Sangiovese. The very name rolls off the tongue. It is Italyís signature, but hardly finest red grape, also grown in California and elsewhere. We have reviewed several Sangiovese varietals and several blends such as the famous, and often overrated, Chiantis. As hard as I tried I couldnít find much information about the Floreales label. Itís an imprint of the French giant Casimex, also is responsible for Knorr and Nutella, two products that seem as far from wine as possible. But in the days of multinationals anything is possible. The companion wine is a biodynamic Chianti costing about half again as much.
In the absence of marketing materials letís start by quoting the back label. (My sight translation from the French.) ďThis is the Italian wine par excellence. It is highly perfumed and perfectly accompanies red meat, spicy foods, or cheese.Ē And now for my review.
At the first sips this wine was a bit thin, offering light acidity and no tannins. The initial meal was a spicy whole wheat, no cheese lasagna made with tomatoes, ground meat, mushrooms, and corn. In response the Sangioveseís acidity picked up. It was one food friendly wine. When paired with a red pepper, red cabbage, tomato, and cucumber salad the drink soured but did provide a bit of dark cherries. Really hot Yemeni green jalapeno slathered on the lasagna seemed to make no difference to the liquid.
The second meal centered on a baked salmon filet marinated in agave and then coated with sesame seeds. In response our Italian friend provided dark fruit and was excessively acidic with no tannins. I paired this juice with red and white steamed quinoa and its acidity continued to dominate the fruit. Steamed broccoli rounded the libation. Orange flavored milk chocolate muted the wine including its acidity.
The final mealís focus was a dry, garlicky barbecued chicken breast to which my glassís response was upbeat acidity. Alas it was overly sweet. I tasted dark plums. In response to a commercial potato salad including pickles, Sangio thinned but was refreshing. A purchased Turkish salad containing onions, tomato paste, red peppers, and spices almost emptied the wine.
Final verdict. I donít intend to buy this wine again. The pairings were too hit and miss. But if you are looking for an inexpensive, dry Kosher wine you should consider it.Access the companion wine A Biodynamic Chianti.
Levi Reiss has authored or co-authored ten books on computers and the Internet, but to be honest, he would
rather just drink fine Italian or other wine, accompanied by the right foods. He teaches classes in computers at an Ontario
French-language community college. His wine websites include
www.theworldwidewine.com and http://www.wineinyourdiet.com
Visit his website devoted to italian travel www.travelitalytravel.com
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