I’ve decided to start a new column on this blog called Wine of the Week. This week my favorite wine is Susanna Crociani’s Il Segreto di Giorgio 2007. I was supposed to be in Tuscany visiting Susanna this weekend but for a variety of reasons, things didn’t work out as I had planned. Saddened by that and other news, I reached for my first glass of wine in two weeks. This wine seemed appropriate both because Susanna, a dear friend, made it and because it is dedicated to her brother Giorgio who left this world too early in 2007 but whose life was marked by a gentle twinkle and fabulous sense of humor and proportion, both of which at times I confess, I lack. I’m turning over a new leaf as we move into the summer season and this wine seemed like a great way to start out.
The wine itself, made from a variety of grapes which Susanna refuses to divulge, was delicious with red fruit aromas and flavors and soft sweet spice notes. The tannins were ripe and juicy. It went very well with the pork chop I made with tomato sauce, a Martha Gold staple growing up.
So here’s to Giorgio and to the summer being everything we all want it to be. Auguri a te Susanna e a presto cara.
I love Thanksgiving. It’s actually my favorite holiday of the year. Not just for the food but mostly for the chance to see relatives I rarely visit with and to see how big my extended family has become. Like everyone else who loves wine, I spend a fair amount of time thinking about what I might like to bring and to drink on Thanksgiving. Traditional wisdom has it that Pinot Nero goes very well with Turkey. I tend to agree and am going to bring a bottle of Pinot Nero from the Oltrepo’ Pavese, a region on the border between Lombardy and Piedmont which has a long tradtion of growing Pinot Nero. It’s a little more earthy and rustic than Pinot Noir from Oregon and certainly from Burgundy but delicious nonetheless.
I will also bring a wine from my friend Susanna Crociani. She makes wines in Montepulciano in Tuscany. I may bring one of the wines she has dedicated to her brother Giorgio who passed away at the untimely age of 50 in 2007. The wine called Il Segreto di Giorgio is one of my favorites and will pair very nicely with Turkey. I can’t tell you what the secret is though.
I am also going to bring a Barbera d’Alba. I have been rediscovering this grape of late. When I lived in Italy, I shunned it and assiduously avoided it. Oddly enough, this past week I was in Italy and went to a Barolo/Barbera tasting with friends. Most of them avoided the Barbera. Perhaps it was something about the proximity of 25 Barolo Producers with 2-3 Barolos which you can taste for 10 euros that put everyone off, but that said, the Barbera was neglected. This time though, not by me.
I find that Barbera has both enough fruit and structure to pair well with foods. Its acidity, when it is well made, is also an excellent counterpoint to some of the richer foods that will grace our Thanksgiving table.
I’d love to know what other people are having or have had for their Thanksgiving feast. Drop me a note and let me know so I can add to my own list for next year. I’d love to have Thanksgiving once a month but I think I’d have to get a whole new wardrobe…