Posts tagged #italian wine

Cantina Ribelà Garbagorba Rosato


I'd been saving this bottle of Ribelà Garbagorba rosato since June for this exact moment, for immediately after I came home from Italy. You may be thinking, "Who needs more Italian wine after drinking only Italian wines for over a week?" and bless your naive heart. Of course you need more Italian wine when you get home from Italy, you can't just quit this shit cold turkey. Italy is the strongest drug in the world, with the hardest come down. I knew I was going to need a spectacularly dreamy wine to take the edge off returning to the states and take me back to my travels with winemaker/oenologist Danilo Marcucci and distributor/travel sage Amy Atwood, who I now never leave home without. 

But I didn't realize what this bottle was when I was saving it. I knew it was Ribelà, I knew it was Cesanese, and I thought it was the red I had in April. I loved that red, so I put a tag on the bottle reminding myself not to be an asshole and drink it while feeling mischievous (which I am liable to do), and hid it in the back of my wine fridge. I had no idea it was a rosato that there were only a handful cases produced of until I was in Italy last week. We shared glasses over a few al fresco lunches, each bottle ending with a joking "Please don't write about this."

Because wines like this are not just wines, they're trysts. They are romantic in their rarity, held intimately in their inaccessibility, and are so personal that its impossible not to feel possessive. They're Bobby Darin lyrics, Humphrey Bogart quotes, and ultimately, ships passing in the night. They are idealized and nearly impossible to have, which is why I probably shouldn't write about them.

Which is why I have to write about them.

Because while you may never drink this wine, I want you to know these wines are out there. For me, and for you. With natural wines, these precious gems are often as close as your favorite wine shop. They may not be the same wines I'm drinking, but you must know there are wines in the world that are so small in quantity yet large in love, and to not seek those big hearted wines out with the same burning ambition that drives us to find anything else desirable in this life, is a mistake. 

It's not about having THIS ONE.
It's about having YOUR ONE

(Also, please note, by "one," I mean "as many as you can find.")

Anywayyyyyy. I came home from Italy, and had to have this exact wine for this exact moment. It took a long time for it to open up-- approximately two & a half hours in a decanter in the refrigerator. But like any good love, it was well worth the wait. 

The Ribelà Garbagorba rosato doesn't taste like it did last week, but they never do. I don't know if the wine is lighter and more carefree in Italy, or if I'm lighter and more carefree in Italy, but it doesn't matter. Leaving Italy changes you; whether you're a wine or a woman, the distance weighs upon you. But even with barbells in each side of your ribcage, this wine does nothing but make your heart want to sing. It doesn't matter what it tasted like last week because today, it is still lovely.

This wine is so fun and spontaneous. It is a crush pushing you into the pool at dusk on a balmy summer night. All the plants have just been watered, and while you're immediately plunged into refreshing minerality, the breeze is hot and heavy with fresh cut fruit and warm flowers cooling in the shade of twilight. And while it seems like simple flirting, you know it's something you will remember until the end of time.

Ribelà is one of my favorite wineries, not just for its Roman oasis of a vineyard, but because their wines are so modern while still honoring the history of the region. I have a lot to say on this subject, which is another piece for another publication after I have more time to properly contemplate it all, which up until this moment has felt overwhelming. This trip to Italy changed me in ways that only my future work will be able to adequately demonstrate, and I'd be lying if I didn't say it has been keeping me up at night. Often with clarity comes anxiety, the "I KNOW WHAT I HAVE TO DO!" meeting the "FUCK. HOW DO I DO THAT? CAN I DO THAT?"

But with Garbagorba by my side, tackling the incredible topic of the evolution of Italian natural wines doesn't feel so enormous. It feels, and tastes, very exciting. 

Tasting Notes: Looks like gauze made from the brightest tropical coral. Smells like bing cherry morning dew dripping off cold gardenias. Tastes like you're devouring a watermelon filled with pomegranate juice trimmed with limestone, lemon rinds, and almond shavings. Refreshingly modern with a depth of terroir and tradition. Mio cuore canta (one of three Italian phrases I have DOWN). 

Ross Test: This is my first time Ross Testing from a decanter. And it was good, although, if you're going through the trouble to decant your wine you should probably put it in a glass. Also, you just straight up do not get enough wine when you're drinking out of a decanter without risking spilling the whole thing all over your face and wasting all this wine you are madly in love with.

