Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Wine Blogging Wednesday #42: An Italian Red in 7 Words

It's time for the 42nd edition of Wine Blogging Wednesday, the online tasting event founded by Lenn Thompson of Lenndevours. This month Andrew Barrow, from the UK wine blog Spittoon, is our host. Inspired by BBC 6's challenge to describe what you did last night in just a handful of words, he charged wine bloggers around the world with this task: drink an Italian red and review it using seven words (or less).

As it's Sicily month at GWU$20, I decided to drink a Sicilian red. Primitivo would have been the classic choice, but I'm trying to drink outside the normal range of grapes so I selected an indigenous Sicilian grape called Frappato instead. Frappato is the gamay of Sicily--lighter and fresher than Primitivo. Mondosapore's Terry Hughes (aka Italian Wine Guru), gives valuable (longer) tasting notes and serving suggestions over at his site, so if you are interested in this unusual grape, you may want to check those out. I tried a later vintage of the wine he discusses in his post, the 2006 Valle dell'Acate Frappato ($17.99, K & L Wines; available elsewhere for between $15 and $18)

This has to have been the most devilishly difficult WBW yet. So, without further ado, the review:

Musky flowers perfume this bright, cherry wine.

Finding the perfect pairing for a Frappato turned out to be a challenge. It was so-so with pizza, even with a slight chill on it. I tried pasta with turkey and sun-dried tomatoes, and it was also kind of bleh. Then I made some chicken souvlaki--and the wine just sang. The Mediterranean spices went well with the brightness of the wine, and finally I felt like I understood its charms.

Check back here for the roundup of tasting notes and details about WBW #43, hosted by Joel of Vivi's Wine Journal (now the Wine Life Today Blog). Thanks to Andrew for a fun and enlightening WBW that underscored the value of words in describing what it is that we drink.

9 comments:

Erika said...

Wow you made all of those dishes just for WBW? Gotta say, there's some dedication!

David McDuff said...

I was wondering more how you made one bottle (presumably) last through three meals.... Frappato is a variety I've yet to encounter, so good on ya for hunting it down and checking it out.

Craig Camp said...

I love this wine and this producer. All of their wines are very nice. One of my favorite matches is a braised chicken dish with tomatoes, olive, garlic capers etc.

SB Wine Advocate said...

your description makes this wine sound like its right up my alley. I'll have to try it.

Terence said...

Thanks for the mention, Dottoressa. I'm in Venice tonight -- sitting in a robe overlooking the Grand Canal, belly filled with a pleasant biologico Valpolicella from a socialist co-op (who named their farm after the date of the Shirtwaist Factory fire in NY of a century ago)...I'll stop...I'm writing all this to make you envious. I hope I'm succeeding.

I still like that Frappato a lot. Impressed that you worked so hard to pair it. Bravissima!

Andrew said...

It was a fun escapade I hope you agree!

Dr. Debs said...

It was one of the most fun WBWs I can remember, Andrew, so thanks for the theme. And yes, Terry, I'm hugely jealous. Venice? (sigh). As for the rest of you, you've never noticed before that I only review 2-3 bottles of wine a week? There's only one drinker in my house, and I only drink wine with meals for the most part so they stretch over a few days. As for the pairing, Craig's suggestion it very like my own: this wine cries out for something herbal, slightly salty, and Mediterranean in influence rather than a big heavy red sauce.

RougeAndBlanc said...

Dr. Debs,
I drank a wine that is partly Frappato too. Obviously your experience is better than mine. I did not pair it with food and maybe that is why I didn't really like mine. Did you find the Frappato to be kind of lack of structure and finish is abrupt?

Dr. Debs said...

Hi, Rouge and Blanc. The wine was definitely of the simpler and lighter variety, but it did have enough acid to have good structure, and I don't think I would call the finish short. Maybe it was the other grape varieties it was blended into?