Grab a glass and stay a while!

"A glass of wine is great refreshment after a hard day’s work." —Ludwig van Beethoven
Isn't that the truth? So here's a collection of non-expert wine opinions and tidbits skewed toward wine bargains. Believe them at your own risk, and please feel free to chuckle from time to time.

October 15, 2008

An untamed Italian beast

Antinori Santa Cristina Sangiovese (2003)
Origin: Italy (Toscana)

Price: $12

When I was a kid I remember battling it out with Neapolitan ice cream. I guess it's one of those flavors developed to make the majority of people happy, that is unless you only really care for one of the flavors. Anyone who knows me knows that I would choose chocolate over vanilla any day. And strawberry, well, that flavor ranks even lower than vanilla. So I used to take the "save the best for last" approach with Neapolitan, making my eating order strawberry, vanilla, then finally chocolate. But by the time I got to the chocolate, sometimes it was a little too melted. Maybe it's not always wise to hang on to something you assume to be great. Enter this sangiovese.

I remember buying this wine a while ago on Chairman's Selection and for some reason I kept saving it for a special occasion because I thought it was going to blow me away. But in typical "me" fashion, when I get my hopes up really high I usually end up disappointed. The thought crossed my mind that maybe 2003 was too old for this wine. But that really should not be the case, as sangiovese is a good one to tuck away for a few years. It's possible that I just don't like sangiovese as much as I thought I did.

Anyway, I don't think anyone will be messing with this wine on the playground. For starters, it has a serious amount of pigment. It's a little bit tart with the intensity of ripe blackberries and maybe a bit of tar. There is definitely an underlying earthiness to it and its legs dance wildly like an untamed creature. It seems a little bit rough. Not bad, but not my favorite.

Moral of the story: What are you waiting for? If you think you have a great bottle that you're dying to try, open it already. Don't delay possible disappointment. And if the wine happens to be spectacular then you can run back to the store and stock up.

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