Thursday, January 27, 2011

Allegrini Palazzo della Torre `07 IGT $19.00 (Not TJ's) ***

The best part of being given wine for Christmas is sharing it with the people who gave it to me. One Friday, I grabbed the bottle from The Winery Allegrini, stopped at Waldbaums for the ingredients to "Edie's Man Catching Dinner" (what can I say, there is a theme in my life) and motored into the city to cook and enjoy some time with my friends (including a cooking session with my youngest sous chef).

This is a deep, fruity, flavorful, rich red wine.  It is sophisticated in a way that is foreign to me.  I have never tasted Amarone but I imagine that this wine is similar to it.  There is a uniqueness to the process of making this wine.  It is called Ripasso, a form of extended maceration.

What did this mean to me?  This wine is like a Ph.D in a glass.  It tastes like there has been a lot of effort put into it. All of that time spent drying from September to January for those grapes that make up the raisin like depths of this wine, to the fresh layer of fruitiness that comes from the original grapes pressed;  it is an amalgam of flavors that is so unique, it stands head and shoulders above regular plonk in complexity.  When thinking about a Cabernet or Tempranello or any other complex red wine, it is apples to oranges.  This is a stand alone type of wine, unique to the Valpolicella region of Italy. (at least I have not yet encountered anything like it in my 200 bottles of drinking & blogging!)

Varietal: Corvina and Rondinella There is a steep learning curve for me with this wine. I didn't have a chance to try this aerated, but I think that because of the complex flavor, it would shine.  The internet recommends that this wine be aerated for an hour before drinking, so, I think that a run through the Nuance or Vinturi would be worth it.

Sharing a meal with people that you love is one the highlights of my life.  From a simple lunch with S. and JPH, to a quick visit that includes cooking, or more extended trips to Maine or London, sharing good food is just an expression of love and appreciation in my life, and well, wine is simply the icing on the cake.

We had fun cooking dinner. Because we were a diverse crowd, adults, children, and a 9 year old vegetarian, the menu was mixed.  P. my Sous Chef insisted on making french fries (baked) and after I put them through the slicer, I put him to work prepping the baking sheet, oiling & salting them, and finally, laying them on the pan.
Here he is hard at work
(well, as hard as I want to work a 3 1/2 year old Sous Chef):

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