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Collecapretta Vigna Vecchia

collecapretta vigna vecchia

Collecapretta Vigna Vecchia
Varietal: Trebbiano Spoletino
Region: Umbria, Italy
Year: 2016
Price: $30ish
Importer: SelectioNaturel

There is no place my mind wanders to more frequently than Italy. On both good days and bad, I often dream of picking up my life in California and unpacking it somewhere in Umbria; close enough to Rome, but far enough away to be alone, and explore more of what has quickly become one of my favorite wine regions. While I'd been a fan of the wines for awhile, visiting Umbria this past spring with Matt Mollo of SelectioNaturel seared the Italian countryside into my heart. (And into my ankle. Not sure if you saw on my Instastory where I stayed in an Umbrian hotel that was a converted grain silo, but my room had essentially a carpet slide to accommodate the original structure. After a lot of wine that evening, I obviously had to drunkenly slide down until Mary Bartlett and I got the perfect two second video, and subsequently I gave myself the gnarliest rug burn on my ankle bone which has since scarred, and I consider it my first, and only, tattoo.)

I first had the Vigna Vecchia at Collecapretta in Umbria this past spring. The tiny hamlet that has been helmed by the Mattioli family since the 1100's currently has about four hectares of old vines and the winemaking is mangaged by the head of the family, Vittorio, and his stunning daughter, Annalisa. I have this bottle today as a gift from Danilo Marcucci, basically the Yoda of Italian natural wine, who works closely with Collecapretta and considers this wine the one that changed his life. This particular type of Trebbiano is only found in Umbria, and has only recently been revived after decades of the region being gutted of indigenous grape varietals. 

Drinking the Vigna Vecchia now, there are two sides of it. Or at least, I have two sides of it.

There is the side that conjures so much from my experience at Collecapretta. It's the barely budding maple trees and the white, dusty road that runs along the vines. It's the potted Meyer lemon trees and flowers that line the stone drive, with wafts of wet rock from recent watering. You can taste the closeness of the cellar we huddled in after a long lunch of homemade charcuterie and spinach ricotta ravioli (which this pairs perfectly with). It makes me want to move to the countryside and spend endless hours drinking this glass of emulsion blended sunshine and jasmine while watching the horizon disappear into the evening sky. 

But then there is the side that I taste as though I never sat at that table or walked those hills. 

And that side of this wine tastes like a decadent tropical vacation.

The Collecapretta Vigna Vecchia also tastes like that perfect day-buzz on a sandy beach with the right amount of salt in the air and some sort of rich, pineapple drink in your hand. It's confident, it's passionate, it's lusty. As a skin-contact white, with it's fuller body and modest tannins, it's even a bit grabby, and makes you want to rub tanning oil all over a lover's (or a hot stranger's?) back. And then be like, "Do me now. Don't forget to lift my straps... And no, you are right, I didn't quite get my sides..."  and then you share a melon, smoke an indica-hybrid, and blow each other on lounge chairs after dark, or some equally romantic shit.

collecapretta vigna vecchia color

But this is what I love so much about wine: It is so subjective and based on your experiences. What you taste in this wine could, and very well may be, entirely different than what I taste.

But whether it takes you to Italy or to a distant beach, the Collecapretta Vigna Vecchia is a daydream of a wine you'll never want to leave. It is so warm yet so refreshing, that it is almost impossible to have another care in the world while drinking it.

Not only that, but it is constantly evolving. You will think you have it figured out, but each sip is slightly different. And before you hit your next pour, you will notice that the wine has taken on more petrol and cashmere qualities, almost reminiscent of a aged riesling.

The Collecapretta Vigna Vecchia is like a good lover: It just keeps giving. 


collecapretta marissa a ross ross test

Tasting Notes: Looks like strewn gold in direct sunlight. Smells like salted, wet rock and white floral breezes of pineapple, apple, and papaya. Tastes like concentrated pineapple, and like dousing jasmine in gasoline and burning aflame with green melon. Has a long, warm cashmere finish of orange peel. Constantly evolving and endlessly flavorful, this has to be one of my favorite white wines ever. I'm in awe of it. 

