just enough acidity to counteract the meatís fat and soften the spices. It was a fine companion for a side of more powerfully spiced Moroccan carrots. Just when I was thinking that the wine was a chameleon, changing itself to match the food, I tried it with fresh pineapple. The pineapple was excellent, its sweetness and acidity was a great way to end the meal. But in its presence, this wine was flat.

Final verdict. I donít plan to buy this wine again. As a Tuscan wine it canít meet the stiff local competition. I think Iíll wait for a true Ligurian wine. It may be a long wait.

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