Montepulciano d’Abruzzo DOC is a very popular Italian wine. In fact it’s the most exported Italian wine and is widely consumed within Italy as well. We’re talking about half a million hectoliters per year, or to put it in simpler terms, more than 65 million bottles a year. This particular bottle was made by a family winery founded in 1957 in The Marches region, neighbor to the north of Abruzzi. These organic grapes were grown near the medieval village of Montipagano, in the Teramo area of northern Abruzzi near the Adriatic Sea. This area is said to produce some of the best Montepulciano d’Abruzzo DOC wines.
Let’s start by quoting the marketing materials. Description : Our Quality Assurance Laboratory has determined that this organic product contains 6 mg/L of free sulphur. Tasting Note : (Translated from the French) A beautiful dark montepulciano with pretty flavors of crushed fruit and no overt wood. Displays chewy, fine fruit, full body and plenty of strength. (Marc André Gagnon, at the vinquebec website May 1, 2009) And now for my review.
At the first sips the wine was dark tasting with well-balanced acidity and light tannins. I started by pairing it with a commercial shepherd’s pie. The acidity picked up a bit and I tasted dark cherries. The Montepulciano was hearty but short. When I added a generous amount of cayenne pepper sauce the wine was only slightly affected.
The next meal consisted of a boxed vegetarian lasagna that I slathered with Parmesan cheese. The wine was round with fine acidity and low tannins. It was a fine accompaniment to the tomatoes and was somewhat oaky.
My final meal was a broiled steak (London Broil) in a garlicky ketchup and mustard sauce. The wine was pleasant with black cherries and chocolate. When it met the potatoes roasted in chicken fat, the wine became darker. It had no problem handling the grease. With sliced eggplant roasted in lots of garlic and oil the Montepulciano was mouth filling. It had no trouble dealing with a hard-to-pair food.
Before going to the cheeses I tried this wine with schmaltz herring packed in oil. The wine overpowered the herring and dark cherries dominated. The first cheese was a yellow cheddar which muted the wine to some extent, but it did maintain pleasant acidity. With a Swiss cheese this wine lost its fruit.
Final verdict. I would probably buy this wine again. If you are into organic wines this Montepulciano is quite competitively priced.Access the companion wine An Organic Northern California Syrah
Levi Reiss has authored or co-authored ten books on computers and the Internet, but to be honest, he would
rather just drink fine Italian or other wine, accompanied by the right foods. He teaches classes in computers at an Ontario
French-language community college. His wine websites include
www.theworldwidewine.com and http://www.wineinyourdiet.com
Visit his website devoted to Italian travel www.travelitalytravel.com
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