Ross Test: Bitter pineapple juice. It's quite good, but not as good as out of a glass. But don't get me wrong. It's good. 

DeForville Barbera D'Asti

DeForville Barbera D'Asti
Region: Piedmont, Italy
Year: 2013
Price: ~ $20

Despite being what could be described as a debaucherous heathen with few principles and no god, I fucking love Christmas. I love decorating the house and tree, tossing back whiskey ciders in front of Netflix's "Fire Place for Your Home", and Christmas With The Rat Pack on CD. I love ignoring everyone and only making time to eat way too much food and watch Home Alone and the first Harry Potter on repeat with my sister. 

Real quick-- If you don't classify the first Harry Potter as a Christmas movie, you are not on my level. That shit is a Christmas movie. There is too much snow and magic for it not to be a Christmas movie.

I've been chomping at the bit for the holidays, and have recently been banned from belting out Mariah Carey while Ben is home until after Mashed Potato Day (also known as Thanksgiving). And at first I was like, "Yeah, you're right. Shouldn't rush things. I need to just let the holidays come to me..."


deforville barbera

As a whole, this wine is like a new pine wreath with tiny little cranberry branches strewn throughout, with a touch of cider on the back end. It's warm and fuzzy and feels like whiskey in your belly. Liquor Long Johns, if you will, or perhaps that feeling when you walk into your heated hotel after being forced to walk around fucking freezing-ass Chicago on a flurrying December 23rd. 

This is a wine for huggers. And maybe I am biased, because I am a hugger and I love hugging, but this wine makes me want to hug the shit out of you. Yes, you. I want to hug you and say thank you so much for reading my shit and wish you the happiest of holidays. I also want to hug your pets if you have any, but that's less about this wine and really about all wine.

The DeForville is sentimentality in a glass. It's so familiar, and yet, fresh. With each holiday season, isn't that what we're all looking for? That smell, that taste, that feeling... but with new meaning and wonder. This red is full and flourishes in all the ways you want a red wine to, but it is unexpectedly soft and welcoming, much like this time of year should be.

Tasting Notes: Dark ruby with light pine and ripe cherries and cranberries on the nose. Full-bodied, fruity, woodsy and spicy on the palate. The most perfect after-dinner-"let's snuggle up" Christmas Eve wine. 


Ignaz Niedrist Südtirol Kalterersee Auslese

niedrist südtirol

Ignaz Niedrist Südtirol Kalterersee Auslese
Varietal: Kalterersee (AKA Trollinger, 
Vernatsch, or Schiava)
Region: Südtirol/Alto Adige, Italy
Year: 2013
Price: $28
Retailer: Esters Wine Shop & Bar

Last week I had a meeting on the west side and decided to make a day of it considering I was not chained to my desk on the east side. I finally visited Esters in Santa Monica, which may or may not be heaven on Earth. I love that it's a wine shop and bar. With excellent selections for wine by the bottle and glass, as well as a lovely menu perfect for habitual snackers such as myself, it was the best place ever to have a "Hey! I'm a lady who takes meetings!" lunch to herself. 

I had the pleasure of meeting the ladies of Esters, including Kelly who recommended this wine to me after I told her I was into "funky shit". She said something along the lines of, "How about an Italian wine that's German but not?" and I said, "What? YES."

And so here we are, with the Niedrist Südtirol. Real quick: Südtirol was a part of Austria and then it became a part of Italy and became Alto Aldige and now it is an autonomous state. So German verbage but Italian wine. Got it? Good. 

The Niedrist is quenching my thirst for fall right now. I've been dying to have some hearty reds, break out oversized fuzzy sweaters and turn in for an early hibernation. Unfortunately, it's too damn hot for any of that. But drinking this wine and putting together a fall playlist feels as close to fall as I possibly could be right now. Listening to a mix of Fleet Foxes and Alex Bleeker & The Freaks along with this wine that tastes like crisp strawberries wrapped up in a big brown crunchy leaf, I could be somewhere else if I just keep my eyes closed long enough.

I just want to move to Big Sur and call it a day. 

If you like the body of gamay but are looking for something with more fallish flavors to bite into, this is what you're looking for. With its vibrant cranberry color, mulled cherry spice palate and nutty finish, it throws itself towards tastes of Thanksgiving without the "YO I'M BLOATED GONNA GO UNBUTTON MY PANTS AND SLEEP ON THE FLOOR FOREVER" feeling. 


