March 18, 2010

Thirsty Thursdays! (5) - Viva Italia!

Welcome to the fifth installment of Thirsty Thursdays! Every week I will select a wine and review it. (There will be no consistent rhyme or reason for picking the wine; presume I chose each bottle on a whim. And, no, I am not receiving compensation for these reviews). I will rate the wine on a four glass rubric because a properly poured glass of wine is 6.25 oz, ensuring that each 750 ml bottle fills four glasses. (This haphazard logic makes sense, right?!)…

Okay - so now that I am going back to work, I must rework this whole thing. You will be receiving the quick and dirty versions of Thirsty Thursdays. I hope you don't mind! 

A reminder in how one should taste her (his) wine:
A proper Wine Tasting starts with smelling the wine. This process looks ridiculous! You take a brief first sniff, then pull the glass away and swirl it like a snob, (look for legs, viscosity, colour, etc.) then stick your big noggin right in there and inhale like it’s your last breath. And THEN you take the first sip, and pull it through your teeth. Also looks ridiculous! Swallow. (Sounds obvious I know…).Take your second sip. During this sip, you swoosh the wine like it is toothpaste you’re trying to wash out of your mouth. Please don’t spit it out, though, unless there’s a bucket and you’re expected to! Finally, that third sip you hold on to and savor – and finally…swallow. It is this final sip that tells for sure if the wine is going to be good.

Okay people. Last week's Thirsty Thursday was riddled RIDDLED with mistakes! I am ashamed of myself! No more!

Just because I am a bit preoccupied does not NOT give me the right to become lax on here; that's not fair to you - am I right?

Any-who -- 

This week you are in for a real treat, as j.b. and I have finally picked a suitable and substantial, not to mention inexpensive--though delectably drinkable--house red wine. It is called Mezzomondo Negroamaro.

Mezzomondo translates literally as 'the center or middle of the world' - as the winery is from the heart of Italy. And if you know anything about me, I HEART ITALY - (or I presume I do, since I've never been, and it's my DREAM destination).

Now I've never heard of a Negroamaro grape before. Curious. Apparently it can also be called Negro Amaro - and it is a grape native to southern Italy (wikipedia). The grape (as its name indicates) produces a very dark, deep coloured red wine. It is a grape that is often used in blended wines (such as Montepulciano), but can also work well on its own - as it does in our new Mezzomondo favourite!

Tasting Notes, directly from the Mezzomondo website: deep in colour, the nose is spicy with a good structure and smooth tannins. A perfect pasta pairing or try with veal parmigiana, spicy sausage or pizza.

Doesn't that just sound Italian and DREAMY?

What I taste in the wine is a smoky, almost oaky, clove-y spice. This is a full bodied dry red wine with not a lot of complexity. Its taste is simple, deep, but not overpowering. Where a Cabernet has a bolder berry spice and a hint of sweetness to it, this Negroamaro is leathery and tobacco-ey and its flavour follows through to the finish. But it is not off-putting or too much. It is not bold - it is subtle. Yummy. And it tastes like I imagine Italy to be like: romantic and simple. (huh?) I know. What the heck am I saying?

I imagine we are all Lady and the Tramping it with this wine: (I may be in a dream world here!): we have our beloved Italian lover (or favourite blond-white hubby) dining with us. We are of course by candlelight, seated at the table that is cloaked in a red and white checkered cloth, and we have a single red rose hanging loosely in a tall vase as our centerpiece. Our Italian lover (ahem) is lapping up every word we utter. He is staring at us adoringly, lost in our eyes: fixated on everything we are saying and doing. 

He is lustful and his attention is not distracted. 

(lucky us!) 

We are enjoying our spaghetti carbonara on ONE plate, not two. .Because sharing is romantic...(duh!). We are sitting so close, we are almost ON one another. And of course that last noodle? We split. Lady and the Tramp style. Because our Romantic Italian Lover? He's debonair like that. He has no shame - and we? just go with it -- (even though we do feel a little silly!).

Besides its yummy-ness - and its Italian-ness - this wine is tres inexpensive: not sure how this relates in American, but it is a mere $16.45 in the LCBO!

My rating? 3.75 Italian style rock glasses out of four!'s yummy.

A sidenote:

When I think of rock glasses and red wine, my mind always goes to the depictions of the busy Italian families, everyone with drink in hand:

Is anyone else thinking - Would ya just watch the hair. Ya know, I work on my hair a long time and you hit it. He hits my hair. (Saturday Night Fever)? - sorry. I got distracted:-)

Viva Italia! 

p.s. let's add something here: what are YOU drinking these days? Let us all know! Or me, anyhow!!

my hubby had me do my first scotch tasting last that's a whole other kettle of fish or oh man! And I thought wine was interesting...


  1. Anonymous19.3.10

    LOVE it!!!!! We often drink this vino rosso... mmm...LS has been the liquor store shopper for a few months now and God forbid he buy anything other than Italian--he doesn't. We've enjoyed Masi of late. My parents have become obsessed with Fuzion!!!!!

    LOVE the movie clip--SO cute!

    My Italian lover is at NCAA bball today and you made me miss him!!

  2. oh anonimo - i am jealous of your hubby and glad that my wine choice is to your liking!


Thanks for your thoughts!


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