Friday, July 25, 2008

Sangiovese the Intensifier

I have a confession to make. I like milk with red sauce. Pizza, lasagna, marinara, whatever. I suppose its because that’s how I grew up-drinking milk with everything that the two naturally go together with each other in my mind. I’m trying to break this habit, since so many Italian-style wines are made for food and we like them so.

The other night I made my marinara sauce and served up some Imagery Sangiovese, a gift from the Luce’s. Side note: I’m not a recipe follower – I’m a taster. Taste, add a bit of something, taste, etc. So by that point, I had tasted the sauce at least 4 times to ensure that it was perfect. A bit of herb spiciness, but not hot. Robust flavor. I'm excited to have them together.

First sip of the wine…yummy. Delicous. Another sip, just as yummy. Oh this is going to be good. Take bite or two of pasta. Yummy as well. Drink of wine. Hot. Huh? Eat. Drink. Eat Drink. Hot. Spicy. Hot. I don’t understand. The description doesn’t say anything about hot spice. Its all lush and fruit. (which is how it was by itself)

TASTING NOTES: Our 2005 Sangiovese is a lush, full-bodied, complexly flavored wine. With beautiful richness and lengthy finish, the dominate flavors include dark fruit, such as black cherry and ripe plum, with an earthy balance of tobacco and oak.

Hmm. After a bit, I ask Mr. Lush “is this hot to you”? He says “yeah, you made the sauce too hot”. No, I didn’t, I say. Its actually less hot than I made it the last time. I know the wine isn’t hot, it was great. Then it dawns on me. I get a glass of milk. Eat. Drink. Eat. Drink. Not hot at all. Ah. I see.

The sangiovese has totally highlighted and intensified the spices. My normal “robust” pasta has become extra robust and zesty and downright spice-hot. Perhaps its my tendency to drink milk, but we'd had reds before with it and it hadn't happened. I had no idea and was really suprised.

The wine was delicious before and after dinner. Not a hint of spice. Just not a pair for my marinara sauce. Oh dear. I’m not sure what to do…modify my recipe so its more wine friendly or keep trying other wines until I find the perfect mix. Hmm.


LucyinStLou said...

It might be that the wine was new world. I love Imagery (of course!), but they are so plush and fruity sometimes they can overpower food. All of the Iamgery reds seem to go REALLY well with steak though. Although, now that I think about it, I have had the Sangiovese with pasta before without incident. Hmmm, a mystery.

WineLush said...

It totally changed it. I don't know if I'd call it "overpowering" ... I guess I think overpowering as drowning out the flavor of the food. This was the opposite. It really intensified the flavors. It kicked it up 5 notches.
Its possible my robust pasta is like you're robust kitties...the
"robust" understatement of the year. :)

(but really-LOVED the Sangiovese-it was fantastic)