Tasting Notes: Light body and fruit forward but with a smooth woody/tobacco quality to it that reminds me of the inside of a cigar humidifier. Complex in its youthfulness, this wine holds structure while still maintaining a sense of delicacy. Make sure to let it breathe a bit, it's bitter straight into the glass. 

Ross Test: Not bad on the front but alcohol-heavy on the back end. 

Montenidoli Tradizionale

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Montenidoli Tradizionale
Varietal: Vernaccia
Region: Tuscany, Italy
Year: 2013
Price: $17.99
Retailer: DomaineLA

I don't know where this week went, much like I don't know where summer went. Ah time, that god damn vacuum. 

It's been extremely hot in Los Angeles, and I'm sure my electric bill at the end of the month will reflect that. I don't mind the heat, but fuck the humidity. I've lived in Southern California my whole life and I didn't even know what humidity was until I went to Walt Disney World when I was ten and told my mom I was going to die. A white wine was definitely in order... but which?

I decided on this vernaccia, an Italian white wine organically farmed with native yeasts, and totally up my alley. 

Until I opened it. I did not dig the bouquet. It smells like a rundown dollar theater you even avoid as a teenager because you know the dude who's inviting you is going to try to get a handjob and you've never done that and have no intention of doing so in a mildewy auditorium while watching an Adam Sandler movie. That smell.


No, not a handjob.
It tastes good!

It tastes like how I imagine eating a floral arrangement right out of one of those refrigerated cases would taste. Bright and not grassy, but stem-y and petal-y, with a strong satiny finish. It's a bit heavy but still quite refreshing. As it opens, its body grows and it gets a little pissy, making it more complex. This is definitely more of a meal wine rather than a "HEY IT'S FRIDAY AFTERNOON!" wine. In the future, I would pair it with a thoughtful meal like paella, or whatever else someone wanted to cook me that involved seafood. It would also go well with a big salad

Tasting Notes: Musky butter popcorn and hints of barnyard on the nose. Rich and floral with slight herbal notes on the palate. Definitely eat with it. 

Ross Test: Fine but not worth it. 

Contadi Castaldi Brut Rosé

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Contadi Castaldi Brut Rosé
Varietals: 65% Chardonnay, 35% Pinot Nero
Region: Franciacorta, Italy
Price: ~$25

Rosé fatigue is a real thing, a condition onset by the suffocating virality of rosé this season. I started actively avoiding them, going as far as vowing not to review another for the rest of the summer and cussing out a bartender for mockingly assuming that because I was a woman at a wine bar I was obviously ordering rosé.

But then, by the grace of god, the kind people of the region of Franciacorta decided to bless me with a few presents, one of which being the Contadi Castaldi Brut Rosé. It could have been any other brut rosé and I would have said, "Whaaateverrr" but IT'S A FRANCIACORTA, AND NOT ONLY A FRANCIACORTA, BUT MY FAVORITE!

I had the Contadi Castaldi Brut Rosé in Rome last summer. It was so fucking hot, and the Castaldi was so fucking refreshing, served in a beautiful little tulip'd glass that is the official vessel of Franciacorta. I looked for it in the states but never found it, and was sure that I wouldn't see my long lost summer crush again until I returned to my beloved Italia. 

And now here I am, once again enjoying its pleasures on an excruciatingly hot summer day, sadly not on the patio of a mozzarella bar.

You don't see Franciacortas that often in America, and that sucks because they're one of my favorites. Made using metodo classico-- otherwise known as méthode traditionelle when used for Champagne-- this Italian sparkler has an elegant, clean crispness that I just die for. Unlike Champagne with its nutty roundness, or Prosecco with its creamy melon, Franciacortas are a bit pinching and salty while maintaining graceful structure. It's the perfect middle sister between Champagne and Cava. 

The Castaldi reminds me of a tangled top-knot sitting upon the crown, effortlessly sophisticated. It's approachable and carefree, and yet, so god damn poised. It's the bowl of potato chips you're DYING FOR at the cocktail party, and it's Audrey Hepburn in Funny Face. It's quite perfect, if you love juxtaposing fanciful fun with time tested tradition. 

