Thursday, January 14, 2010

6 Easy Steps to Enjoying Chianti Classico

Step 1: Erase all bad memories of cheap Chianti in a straw covered jug (fiasco)

Step 2: Think about your favorite Italian food

Step 3: Think about how nasty it will taste with a high alcohol new world cab or zin dripping with jam and vanilla

Step 4: Think about how delicious your meal will taste with Chianti Classico, a wine made in Tuscany from the grape, sangiovese – delicate fruit and floral flavor/aroma profile (strawberry, dried raspberry, blueberry, red plum, violet, rose), mild spices (cinnamon, clove, thyme), with moderate to high natural acidity, generally a medium-body, and a drier finish

Step 5: Make new memories with cheap Chianti Classico! Start by trying Lamole di Lamole. It’s $10 at Trader Joe’s and they have a few more in that same price range. Lamole di Lamole is aged 9 months in barriques, clocks in at 13.5% abv, and you should find the 2006 on shelves right now.

Step 6: ENJOY!

Trader Josie

Trader Joe’s impressed me before with their $4 Coastal Syrah and has done it again with two more reds! I recently enjoyed their $10 2007 Dry Creek Valley Reserve Cab and their $5 2008 California Grower’s Reserve Petite Syrah.

They were easy drinking, (relatively) low alcohol wines, 14.5% and 13.5% respectively, with noses and palates richer than you would anticipate given their prices. What a great reminder of the importance of trusting your palate and not graphic designers or name brands. I’ll drink TJ’s Dry Creek Valley Reserve Cab over Silver Choke any day!