Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Ahhh Toscana

Taster B emailed me at work with instructions that when I got home I was to take the pizza dough out of the refrigerator. We’re having pizza tonight. She made a pizza sauce and topped the pizza with fresh mozzarella, tomato slices, red pepper and onion. It was up to me to pick a bottle and do a quick photo shoot.

There were several wines that I could have gone with, but I settled on a Toscana that we picked up back in January at The Vineyard in January. Wine can be a fickle friend. In January, we got notes of tobacco, rose and coffee. That was in the middle of tasting 23 wines. It goes to show how perceptions of wine can change with different foods and following other wines.

Nevertheless, this is a great wine for the price and worth looking for. We’ve talked a little about Toscana IGT wines before and if you are new to Italy, you can learn about the style and how to read the labels.

Toscana IGT
Santa Cristiana Antinori
Vintage: 2006
Blend: Sangiovese 90%, Merlot 10%
Alcohol: 13.0
Price: $11.99

Color: Ruby Red
Intensity: Medium
Aromas: Strawberry, cherry, smoked meat, tobacco
Flavors: Strawberry, raspberry, cherry, curry, mineral, anise, sage, licorice, vanilla
Body: Full
Sweetness: Off dry
Tannins: Silk
Finish: Moderately long

Summary: Nice berry wine, smooth tannins, with mineral dried berry/cherry finish. In the long finish, spicy licorice and anise notes develop. We really enjoyed this with our moderately-topped juicy veggie pizza. We were very glad we picked up this wine and would buy it again.

Most folks don't regard pizza as a great meal. Pizza is very commonplace and is usually only a phone call away. The Hut has slipped in quality over the past 30 years and most pizza tastes about the same as the box. One of the tricks is getting the crust right and today, pizza dough is available at many delis.

Well made pizza is always a hit. In my younger day, perhaps 10 pounds ago, I would have put a pound of mozzarella and another pound of cheddar on a pizza. Today, I’m just as happy with one third of a pound.

Having good wine to go with a good pizza is a must. Sangiovese is a great compliment. This wine also goes with lamb, duck, cold cuts, Cioppino and hard cheese.