I want to drink this all night and pretend I am sweltering in Rome with only this brut rosé and my loved ones to find refuge in. I've already waxed extremely poetic about Italy this month, so I don't want to bore you, but I could float away on its bubbles into the Adriatic Sea for now until eternity.

Tasting Notes: Lay's Potato Chips dipped in carbonated rose gold. 

Ross Test: As with most sparkling wines, it's a painful burst of joy. 

Agnanum Falanghina

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Agnanum Falanghina
Region: Campania, Italy
Year: 2013
Price: $15.99
Retailer: DomaineLA 

Another varietal I'd never tried before so I was like, "Yeah I'm gonna try this varietal!" because for the adventurous and brave spirit I lack in activities such as riding on motorcycles or jumping off top bunks, I make up for in my daring wine drinking.

So I'm drinking this Falanghina in mens underwear and shirt, which is my official s/s 2015 look, and just catching up on The Rock's Instagram, which is currently my favorite. I had never really given Dwayne Johnson much thought and I don't follow many celebrities on Instagram, but after drunkenly following him on Instagram in an airport bar two months ago, I've fallen in love with him. He's just so fucking likable! He's like Sofia Vergara with tons of muscles.

It's hot and I opened this white hoping for something bright and refreshing. I'm not disappointed in the wine, but this is not bright and refreshing. Upon first taste, this wine reminds me of scotch on both its bouquet and palate. Super smokey, but light enough to still be drinkable and not actually taste like scotch (thank god).

As it opens up, it tastes just like camping, and that briskness you feel as the breeze whips by when you first sit around the fire passing a flask of bourbon. Crackling fumes with a bit of heaviness, the kind of heaviness you need in the wilderness to go to sleep at a reasonable hour.

Such an interesting flavor profile, and one I didn't expect from an organic white wine. Usually they are so tart, and although this still has a tarty tinge, it is mostly grounded in classical elements. There are few wines I've tasted that have embodied earth, wind and fire so well and so balanced. It's gritty and smoky but airy. 

Maybe my mind is playing tricks on me, but the more I drink the more I feel like I've been drinking whiskey. The intoxication is warm and fuzzy and a bit volatile. Like I could get into a bit of trouble, for better or for worse.

Or pass out in a sleeping bag. 

Tasting Notes: The nose is pineapple on the grill and black licorice. The palate is very similar the with tropical and smoky notes, but with hints of fuzzy peach and salted caramel. 

Ross Test: Surprisingly good! 

Vini Rabasco Vino Rosso "Cancelli"


Rabasco Vino Rosso "Cancelli"
Varietal: Montepulciano

Region: Abruzzo, Italy
Year: 2014

Price: $29.99
Retailer: DomaineLA

I can't think of anything in the world I want more than to go back to Italy. I think about it every day. If I could pick up my life as I have it now and move it anywhere, I'd take it to Rome in a heartbeat. To stroll through Trastevere hand in hand, jasmine wafting on the wind, humming Nino Rota, stopping for a quick Spritz before dinner at Osteria Barberini. Walking through Villa Borhese at dusk, and cocktails at Harry's. Ugh. I just threw my head back in agony just thinking about it. 

I've never lived anywhere but Southern California. IE, OC, LA. All over, and yet, nowhere. And life has been good. I can't complain, but sometimes I wonder if my California anchor is what makes me who I am, or if it is holding me back. Some days, I would really like to just move away and start over. I'd love to be someone no one knows, in a place I truly need to explore. I've never had either of those things. I know it's not too late, but as things stand now, it would be a really stupid decision. 

But, this longing to leave and be an adventurer for once aches in my bones.  

Maybe one day. After I have a bit of money and before I have children. Maybe then.

Until then, I will listen to Nino Rota in men's underwear with a fan on my face in Silverlake and Vini Rabasco "Cancelli" in my glass, sighing along with each orchestrated crescendo. 

This wine reminds me so much of Italy. Its vibrance pulsating through me like a crazed taxi navigating traffic around the Seven Hills of Rome and its unmarked roundabouts, while maintaining such a calm and casual elegance. Have you noticed that about Italians? They're relatively unexcitable and very sophisticated. A cantankerous tank of a woman running the register at a market in Italy talking shit about me she doesn't realize I understand still has more poise than I do on my best night in Los Angeles.

