Having lived for almost two years in France, when faced with picking a wine I used to always default to something from Ancient Gaul. But since traveling to Italy a year and a half ago, I’ve consumed more Italian wine than from any other region of the world, and the majority of that has been from Tuscany, so when Cathy Huyghe of Red White Boston posted a tasting with a vintner from Tuscany, I was all in, in the blink of an eye. Red White Boston is a location-based wine recommendation service that has partnered with local retailers all over eastern Massachusetts and lists them in an iPhone app to generally make your wine-drinking life easier. And a part of Red White Boston is the “Tasting Crew.” Wine lovers who gather monthly to share, learn and experience new wines.
Last night the tasting was held at Pagliuca’s Ristorante Italiano in Boston’s North End. There couldn’t have been a better, more authentic place to taste these four Tuscan wines outside of the vineyard itself. The North End was alive with people, from an older local gentlemen feeding stale bread to the birds on Hanover Street to tourists lined up four deep and out the door of Mike’s Pastry waiting for a cannoli. I even caught a glimpse of Paul Revere rallying the troops in support of the Brooooons.
We tasted four wines from the Sada Vineyard, one white and three reds. Thanks to Tony Ravosa, co-owner and principle of Panther Distributing in Western Mass, it was the first time for all of these wines to be introduced in Massachusetts. Panther brought along wine maker Davide Sada and his son Alfonso to talk about their wines, which was a special treat for everyone. The first wine we tasted was a 2010 Vermentino IGT, which was a bright, clean and crisp white wine perfect for a summer afternoon. A couple of weeks ago the Wall Street Journal wrote about Vermentino so I was excited to get a crack at it my self. Light and fresh it was quite enjoyable and as owner Davide Sada put it, “Vermentino is the new chic drink in Europe. Pinot Grigio is lovely but Vermentino is special.”
Next up were three different reds from Sada, starting with a “baby Super-Tuscan,” the 2009 “Integolo” IGT. It is made from Cabernet Sauvignon and Montepulciano grapes and was light and velvety with a soft finish that made it an easy choice as an everyday drinking red. The second red, the 2008 “Baldoro” IGT was a true “Super-Tuscan” that packed a fruity punch and a long smooth finish that went well with the antipasti provided by Pagliuca’s for the evening.
The last wine of the evening, as expected, the highlight of the night, was the 2006 “Carpoli” IGT, made from Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot grapes that had an intense ruby red color and a complex bouquet that left me with reminders of fruit and the earth. This wine was made to be shared with great friends while lingering over a dinner of wild boar or another flavor-filled red meat like venison or lamb.
It was a wonderful evening with some great wines and lovely hospitality. I’ve never been to Pagliuca’s for dinner, but I’m sure we will be stopping by soon, and I’m going to be in touch with some of my favorite wine shops to encourage them to look for the Sada wines we shared this evening. It was great to see Emily again and meet some new wine lovers, like Terry of Drink Insider and Mealine of Kiss My Glass of Wine as well. Davide Sada ending the evening with a quote to remember by saying “The right wine is what you like the best,” and that you should “Drink what you like.”
Remember, Food is Love!