That's not to say they aren't passionate though. Lord knows Italians have unbridled passion for basically everything, myself included. And that's what makes them even better. How can they be so restrained and so god damned wild all at once?

I'm not entirely sure. But what I do know is that this red blend of Vini Rabasco's embodies all that. The "Cancelli" is a rampant Fellini character: archetypal yet complex, simple yet so god damn sensual. It's Sylvia in the Trevi fountain, asking Marcello to come to her. She is in a beautiful gown, in a god damn fountain. THE TREVI FUCKING FOUNTAIN. IT IS SO CLASSIC AND ANCIENT AND REVERED AND THEN, HERE IS SOME BUXOM BLONDE CELEBRITY JUST JUMPING IN. JESUS CHRIST IS IT JUXTAPOSED BEAUTY AT ITS FINEST. ELGANT AND SO DAMN WILD.

I want to live in Fellini's Rome, but living in LA with this Rabasco will suit me just fine until then. 

Tasting Notes: In the glass, bright ruby. On the nose, blackberries, cherries, wet Raven's Revenge sour candy from the 90's. On the palate, it is so lively cranberry and tart black fruits and a beautiful mineral linchpin. I could just die. So smooth yet mysteriously gripping. The finish is sybaritic, tipping on downright sexual. Nope, JK, I would straight up fuck this wine.  

Ross Test: Better in a glass but still good. HEY, EVERYTHING IN ITALY IS GOOD. 

Calabretta "Cala Cala" Vino Rosso


Calabretta Vino Rosso "Cala Cala"
Price: $18.99
Year: Multi-Vintage (2005, 2008, 2009)
Region: Sicily 
Retailer: DomaineLA


This wine isn't from Rome, but I still thought it would be a good wine to break in my new Nino Rota vinyl. La Dolce Vita is so dreamy, dark and a little desperate. And as I stare out in the black abyss that is my front yard, I can't help but think that is exactly how I feel going into the new year-- dreamy, a little desperate, staring into a dark unknown. Oh, what I would do to have my days filled with press conferences and my nights spent frolicking in the Trevi Fountain. Or simply just being back on the Via Veneto. IL SOSPIRO. 

As much as I want to say that the Cala Cala somehow relates to Roman cafe society, it doesn't at all. 

The Cala Cala reminds me much more of Michael back in the homeland during The Godfather, Part One. You know, where he's hit by the lightening bolt that is Apollonia? Yeah this tastes like that. It's like BANG! I love it! And sure, Michael is loving Apollonia's tits or face or both but I'm like, LOVING this wine.

It's a dusty hillside stroll covered with wildflowers and some cow shit.
So, a pretty solid hillside in my personal opinion.  

Tasting Notes: Coffee and cherries and that aforementioned cow shit on the nose. Super lively and bright in your mouth, but has a really meaty quality to it. It's an organic wine, so it's pretty funky and kinda sour. I wouldn't serve it to your Italian grandmother, she would be very confused, but definitely serve it to your friends who are up for a little chalky weirdness.

Ross Test: Great on the front, a bit rough on the back. 


Leftovers: Holiday Dinner Edition

When your boss is a very successful woman with a big fashion tooth, it is not easy to buy her presents. So after three years, I gave up and invited Mindy Kaling over for a three course Italian holiday dinner, everything chef'd from scratch by my boyfriend Ben and somm'd by yours truly.

The great thing about coursing out your meals (and your wines) is that you have a lot of leftovers, and tonight I am revisiting the wines I served last night.

All the wines served are from Silverlake Wine and are under $40 (I know, the price point is high on this post, BUT FUCK, IT'S NOT EVERY DAY YOU'RE HAVING MINDY KALING OVER TO YOUR HOUSE AS A FUCKING PRESENT).

Course One: 
Pan-fried Truffle Oil Gnocchi 
Paired with ARPEPE Rosso di Valtellina Nebbiolo 2012

Truffle oil is not to be trifled with, and when you're serving dishes that prominently feature it, you need a wine whose flavor profile is not going to try to compete. Nebbiolos are similar to Pinot Noir in that they are an extremely delicious and versatile red wine and go well with nearly everything.

Nebbiolos in particular are great for pairing with truffle because they have a lovely earthiness to them that really compliments the truffles and enhances their flavor. This Nebbiolo smells like a big red fruit that is grown in the middle of the Forbidden Forest from Harry Potter, but like, more green and not so scary. And it tastes really delicious. Light, fruitful, vibrant, and slightly floral. A really great wine. I would drink this with anything.

As for the leftovers...
This bottle got left open all night cause, oops. It's now super acidic, but still better than most anything you'll buy in a grocery store. I'll take tang over sugar any day of the week. But please cork this. I feel like such a fucking fool. Like, I spent MONEY on this shit! I shouldn't be allowed nice things (JK GIVE ME ALL THE NICE THINGS, I BRUSH MY SUEDE SHOES AND NEVER LOSE SUNGLASSES).

Leftover Ross Test: 
Prickly, but doable. 

Course Two:
Winter Salad featuring Radicchio, Savoy Cabbage, Belgian Endive,  Parmesan and Walnut Oil dressing
Paired with Rojac Royaz Sparkling Rosé 2010

So this wine is dope because normally bubbles are added after the wine is basically already made, whereas with this Rosé gains its bubbles from its natural fermentation. It's also from Slovenia, which I've found recently has amazing wine (RE: the Cotar Terran from my Halloween tasting). The color of it is absolutely astounding. It's the most perfect coral pink, with a pretty cloud to it. I want a drawer of jewelry the color of this wine, and I'm not even that big on jewelry. 

This wine paired excellently with the salad because the leaves were so bitter. Bright, spring fields of strawberries, faint floral and thyme notes really complimented the bite of the dish. I really, really enjoyed it (although I almost took off my face opening the damn thing, and I mean, I was opening it like a normal human, unsealing it, and it just tore the fuck off the bottle on its own, so BE CAREFUL). This is something I wish I could just have in my fridge at all times. It's familiar in a sense that is a dry Rosé, but it is so unique in, for lack of better words, how it sits in your mouth. Its feel mimics its cloudy appearance. It just like, hangs out. But in a good way. Like a marine layer in your mouth. Wait this sounds kinda gross I PROMISE ITS NOT, IT'S SO GOOD.

As for the leftovers...
Still really good. I'm probably going to drink the whole bottle. It's definitely less bubbly and more acidic than it was yesterday (and, I corked it sooo,) but it's still so drinkable. Tastes like "sour" candy melted down. I say "sour", because it's not that sour. But it's not bad. You know those candies? You're like, "Alright this is kinda false advertising but whatever, still delicious."

Leftover Ross Test:
Not my favesies. Has a vodka aftertaste, which is too sad for me. :(

Course Three:
Braised Short Ribs with tomato Cabernet sauce
Paired with Praesidium Montepulciano d'Abruzzo Riserva doc 2009

Normally with a dish like this, I'd spring for a Cab. I know, terribly boring, but the truth is, I just really love Cabernet. But since this was an Italian holiday meal, I needed something Italian.  Italian wines are a vast sea of knowledge I've barely snorkeled in. I'd never had a Montepulciano d'Abruzzo before (which is odd considering its popularity in Italy but ok), but I love them now  because this shit, was the fucking shit.

This inky dream smells like an herb garden in late summer, still fresh but a little dusty, and tastes like the bulkiest plum you've ever bitten into with rugged, clayish tannins. It went so fucking well with the ribs. They were falling off the bone, and the wine just grabbed them and held them. It's like they were hugging in my mouth. And it was straight up true love. I would highly recommend this for any stewed meats you're making this season, especially ones with slightly spiced sauces. Just remember to decant for at least an hour beforehand.  

As for the leftovers...
Have you seen American Hustle? Remember how Jennifer Lawrence talks about the sweet trash smell of her nail polish? Yeah it smells like that. Like, kinda gross, but you're also 100% addicted to smelling it. Definitely lost a bit of its original complexity to acidity, but still tastes so good. 

Leftover Ross Test:

marissa ross test.jpg


Overall Best Leftovers:
The Praesidium and the Short Ribs. 

I legit just crushed a cold rib while downing the rest of this bottle and I couldn't be happier. The other reason this is the best Leftover, is that the braising sauce from the short ribs is going to go on some rigatoni later this week and I'M ALREADY SO EXCITED.